The games will give Smith a chance to evaluate his roster for the 2001 Nordic Cup to be contested at the end of July in Norway. Without a FIFA-sanctioned championship for this age group, the eight-team Nordic Cup serves as the top competition in the world for U-21 women.
The USA will face Mexico on Friday, May 11 at Nicolas Alvarez Ortega Stadium in Tepic, Nayarit. The match kicks off at 8:30 p.m. local time (10:30 p.m. ET). The USA will finish the two-game set on May 13 at the Guasave 89 Stadium in Guasave, Sinaloa in a match that kicks off at 4 p.m. local time (6 p.m. ET).
"It will be a learning experience for me, but also a great chance to evaluate some of the top players in our pool," said Smith. "I will be looking to see how players will respond in dealing with everything involved with international matches on the road, from the travel to the pressure to the crowds. These games are important as they are likely our only full internationals prior to the Nordic Cup."
Ten players have previous Nordic Cup experience while the 18 players on the roster have combined for 107 caps and 19 goals for the full U.S. Women's National Team. Defender Nandi Pryce makes her return to the national team after recovering from a broken leg that forced her to miss almost all of her freshman season at UCLA.
The U.S. U-21s have not played an international match yet this year, but have also yet to lose. The U-21s defeated three college teams during a February training camp and earned two ties and a win against WUSA teams at the Spring Training Tournament in March held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
|United States Under-21 Women's National Team Roster|
Mexico Tour 2001
|1||Oleksiuk, Emily||GK||5'10"||12/10/80||Willow Grove, Pa.||Penn State|
|2||Kluegel, Jena||M||5'3"||11/02/79||Mahtomedi, Minn.||North Carolina|
|3||Kraus, Anna||D||5'4"||07/29/80||Mountain View, Calif.||Santa Clara|
|4||Reddick, Catherine||D||5'7"||02/10/82||Birmingham, Ala.||North Carolina|
|5||Marquand, Ally||D||5'6"||07/01/81||Irvine, Calif.||Stanford|
|6||Pryce, Nandi||D||5'10"||05/30/82||Casselberry, Fla.||UCLA|
|7||Wagner, Aly||M||5'5"||08/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara|
|8||Misaki, Erin||M||5'3"||11/23/81||Valencia, Calif.||Portland|
|9||Schott, Laura||F||5'5"||04/04/81||Wilsonville, Ore.||UC Berkeley|
|10||Barnes, Katie||F||5'6"||08/28/80||Mason, Ohio||West Virginia|
|11||Monroe, Mary-Frances||M||5'0"||02/07/80||East Northport, N.Y.||UCLA|
|12||Welsh, Christie||F||5'10"||02/27/81||Massapequa Park, N.Y.||Penn State|
|13||Hawkins, Devyn||M||5'8"||11/29/80||Olympia, Wash.||Santa Clara|
|14||Borgman, Danielle||D||5'6"||04/25/80||Cincinnati, Ohio||North Carolina|
|15||Wambach, Abby||F||5'10"||06/02/80||Pittsford, N.Y.||Florida|
|16||Ramsey, Alyssa||F||5'9"||09/21/82||Cornelius, N.C.||North Carolina|
|17||Cramer, Aleisha||M||5'10"||07/29/82||Lakewood, Colo.||Brigham Young|
|18||Solo, Hope||GK||5'9"||07/30/81||Richland, Wash.||Washington|