US SoccerUS Soccer

U.S. U-20 WNT To Play Costa Rica For Berth at the 2008 U-20 FIFA Women's World Cup

U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team
CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying
Puebla, Mexico
June 24, 2008

THE KNOCK OUT PHASE: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team is set for a semifinal clash against Costa Rica on Wednesday, June 25, at 1 p.m. CT at the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship in Puebla, Mexico. The winner of the semifinal will earn one of the region’s three berths to the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile this fall. The U.S. qualified for the semis by taking the top spot in Group A with three wins over Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica and host Mexico, outscoring their opponents 16-0 in the group stage. The winner of Wednesday’s meeting will advance to the Final on Saturday, June 28, at 2:30 p.m. CT, while the loser will play in the third-place game at Noon.

June 18, 2008
USA 4, Trinidad & Tobago 0
Mexico 7, Cuba 0

June 20, 2008
USA 9, Cuba 0
Mexico 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0

June 22, 2008
Trinidad & Tobago 6, Cuba 1
USA 3, Mexico 0

Team  W   L    T   Pts. GF  GA    GD
USA     3    0    0     9    16    0    +16
MEX     2    1    0     6    10    3      +7
TRI      1    2    0     3      4     7       -3
CUB    0    3    0     0      0    20    -20

TOP OF THE CHARTS: The U.S. boasts the most powerful attack so far in the tournament, scoring 16 goals in their first three games. Strikers Michelle Enyeart and Kelley O’Hara sit in the top two spots on the scoring charts with six and five goals, respectively. Fellow forward Nikki Washington is third on the team with three goals despite playing only 150 minutes, including 31 of those minutes in the back line.

STINGY DEFENSE: The U.S. is the only team in the tournament who did not give up a goal throughout the group phase, a feat made more impressive due to the fact that they used both goalkeepers and six different players along the backline. Top-choice goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher picked up two shutouts, including a two-save effort against Mexico on Sunday, while Kristin Arnold earned a clean sheet without making a single save against Cuba on June 20.

U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kristin Arnold (Texas A&M), Alyssa Naeher (Penn State)
DEFENDERS (4): Kaley Fountain (Wake Forest), Lauren Fowlkes (Notre Dame), Nikki Marshall (Colorado), Elli Reed (Portland)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Becky Edwards (Florida State), Meghan Klingenberg (North Carolina), Christine Nairn (Bowie, Md.), Ingrid Wells (Georgetown), Keelin Winters (Portland)
FORWARDS (9): Kiersten Dallstream (Washington State), Gina DiMartino (Boston College), Michelle Enyeart (Portland), Sydney Leroux (Phoenix, Ariz.), Jessica McDonald (Glendale, Ariz.), Alex Morgan (California), Casey Nogueira (North Carolina), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford), Nikki Washington (North Carolina)

Quick Hits:

  • Five different players have tallied for the U.S. through two games – Michelle Enyeart (6), Kelley O’Hara (5), Nikki Washington (3), Becky Edwards (1) and Alex Morgan (1).
  • Enyeart took sole possession of the team scoring lead with nine in 2008, while O’Hara is second on the team with eight goals scored on the year.
  • O’Hara and Casey Nogueira are the only two players on the roster with FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup experience, as both were a part of the U.S. team that took fourth place in Russia in 2006.
  • O’Hara also leads the U.S. team on the qualifying roster with 15 Under-20 caps and 12 career goals.
  • Nogueira is also the only player on the U.S. team with a senior team cap, starting in a 1-1 tie against England on January 28, 2007, at age 18.
  • Three players on the roster picked up their first-ever cap at the U-20 level during the team’s first match of the tournament against Trinidad & Tobago – Kierstan Dallstream, Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan. All three players also made an appearance against Cuba and Mexico.
  • Christine Nairn, the youngest player on the roster picked up just her second cap at this level on June 20 and her third on June 22 against Mexico, coming on as a substitute in both games.
  • Fourteen different colleges are represented on the roster, led by three players each from the University of Portland and the University of North Carolina.
  • This is the fourth time the USA has participated in qualifying for a FIFA U-19 or U-20 World Cup. In 2002, the U.S. team traveled to Trinidad & Tobago where it won the qualifying tournament in resounding fashion, out-scoring its opposition by a margin of 34-1.
  • In 2004, the USA fell to Canada in overtime in the title game by a 2-1 score. The USA had advanced to the final by outscoring its opposition 25-1 in group play and then defeating Mexico, 6-0, in the semifinal to earns its berth to Thailand.
  • Eleven nations have already qualified for the U-20 World Cup: host Chile; Japan, China and North Korea from Asia; France, Germany, Norway and England from Europe; New Zealand from Oceania; and Brazil and Argentina from South America.

SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION: Costa Rica qualified for the semifinals by finishing second in Group B with two wins and one loss to top-finisher, Canada. The Central American country topped Jamaica, 3-1, and Nicaragua, 3-2, in a back and forth battle that saw three lead changes, before falling to Canada, 4-0. Six different players scored for Costa Rica to help them advance out of their group.

THE OTHER MATCH UP: Canada, who finished first in their group with three wins, will take on host Mexico in the second game of Wednesday’s double-header. Canada, who entered the tournament as one of the favorites, beat Nicaragua, 2-0, Jamaica, 3-0, and rounded out group play against Costa Rica, picking up a 4-0 win. Mexico’s only loss of the tournament was to the United States in the final game of Group A in front of thousands of home supporters.

Group B Standings
Team   W   L   T   Pts.  GF  GA   GD
CAN      3   0   0     9       9    1      +8
CRC     2   1   0     6        6    7      -1
JAM      1    2   0     3       8    6      +2
NIC      0    3   0     0       2   11      -9

June 17, 2008
Canada 2, Nicaragua 0
Costa Rica 3, Jamaica 1

June 19, 2008
Canada 3, Jamaica 1
Costa Rica 3, Nicaragua 2

June 21, 2008
Jamaica 6, Nicaragua 0
Canada 4, Costa Rica 0

LEADING FROM THE BACK: Notre Dame’s standout defender Lauren Fowlkes has played two difficult games already in the tournament, but with her parents in the stands, she is ready to lead the back line in the semifinals. Part of a defensive unit that has yet to give up a single goal, Fowlkes will look to her college experience – she led the Fighting Irish in minutes as a freshman in 2007, helping them to the Final Four – entering the knockout round. Fowlkes sat down with ahead of the clash with Costa Rica.

UNSUNG HOLDING MID: Though not playing the most glamous position, defensive midfielder Becky Edwards has been a key part of the U.S. team, playing all 270 minutes of the tournament so far and scoring one of the best goals of the tournament against Cuba on June 20. The Florida State junior talked to in this exclusive podcast about her experience with various Youth National Teams, two trips to the College Cup and the USA’s mentality heading into Wednesday’s key semifinal against Costa Rica.

BACK TO THE BLOG: The U.S. YNT Blog is back in action! For exclusive interviews, photos and behind-the scenes happenings of the Under-20 WNT during their quest to qualify for Chile 2008, check out