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U.S. U-19 WNT Prepares For Quarterfinal Against Young Matildas

Saturday, November 20, 2004
U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team
Notes from Chiang Mai, Thailand

U.S. U-19 WOMEN SET TO FACE AUSTRALIA IN QUARTERFINALS: The U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team enters the knockout stage of the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship 2004 on Sunday, Nov. 21, squaring off against Australia in one of four quarterfinal matches.  The USA kicks off at 7:45 p.m. local / 7:45 a.m. ET at 700th Anniversary Stadium in Chiang Mai in a match that can be followed live on’s MatchTracker presented by Philips Electronics.  In an odd scheduling quirk, the USA will be playing on just two days of rest after defeating Spain, 1-0, in the final match of Group C play while Australia will be playing on four days rest after defeating Thailand, 5-0, in their final Group A match.  Ironically, it was the USA that helped Australia make the knockout stage, with the victory over Spain assuring the Young Matildas a place in the quarters.  No one in the U.S. camp is expecting any “thank-yous” from the Aussies, who are historically one of the most physical and hard-working teams in the world.  The USA held its Saturday training at 7 p.m. at 700th Anniversary Stadium to simulate game-time conditions.  The short, but crisp training was watched by seemingly endless variety of insects and few fluttering bats.  On the bus ride back to the hotel, several players were called up to the front of the bus to demonstrate some unique talents.  As it turns out, midfielder Stephanie Logertman is quite the yodeler, midfielder Yael Averbuch does a number of spot-on impressions and silky-voiced midfielder Jen Redmond got a rousing cheer for an extremely impressive rendition of the National Anthem.  

Quarterfinals Match-ups:
Match 19 Germany vs. Nigeria Chiang Mai – 700th Anniversary Stadium 5 p.m. local/5 a.m. ET
Match 20 Brazil vs. Russia Bangkok – Supachalasai Stadium  5 p.m. local/5 a.m. ET
Match 21 USA vs. Australia Chiang Mai – 700th Anniversary Stadium 7:45 p.m. local/7:45 a.m. ET
Match 22 Canada vs. China Bangkok – Supachalasai Stadium  7:45 p.m. local/7:45 a.m. ET

Note: The winner of Match 19 players the winner of Match 21 in one semifinal while the winner of Match 20 plays the winner of Match 22 in the other semifinal.

WELCOME TO CHIANG MAI: The U.S. team traveled from the South of Thailand to the north on Friday morning, hopping a short flight from Phuket to Bangkok, before transferring to an even shorter flight to Chiang Mai, where two of the four quarterfinal matches will take place.  Known as the "Rose of the North", Chiang Mai is the second-largest city in Thailand and the cultural center of the north. Founded in 1296, Chiang Mai is the birthplace of the Buddhist religion in Thailand and many monuments to this legacy remain intact to this day despite the passage years.   The mountains and dense vegetation of Chiang Mai has presented a vast contrast to the tropical beach environment of Phuket, which has proven just fine for the U.S. team, who are focusing hard on the Australia match, and are more than willing to trade the fantastic beaches of Thailand’s biggest island for three ice cream shops within walking distance of the hotel.  The USA will face Australia at the aptly named 700th Anniversary stadium, opened in 1986 to mark the 700th anniversary of the founding of the city of Chiang Mai.  The stadium has a capacity of 25,000, with more than 4,500 covered seats, with the field in good condition and ready to host its final two games of the tournament.

TOP GOAL SCORERS: Heading into the knockout rounds, it’s no coincidence that the top-five scorers in the tournament are still playing.  Canada’s Brittany Timko is top scorer in the tournament so far with six goals, but will be sternly tested against the stingy Chinese, who conceded just three goals in three first-round games, tied with Germany for second least allowed in the tournament (behind the USA with one).  The German strike force of Anja Mittag (five goals) and Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi (three goals), the daughter of French and Cameroonian parents, has proven tough to stop, and the Nigerians will be charged with that task in the quarters.  The five-foot-9 Da Mbabi did not play in Germany’s 3-3 tie with Canada in the last group game and should be well rested for the Baby Falcons.  The USA will face Collette McCallum and her three goals, two scored against Thailand in the tournament-saving 5-0 victory in their last group game.  The USA has Jessica Rostedt, who has three goals, but could have had a few more had she finished after several fantastic dribbling runs.

Player (Country)  Goals
Brittany Timko (CAN)  6
Anja Mittag (GER)  5
Collette McCallum (AUS) 3
Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi (GER) 3
Jessica Rostedt (USA) 3

USA vs. AUSTRALIA PREVIEW: These two teams met in the first-round at the 2002 U-19 Women’s World Championship, with the USA coming away with a hard-fought “much-closer-than-the-score-indicated” 4-0 win over the Young Matildas.  The USA went up 1-0 on a 14th minute goal by Kelly Wilson that held until the Americans scored three times in the last 16 minutes to seal the match.  Australia had a bit of a wild ride through the first round of this tournament, falling to Canada 2-1 in the first match as goalkeeper Alison Logue was red-carded in the 69th minute for a handball outside the penalty box.  Without their starting goalkeeper, the Australians fell 4-0 to Germany in the second match.  Facing elimination unless they scored a bunch of goals against Thailand, Australia came through with five, enough to even its goal difference at zero and push them through to the quarterfinals as one of the two best third place teams based on goal difference.  Australia has an experienced side with three players from the team that faced the USA at the 2002 U-19 World Championship in Emma Davison, Cartherine Cannuli and Selin Kuralay, the latter two of which did not see time in the match.  Australia has three players on its roster from its 2004 Olympic Team in Sally Shippard, who at 16 was the youngest female player in the Olympics, as well as Kylie Ledbrook and Kuralay, both of whom did not play against the USA in a 1-1 draw in group play in Thessaloniki, Greece.  Shippard played the entire match against the USA in Greece and played well, cementing her status as one of the future stars of the Matildas.  The USA-Australia match is sure to be one of the most physical for the Americans so far, but as seen in USA’s group games, Australia will be hard-pressed to contain the USA’s athletic attackers.  The USA must keep tabs on Shippard and three-goal scorer Collette McCallum, who tallied her side’s lone goal against Canada.

GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Laura COMEAU, 1-Kelsey DAVIS, 18-Ashlyn HARRIS; DEFENDERS (5): 3-Rachel BUEHLER, 19-Meagan HOLMES, 15-Nikki KRZYSIK, 6-Stephanie LOPEZ, 11-Becky SAUERBRUNN; MIDFIELDERS (8): 13-Yael AVERBUCH, 5-Sheree GRAY, 2-Stephanie KRON, 20-Stacy LINDSTROM, 8-Stephanie LOGTERMAN, 12-Alexa ORAND, 4-Jen REDMOND, 10-Angie WOZNUK; FORWARDS (5); 9-Kerri HANKS, 7-Megan RAPINOE, 16-Amy RODRIGUEZ, 17-Jessica ROSTEDT, 14-Meghan SCHNUR.

GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Alison LOGUE, 18-Yasmin FAVRETTI , 21-Monique JACKSON; DEFENDERS (7): 2-Caitlin COOPER, 3-Kim CARROLL, 4-Emma DAVISON, 5-Ellen BEAUMONT, 12-Julia BAZI, 13-Danielle BROGAN, 14-Nicole SOMI; MIDFIELDERS (6): 6-Sally SHIPARD, 8-Lauren COLTHORPE, 10-Collette MC CALLUM, 15-Leah BLAYNEY, 16-Briony HOLCOMBE, 17-Kylie LEDBROOK; FORWARDS (5): 7-Jenna TRISTRAM, 9-Selin KURALAY, 11-Catherine CANNULI, 19-Leena KHAMIS, 20-Alannah REED.

ONE THAT DIDN’T GET AWAY: U.S. defender Stephanie Lopez is part of the growing number of Hispanic females with heritage based in Mexico or Central America who are playing soccer across the USA.  Her grandfather was born in Mexico, making her eligible to receive a Mexican passport, and Lopez admits that there was a time not long ago when she thought about playing for the Tricolores.  Three years ago, Lopez returned home from a U.S. Under-16 Girl’s National Team training camp and admittedly did not put in her best performance. At the time, Mexico was playing some exhibitions in the Sacramento area near her home, and being a bit despondent about her national team future, Lopez started to investigate playing for the homeland of her grandfather.  Later in the summer, she was invited back in with the U-16s, had a better camp and said to herself, “let’s see where this takes me.”  Luckily for the USA, it has taken her all the way to Thailand where she has started all three matches and played every minute as the USA won its three first-round matches. Her unique upbringing and personality make her a perfect teammate as the USA looks to defender their world championship title.

U.S. Quote Sheet:
U.S. head coach Mark Krikorian on Australia:
“They have some dynamic players in nine, (Selin Kuralay), ten (Collette McCallum), seventeen (Kylie Ledbrook) and nineteen (Leena Khamis).  All of those attacking players can cause us some problems.  They are solid throughout the team and the kid (Sally) Shippard will anchor them in the midfield so we know we are in for a bit of a battle.”

Krikorian on group play toughening his team:
“We did have a hard run though group play.  We knew coming in that our group was going to be difficult, but we survived it in terms of getting through good results, minimizing injuries and we are able to get a few players some rest as well.  But we have our work cut out for us with Australia.”

Australian head coach Adrian Santrac on the U.S. team:
“The U.S. are a good side and as a country won (this event) two years ago, but this is not that team.  They've gone through a tough group and won all three games, and we're very respectful of that, but we too are a good side and are preparing in the appropriate way to give us the best opportunity."
Santrac on his team:
"We've played some really good football, and each game, we've grown in stature and belief, and we'll continue to do that.  We haven't defended as well as we should have, and haven't scored as often as we should, but we know we can create against the good teams.  We've been working hard to ensure we take our chances and defend well."

Santrac on the match:
“We'll be well armed with the knowledge of what to expect from the U.S. tactically and their players.  We know they are very athletic, very quick, and very fit.  They've won their group obviously on merit, but we're not playing group matches now - in a one-off game, anything can happen."

U.S. defender Rachel Buehler on the match vs. Australia:
“Obviously we have to fight hard in this game.  Australia is a fighting team, they are very hard working and play with a lot of heart.  We need to play with everything as it all may come down to who wants to win more, so we have to be mentally strong.  We are going to have to put all our heart and passion into this game and try to have some fun. ”

U.S. defender Meagan Holmes on the match vs. Australia:
“We know we are facing a good team, and we know we have to win to go on, but I have a lot of confidence in our team right now.  I think we will come out with the same energy we did in the first game.  Practices have been good and everything has been sharp so we are feeling pretty good heading into the game.”

Quote of the Day:
U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris after forward Jessica Rostedt’s mom Vicki arrived in cookie-poor Thailand with home-baked chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies for the players:

“Mrs. Rostedt is the Team MVP.”

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