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Ticket to Germany on the Line as USA Faces Costa Rica in Semifinal


U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team
2010 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship
Guatemala City , Guatemala

TICKET TO GERMANY ON THE LINE AS USA FACES COSTA RICA IN SEMIFINAL: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team trained at Estadio Mateo Flores on Wednesday ahead of the team’s semifinal match against Costa Rica at 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 28. The match will take place at Estadio Cementos Progeso and will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel and streamed live on CONCACAF.com. Fans can also follow along in real time via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The U.S. defeated Mexico 2-1 in the final Group B match on Jan. 25 to earn first place in the group and a berth in the semifinal while Costa Rica finished in second place in Group A behind Canada to earns its spot in the final four. The winner will claim a berth at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup which will be held July 13-Aug. 1 in Germany. In the other semifinal, Canada will square off against Mexico at 5:30 p.m. ET. Both semifinal winners and the third place team will represent the CONCACAF region at the U-20 Women’s World Cup. Both semifinals, the third-place match and the final will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel with the final also broadcast on Fox Sports en Español. Fans can follow all matches live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

U.S. U-20 WNT 2010 CONCACAF Women’s Championship Schedule
Date        Opponent                      Time (ET)/Result      TV / U.S. Goal Scorers                                 Venue
Jan. 21    Jamaica                         6-0 W                     Nairn (2), Leroux (2), Noyola, McCarty            Estadio Cementos Progreso; Guatemala City
Jan. 23    Trinidad & Tobago         4-0 W                      K. Mewis, Lerous (2), Marlborough                 Estadio Cementos Progreso; Guatemala City
Jan. 25    Mexico                           2-1 W                     DiMartino, Leroux                                         Estadio Cementos Progreso; Guatemala City
Jan. 28    Costa Rica                     2:30 p.m.                 Fox Soccer Channel, CONCACAF.com            Estadio Cementos Progreso; Guatemala City
Jan. 30    Third Place                    2:30 p.m.                 Fox Soccer Channel, CONCACAF.com            Estadio Cementos Progreso; Guatemala City
              Championship                5:30 p.m.                 FSC, FSE, CONCACAF.com                           Estadio Cementos Progreso; Guatemala City

WATCH THE U-20 WNT QUALIFYING GAMES LIVE ON CONCACAF.COM: U.S. Soccer fans have the opportunity to watch all of the U.S. Under-20 WNT games during the CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championship in Guatemala live via streaming video at CONCACAF.com. This is the first time a continental confederation has offered free comprehensive live coverage of a youth tournament online, and the service is free with fans simply required to register on the site. All 16 games will be available live at CONCACAF.com's video portal, CONCACAF TV, and will also be viewable on-demand at the same location shortly after the conclusion of each match.

QUICK HITS:

  • Sydney Leroux leads all goal scorers at the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship with five tallies after having scored in all three games so far.
  • The U.S. has scored 12 goals during the group stage of the tournament, the most of any of the eight competing teams, while allowing just one, the fewest in the tournament.
  • The U.S. has finished in first place in group play at every CONCACAF Women’s Championship at this age level, finishing ahead of Haiti in 2002 and Costa Rica in 2004 when it was still a U-19 tournament, and ahead of Jamaica in 2006 and Mexico in 2008 at the U-20 age level.
  • In 2008, Leroux won the Golden Shoe as the tournament’s top scorer at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile, as well as the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player.
  • The U.S. U-20 WNT head coach Jill Ellis has given playing time to 18 of the 20 players on the roster with the exception of backup goalkeeper Taylor Vancil and defender Kendall Johnson,  who has been fighting a slight bug, but has been training with the team.
  • The U.S. U-20 WNT has won just one CONCACAF qualifying tournament at this age level. The last time the U.S. was crowned regional champion was in 2006. The U.S. lost the 2008 championship match by a 1-0 score to Canada. During the first regional tournament in 2002, which was an Under-19 event, the two group winners qualified for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup along with host Canada, but no tournament champion was crowned as the competition did not feature semifinals, a third-place match or a final.
  • Eight players on the U.S. roster were part of the 2008 FIFA U-17 World Cup team that finished in second place in New Zealand: G Taylor Vancil, D Amber Brooks, D Vicki DiMartino, D Crystal Dunn, D Rachel Quon, M Elizabeth Eddy, M Kristie Mewis and M Samantha Mewis.
  • Nairn is the only player on the roster to have a full U.S. Women’s National Team cap, coming in a sub in a 4-0 win against Canada on May 25 at BMO Field in Toronto. Her first national team goal came in her second cap and featured a dramatic game-winner in the 89th minute of a 1-0 win against Canada.

PURA VIDA: The U.S. U-20 WNT will face a stern test against Costa Rica, which battled defending CONCACAF champion Canada to a 1-0 loss in the first match of the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship. The young Ticas then won two straight, defeating Guatemala 3-0 and Cuba 3-1 to finish in second place in Group A. They are led by Katherine Alvarado, who despite not appearing on the score sheet has demonstrated strong leadership abilities in the midfield. All six of Costa Rica’s goals in the group phase came from different goal scorers, with Marianne Ugalde, Paola Alvarado, Raquel Rodriguez Cedeño, Raquel Rodriguez Vasquez, Daniela Cruz and Ana Aguilar all tallying for the Ticas.

Costa Rica U-20 Women’s National Team Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Priscilla Tapia, 18-Jackellene Palacios, 23-Fabiola González
DEFENDERS (5): 2-Lina Jaramillo, 7-Paola Alvarado, 8-Daniela Cruz, 14-Marianne Ugalde, 20-Hazel Quiros
MIDFIELDERS (7): 3-Alhyssa Villalta, 10-Katherine Alvarado, 12-Raquel Rodríguez Vasquez, 15-Paula Campos, 16-Maria Guevara, 17-Yocxelin Rodríguez, 19-Fabiola Sánchez
FORWARDS (5): 4-Maria Moreira, 5-Ana Aguilar, 6-Monica Vargas, 9-Carolina Venegas, 11-Raquel Rodríguez Cedeño

“Z” GETTING AN “A” FOR EFFORT: At 5-foot-1, with a petite frame and a big smile, Zakiya Bywaters doesn’t seem to have the look of a tenacious soccer player, but looks can be deceiving. With energy and speed that belie her appearance, Bywaters has been a member of the U.S. National Team programs for quite a while. Born in 1991, the Las Vegas native got her first taste of a national team camp in 2004 as a 13-year-old playing with 14-year-olds at the U.S. Under-14 National Identification Camp. Learn more about Bywaters and what it took for her to make the jump from being in the player pool to being named to the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship roster.

OLD GUATEMALA, SAME BLOG: The U.S. YNT Blog is still in Guatemala City as the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team sits on the brink of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Follow the team to Antigua, Guatemala, during their rest day and get the inside scoop on the internal happenings of the U.S. U-20 WNT as they aim to capture another CONCACAF title at this age level.

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