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U.S. Under-20 Women Fall to Top Clubs in England

CHICAGO (August 4, 2008) - After a training camp in New Jersey from July 23-28, in which the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team downed the W-League’s New Jersey Sky Blue by a 5-1 score, the team headed to England, where it dropped matches to the Everton Ladies (1-0) and the Arsenal Ladies (3-1).

Against the Sky Blue on July 26, the USA got an early goal from Alex Morgan, who also added one with 15 minutes left in the game, plus individual scores from Gina DiMartino, Amanda DaCosta and Kiersten Dallstream for the final margin.

The U.S. team then headed to Europe and faced Everton on July 30 almost right off the plane. Everton’s lone goal came in the 80th minute but the Americans hit the post twice after beating the ‘keeper during the game.

Two days later against Arsenal, one of the top women’s clubs in the world, the USA played well, but fell behind, 3-0, as superstar Kelly Smith scored against the run of play, the USA gave up a penalty and then a goal off a corner kick. Alex Morgan pulled a late goal back with three minutes left.

“I was actually quite pleased with this game,” said DiCicco of the Arsenal result “The effort was fantastic and we were probably the better team on the day except in the important statistic of finishing. It is very good for our players to play against seasoned veterans, women who are 27, 29 or 31 years old. This is a game we can build on and will.”

The U.S. team will finish the trip with a match against Chelsea on July 5. The U.S. will then head home as the bulk of the team will prepare for their college pre-season camps, although there will be some U-20 activity during the college season.

DiCicco is preparing his side for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to be held in Chile in December. The 16 teams that will compete for the U-20 world title this year are:

Asia: China, Japan, North Korea
Africa: Congo DR, Nigeria
Europe: England, France, Germany, Norway
CONCACAF: Canada, USA, Mexico
Oceania: New Zealand
South America: Brazil, Argentina
Host: Chile