US SoccerUS Soccer

Under-21 Women's National Team Heads to Germany for Nordic Cup; USA Looks to Win Third Title in Four Years at Top Youth Tournament

CHICAGO (Thursday, July 20, 2000) - U.S. Under-21 Women's National Team coach Jillian Ellis will bring her first team to the Nordic Cup, the top tournament in the world for U-21 women, when the squad travels to Germany on July 23. The U.S. women have advanced to the championship game of the last three Nordic Cups, all against arch-rival Norway, and won the title in 1997 and 1999.

The USA won last year's tournament, held in Iceland, on a golden goal from defender Lauren Orlandos six minutes into sudden death overtime. The 2-1 victory over Norway completed an impressive "treble" for the U.S. women's national team programs, which also took gold with the Under-18 National Team at the Pan American Games and in the 1999 Women's World Cup.

Held annually in Northern Europe, the Nordic Cup brings together the world's best Under-21 Women's National Teams for the most important women's youth tournament for this age group. The eight competing teams are divided into two groups of four, with first-round play consisting of round-robin matches within the group. The group winners will then play for the championship. The two second-place group finishers will play for third place, the third-place finishers for fifth and the last-place finishers will play for seventh.

The U.S. will open the tournament and Group B play on July 28 against Switzerland in N├╝rnberg (7 p.m. local/1 p.m. ET), face Sweden on July 30 in Hof (3 p.m. ET/9 a.m. ET) and then finish group play against Finland in Bamberg on Aug. 1. Group A features Norway, Denmark, Germany and Iceland. The tournament features a grueling schedule of four matches in seven days with the championship game being held on Aug. 3 in Weisman.

Ellis has chosen just one overage player for the tournament (two are allowed) as defender Michelle French (Kent, Wash./Portland) will captain the team. Of the remaining 17 players, 12 are college stars with five entering the collegiate ranks this fall, as the players will have a short break before jumping into their college training camps following the Nordic Cup. Sixteen of the players were on the roster that defeated the full Italian National Team, 4-1, in Central Islip, N.Y. on July 7 as Aly Wagner (San Jose, Ca./Santa Clara), Susan Bush (Houston, Tex./North Carolina) and Caroline Putz (Bountiful, Utah/Washington) scored goals. Seventeen of the 18 players have earned caps with the full U.S. National Team. Bush and Christie Welsh (Massapequa, N.Y./Penn State) are currently with the full Women's National Team in Germany and will join the U-21s for the Nordic Cup.

"I know all the players are extremely excited to be going back to the Nordic Cup," said French, a four-year captain of the youth national team. "We feel prepared and determined to defend our title against the other youth national teams. "Many players have gained valuable experience in games against full national teams and we all cherish the opportunity to represent our country while continuing the strong tradition of success for the U.S. women."

The U.S. will feature a talented central midfield with Wagner and Aleisha Cramer (Lakewood, Colo./Brigham Young) while speedsters Jena Kluegel (Mahtomedi, Minn./North Carolina) and Danielle Borgman (Cincinatti, Ohio) should add spark on the flanks. The USA brings a strike force of dangerous forwards, including Bush and Welsh, who have combined for 15 goals at the full national team level. Kim Patrick (Pleasanton, Ca./North Carolina) was the top scorer for the Heels last season, while Marcia Wallis (Los Gatos, Ca./Stanford) and Putz, two stars of the Pac-10 Conference, can also be counted on to create chances.

The USA won the Nordic Cup in 1997 in Denmark, defeating Norway in the championship game, 1-0, in sudden death overtime on a goal from Jen Streiffer. The USA fell to Norway, 2-1, in Holland in 1998 with Women's World Cup star Cindy Parlow tallying for the USA, and then regained the title last year.

2000 U.S. Under-21 Nordic Cup Roster - Germany
Borgman, DanielleD5-54/25/80Cincinnati, OhioNorth Carolina
Branam, JenniGK5-810/8/80Placentia, Calif.North Carolina
Bush, SusanF5-411/10/80Houston, TexasNorth Carolina
Cramer, AleishaM5-117/29/82Lakewood, Colo.Brigham Young
French, MichelleD5-41/27/77Kent, Wa.Portland
Kluegel, JenaM5-311/11/79Mahtomedi, Minn.North Carolina
Kraus, AnnaD5-47/29/80Mountain View, Calif.Santa Clara
Monroe, Mary-FrancesM5-12/7/80East Northport, N.Y.Connecticut
Patrick, KimF5-53/17/81Pleasanton, Calif.North Carolina
Pryce, NandiD5-105/30/82Casselberry, Fla.UCLA
Putz, CarolineF5-77/12/80Bountiful, UtahWashington
Ramsey, AlyssaF5-99/21/82Charlotte, N.C.North Carolina
Reddick, CatherineD5-52/10/82Birmingham, Ala.North Carolina
Solo, HopeGK5-87/30/81Richland, Wa.Washington
Wagner, AlyM5-58/20/80San Jose, Calif.Santa Clara
Wallis, MarciaF5-63/31/81Los Gatos, Calif.Stanford
Welsh, ChristieF5-102/27/81Massapequa, N.Y.Penn State
Zepeda, VeronicaM5-26/11/82Riverside, Calif.Santa Clara

Team Staff
Head CoachJillian Ellis
Assistant CoachSue Montagne-Patberg
Goalkeeper CoachEric Yamamoto
Team AdminstiratorBrooke Wielde
DoctorSandy Glasson
TrainerValerie Larsen
Press OfficerAaron Heifetz

Competition Schedule
DateMatchTime (local)Time (ET)Venue
July 28Norway vs. Denmark4:45 p.m.10:45 a.m.Stegaurach
Germany vs. Iceland7:00 p.m.1:00 p.m.Stegaurach
Finland vs. Sweden4:45 p.m.10:45 a.m.Nurnberg
USA vs. Switzerland7:00 p.m.1:00 p.m.Nurnberg
July 30Iceland vs. Norway12:45 p.m.6:45 a.m.Bayreuth
Denmark vs. Germany3:00 p.m.9:00 a.m.Bayreuth
Switzerland vs. Finland12:45 p.m.6:45 a.m.Hof
USA vs. Sweden3:00 p.m.9:00 a.m.Hof
August 1Iceland vs. Denmark4:45 p.m.10:45 a.m.Frohnlach
Germany vs. Norway7:00 p.m.1:00 p.m.Frohnlach
Switzerland vs. Sweden4:45 p.m.10:45 a.m.Bamberg
USA vs. Finland7:00 p.m.1:00 p.m.Bamberg
August 37th-8th PlaceNoon6:00 a.m.Coburg
5th-6th Place2:00 p.m.8:00 a.m.Coburg
3rd-4th Place3:15 p.m.9:15 a.m.Weisman
1st-2nd Place5:30 p.m.11:30 a.m.Weisman