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USA Ready for Sunday's Quarterfinal Showdown vs. Germany at 2006 U-20 Women's World Championship


Saturday, August 26, 2006
U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team
Notes from St. Petersburg, Russia


USA READY FOR TITANIC CLASH WITH GERMANY AT FIFA U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: The two previous winners of the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship will meet on Sunday, Aug. 27, in the last of four intriguing quarterfinals, as the USA and Germany, arguably the two finest women’s soccer nations in the world, clash for a place in the semifinals of the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship. It is appropriate that the USA and Germany will be the last of the four quarterfinals to kick off as this is a “main event” type match. The action begins at 7 p.m. local / 11 a.m. ET and fans can follow the match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. After the U-20s play, fans can turn on ESPN2 and watch the full U.S. Women’s National Team take on China at 1 p.m. ET in Bridgeview, Ill (tickets). The U.S. U-20s will be play at Petrovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg, the USA’s first match in this city after playing its three first round games in Moscow. Petrovsky is one of the oldest sports facilities in Russia, first opening in 1915. It was “modernized” in 1980, then again in 1994 and finally again in 2006, when the field was fully upgraded and new press boxes, VIP boxes, a press-center and locker rooms were built, among other amenities. The stadium’s location is very unique – on an island in the heart of St. Petersburg. It seats just under 22,000 fans.

GERMANY STUMBLES, THEN ROLLS: The Germans come into this match as the hottest team in the tournament having scored 15 goals over its last two group games after surprisingly dropping its opener, 2-0, to North Korea. Germany ended Mexico’s tournament with a 9-1 thrashing, then rolled over Switzerland, 6-0, in its final group match. Germany’s 15 strikes tie a record for first-round goal production at a FIFA Youth Women’s World Champion set by the USA in 2002. After the completion of the first round, Germany is second in the tournaments in shots at 57 and shots on goal at 35, trailing only Nigeria (72 and 37) in each category. The USA ranks fourth in the tournament in shots at 53 and is tied for fifth in shots on goal at 22. Seven Germans have scored their 15 goals, with Anna Blasse (4 goals), Fatmire Bajramaj (3), Nadine Kessler (2) Simone Laudehr (2) and Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi (2) leading the way. The USA scored just seven goals in its three first-round matches with Jessica Rostedt the only player to net multiple goals, scoring against DR Congo and France.

USA-GERMANY PREVIEW: Both teams have dynamic attacks and physically strong players, which should make for one of the best matches of the tournament so far. The Germans are taller than the USA overall, which means the American midfield will have to work very hard for the inevitable aerial balls that will be flying at them all game. Both countries have tremendous soccer traditions, but that will carry you only so far in a tournament like this. The good news for the USA is that the team will be at full strength for the first time in the tournament as whippet forward Kelley O’Hara returns from suspension, battering-ram striker Lauren Cheney has recovered from a abdominal strain and speedy midfielder/forward Danesha Adams is almost 100% back from an MCL strain. For Germany, defenders Caroline Schiewe, a veteran of Thailand ’04, and Monique Kerschowski will sit this one out after both accumulated their second yellow cards of the first round in their final Group C match vs. Switzerland. The Germans rival the United States for depth, and the suspensions will likely not have a major impact as German head coach Maren Meinert has been rotating her defenders.

Meinert Moves From Field To Bench
Germany’s goal barrage came after getting shutout against the North Koreans, who have yet to allow a goal, but the wise woman would assume that the Germany we saw in the last two matches will show up rather than the Germany that lost the first game. Meinert, a former star for the German National Team, also played in the WUSA with the Boston Breakers. One of the best players in the world during her prime, Meinert is assisted by Bettina Weigmann, her midfield partner for many years on the Germany National Team and for the Breakers. When a reporter asked U.S. head coach Tim Schulz, himself a former professional player, what it means that two former pros are meeting on the benches, he first responded, “Well, she was probably a better player than me.”

Rich History
This match should join the long line of USA-Germany classics in world championship play. The senior teams met in the semifinal of the 1991 Women’s World Cup, with the USA pulling off the upset, 5-2, on a Carin Jennings hat trick. The teams met again at the quarterfinals of the historic 1999 Women’s World Cup, with the USA coming from a goal down twice to get a dramatic winner from Joy Fawcett in front of President Bill Clinton in suburban Maryland. Germany got its revenge at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, beating the USA, 3-0, in the semifinal in Portland, Ore., although the final two goals were scored in stoppage time. The USA won the 2004 Olympic semifinal, 2-1, in overtime, and the 2005 Algarve Cup title, 1-0. Germany won the 2006 Algarve Cup title, downing the USA in penalty kicks. At the youth level, the USA went down a goal to Germany in the semifinal of the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship, only to roar back with a 4-1 win. Germany defeated the USA, 3-1, in the semifinal of the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship on two second half goals. The teams also met in the U-21 Nordic Cup championship game this past summer with the USA losing, 2-0. Needless to say, the countries, teams and players are very familiar with each other and the match should feature an action-packed and nail-biting 90 minutes.

We Meet Again…
The USA has six players on its roster from the team that lost to Germany in the semifinal of the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship, but only four who saw action that day. Stephanie Logeterman, Stephanie Lopez and Amy Rodriguez played the full 90 minutes and forward Jessica Rostedt came on in the 81st minute to try and manufacture an equalizer, but the Germans scored one minute later to make it 3-1 and put the game away. Kelsey Davis and Nikki Krzysik were also members of the 2004 squad. The Germans also have six players back from their team that defeated China, 2-0, for the 2004 U-19 world title, but just three played against the USA that day; goalkeeper Tessa Rinkes who made a game-changing save on Angie Woznuk’s free kick in the first half, midfield engine Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi, who has a Cameroonian father and a French mother, and forward Simone Laudehr. Forward Anna Blasse, who has so far pounded in four of Germany’s tournament-leading 15 goals, was on the bench that day, but did not see action. The other Thailand vets on Germany are midfielder Lena Goessling and defender Carolin Schiewe, both of whom have seen considerable action at this tournament so far. Schiewe is suspended for the match, however.

2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship - Quarterfinal Match-Ups
Date        Teams                                Stadium (Venue)                     Kickoff local / ET
Aug. 26   Brazil 2, Nigeria 1             Torpedo (Moscow)                 4 p.m. / 8 a.m.
Aug. 26   China 4, Russia 0            Torpedo (Moscow)                 7 p.m. / 11 a.m.
Aug. 27   North Korea vs. France   Petrovsky (St. Petersburg)     4 p.m. / 8 a.m.
Aug. 27   USA vs. Germany             Petrovsky (St. Petersburg)     7 p.m. / 11 a.m.
Semifinals
Aug. 31   Brazil vs. PRK/FRA           Lokomotiv (Moscow)               4 p.m. / 8 a.m.
Aug. 31   China vs. USA/GER          Lokomotiv (Moscow)               7 p.m. / 11 a.m.

U.S. head coach Tim Schulz
On the Germany match:
"I think they're number seven (Fatmire Bajramaj) has some very dangerous qualities. Their number ten (Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi) is an attacking mid in a 4-3-3 and she is in and out of the senior team. She has a soccer intelligence about her. To nullify these two, I am not going to go out of my way other than to make our back line very aware of seven and let our defensive midfield know that one needs to stay home while the other pushes forward. As far as attack, we need to get behind them. The ball possession needs to get cleaner while we are going forward."

On playing so many different players in the first round:
"We have a very, very deep group of players and their attitudes have been great. Their willingness not to be satisfied with their play makes this a special group. We played so many players purely just to get all the players’ nerves out, keep the team unity going. This is something we have done in the past six months so they were comfortable with that."

On how his young players have responded to the pressures of a world championship:
"Looking at players who haven't been in this environment before is something I was watching very closely. Yes, there have been some surprises, there are some introverts, and some of our younger players have stepped up and invited this ‘pressure’ and have thrived."

U.S. forward Kelley O’Hara
On the Germany match:
"We just need to bring more intensity to the game from the beginning because now we are in the knock-out round. We have to play at the very top of our game from here on. We weren't pushed that hard in first round play and as a result, maybe we let down a bit, so we can't let that happen tomorrow."

U.S. goalkeeper Val Henderson
On the three U.S. GKs each playing a first-round match:
"I think we have a really good training environment because the three of us are close and we keep each other working hard at training, even the day before a game when another one of us is going to start. A lot of goalkeeping is about confidence, and knowing that you are the starter does help you out. However, this is the way it is so we all deal with it well."

On her goalkeeping style:
"I think I'm very vocal and try to keep everyone organized and confident by staying in their ear and making sure everyone knows where they are on the field. I try to stay clean with crosses and try to do the best I can with shot-stopping. I think it is really important that your backs have confidence in you as a goalkeeper, so I try to be consistent to earn their trust."

On Germany:
"Germany is very physical, so a 'keeper needs to establish herself as dominant and not get pushed around. "

Brazil-Nigeria Review
Brazil is through to its third straight semifinal at the FIFA women’s youth world championship with a dramatic 2-1 win over Nigeria in a quarterfinal match played at Torpedo Stadium in Moscow. Fabiana scored against the run of play in stoppage time of the first half after Nigeria wastefully gave away an unnecessary corner kick and the Brazilian forward headed it home. Nigeria’s Cynthia Uwak tied the game in the 65th and the game appeared headed for overtime before some more stoppage time drama. Nigerian goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi was red-carded in the 92nd minute for spectacularly upending Fabiana at the top of the penalty box. It took the referee four minutes to get the game re-started after Oluehi wouldn’t leave the pitch. The first time her replacement, Christi Bulus, touched the ball, was to pick it out of the net. After order was restored, Brazil scored off the set play as Adriane headed in Danielle’s free-kick that had rebounded off the crossbar. The final whistle blew in the 98t minute. In 2002 in Canada, Brazil lost to Canada in the semifinal. In 2004 in Thailand, Brazil lost to China.

China-Russia Review
China is through to the semifinal after a predictably routine 4-0 win over hosts Russia. It was a disappointing tournament for the hosts, which tied Brazil, barley beat New Zealand, tied Australia and then were shutout against China. Star forward Elena Danilova, a player many predicted to be one of the best in the tournament, did not score in the competition. China got goals in the 8th, 19th and 40th and 60th minutes to end Russia’s run.

North Korea-France Preview
North Korea heads into the match as the surprise favorite of the tournament after moving through the first round without allowing a goal, a run that included their 2-0 win over Germany. The Koreans are extremely skillful and organized all over the field, but the French may have more dynamic attacking players. Still, the French will be hard-pressed to break down the committed Koreans, and after having been shut-out by the USA in its last group match, may not be playing with a lot of attacking confidence. Jong Pok Hui and Kim Song Hui have scored four of North Korea’s 10 goals. France has six total goals with Marie-Laure Delie bagging two. This will be the first-ever meeting between France and North Korea and it marks the first-time either team has advanced out of the group stages of a FIFA women’s world championship.

For complete standings and results, visit ussoccer.com’s FIFA U-20 WWC page.

U.S. Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Kelsey DAVIS (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), 21-Joanna HAIG (Inver Grove Heights, Minn), 1-Val HENDERSON (Orinda, Calif.);
DEFENDERS (6): 15-Carrie DEW (Encinitas, Calif.), 16-Erin HARDY (Costa Mesa, Calif.), 4-Nikki KRSYSIK (Clifton, N.J.), 3-Stephanie LOGTERMAN (Austin, Texas), 6-Stephanie LOPEZ (Elk Grove, Calif.), 5-Sara WAGENFUHR (Colorado Springs, Colo.);
MIDFIELDERS (8): 2-Jordan ANGELI (Lakewood, Colo.), 9-Danesha ADAMS (Shaker Heights, Ohio), 10-Brittany BOCK (Naperville, Ill.), 13-Tina DiMARTINO (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), 11-Tobin HEATH (Basking Ridge, N.J.), 14-Allie LONG (East Northport, N.Y.), 20-Casey NOGUEIRA (Cedarburg, Wis.), 7-Amanda POACH (Bowie, Md.);
FORWARDS (4): 8-Lauren CHENEY (Indianapolis, Ind.), 12-Amy RODRIGUEZ (Lake Forest, Calif.), 19-Kelley O’HARA (Fayetteville, Ga.), 17-Jessica ROSTEDT (Kent, Ohio).

Germany Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Tessa RINKES (Hamburger SV), 12-Romina HOLZ (Saarbruecken,) 21-Verena BRAMMER (Wolfsburg);
DEFENDERS (5): 2-Janina HAYE (Hamburger SV), 5-Babett PETER (FFC Turbine Potsdam), 13-Juliane HOEFLER (FFC Turbine Potsdam), 16-Josephine SCHLANKE (FFC Turbine Potsdam), 19-Corina SCHROEDER (FCR Duisburg);
MIDFIELDERS (5): 6-Meike WEBER (FFC Frankfurt), 7-Fatmire BAJRAMAJ (FCR Duisburg), 8-Lena GOESSLING Lena (07 Bad Neuenahr), 10-Celia OKOYINO DA MBABI (07 Bad Neuenahr), 20-Nadine KESSLER (Saarbruecken);
FORWARDS (6): 9-Ann-Christin ANGEL (TuS Niederkirchen), 11-Simone LAUDEHR (FCR Duisburg), 14- Anna BLAESS (Hamburger SV), 15-Jennifer OSTER (FCR Duisburg), 17-Lydia NEUMANN (07 Bad Neuenahr), 18-Juliane MAIER (SC Freiburg).

Suspended (2): 3-Monique KERSCHOWSKI (FFC Turbine Potsdam), 4-Carolin SCHIEWE (FFC Turbine Potsdam).

TOURNAMENT TOP SCORERS: 84 goals were scored in the first round, an average of 3.5 per game. Here are some more statistics on the 2005 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship through the 24 games of first round play:

The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship at a glance
Average attendance: 1,297
Goal average: 3.54
Total goals scored: 84
Most goals scored: 15 - Germany
Least goals scored: 1- Finland, Congo DR
Most goals conceded: 14 - Switzerland
Least goals conceded: 0 - Korea DPR, Brazil
Biggest margin of victory: 1:9 - (Mexico-Germany), 0:8 - (Finland-Nigeria)
Highest-scoring match: 1:9 - (Mexico-Germany)
Top goalscorer: 5 - Ma Xiaoxu (CHN #10) / 1 assist
Highest number of assists: 3 - Cynthia Uwak (NGA #18) and Simone Laudehr Simone (GER #11)
Highest number of wins: 3 - China, Korea DPR, USA
Highest number of defeats: 3 - Finland, Switzerland, Congo DR
Fastest goal: 1’ - Yuan Fan (CHN) own goal, 08-17-2006; CHN-FIN
Youngest goalscorer: Charlyn CORRAL Charlyn (MEX, 09-11-1992); 08-18-2006 SUI-MEX (2-4)
Number of penalties: 6 - (5 converted, 1 missed - SUI)
Number of own goals: 1 - Yuan Fan (CHN)
Goals scored by substitutes: 11
Goals first half vs. second half: 43 v. 42
Goals in additional time, first half: 3
Goals in additional time, 2nd half: 5
Goals in first 10 minutes: 5 (5,9%)
Goals in last 10 minutes: 11 (13%)

all_access video – U.S. TEAM VISITS ORPHANGE, PREVIEWS GERMANY MATCH: The U.S. are not just great players, they have big hearts as well. Check out the team’s visit to an orphanage in Moscow on usoccer.com’s all_access video and see the team talk about the upcoming clash with Germany. While you’re at it, check out some amazing video from the “Ball Trick Battle” between U.S. midfielders Tobin Heath and Casey Nogueira. Then grab your soccer ball, go out to your front yard or your street and try to match them.

USSOCCER.COM'S U-20 WNT BLOG ANSWERS ALL THE QUESTIONS: How long does it take to ride the train from Moscow to St. Petersburg? Who is best at making up random soccer games in the hotel hallway? And can you get a good cup of coffee in Russia? ussoccer.com answers these questions and more in this exclusive blog from Russia, keeping you up to date from inside the U-20 WNT at the 2006 FIFA Women's World Championship. Check back for regular updates as the team gets set for its quarterfinal match against Germany on Sunday, Aug. 27 in St. Petersburg.

PODCAST – DREAM COMES TRUE FOR HEATH, SHE GETS HER OWN PODCAST: Tobin Heath has listened to almost every Podcast ever done with a WNT player on ussoccer.com. Now she gets her own. Listen to the extremely well-spoken 18-year old talk about her journey to the World Championship, her upcoming freshman year and why former U-17 WNT teammate Ali Hawkins better leaver her some closet space at their new dorm room at UNC. Also hear college roommates Nikki Krzysik and Jessica Rostedt on topics ranging from soccer, to getting up for class to why opposites do attract, and why U.S. midfielder Brittany Bock really wants to score goals in Russia.

COLORS: The USA will come out in red jerseys, blue shorts and blue socks while Germany will wear white jerseys, black shorts and white socks.

Stat of Note:
Twenty of the USA’s 21 players have played at least 90 minutes in the tournament so far, and only two have played more than 180 minutes. The exceptions are Casey Nogueira, who has played 59 minutes in two games, but scored against Argentina, and Jordan Angeli (211) and Nikki Krzysik (225).

Quote of the Day:
Kelley O’Hara on her biggest memory so far from the U-20 WC:

"Well, I've have a few. I've scored a goal and got kicked out of a game, so I'll have some memories for sure, but really the most memorable part has been seeing my teammates come together on this amazing journey. Everyone has contributed to our team in the tournament."

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