CHICAGO (February 1, 2008) - The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team, led by new head coach Tony DiCicco, will travel to La Serena, Chile, from Feb. 7-17, as part of continuing preparations for CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, to be held in Chile from Nov. 20-Dec. 7.
The USA will play three matches against other U-20 teams, taking on England on Feb. 11, Norway on Feb. 13 and host Chile on Feb. 15.
The tour will provide some valuable acclimatization for the U-20s and give DiCicco his first look at the player pool under international game conditions. All three opponents have already qualified for the U-20 Women’s World Cup, meaning the Americans will get three excellent matches as a preview to possible matches in the WWC.
Dates and venues for CONCACAF qualifying have yet to be set, but the eight-team tournament, which will send three teams to Chile, will feature Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua and the USA.
DiCicco will bring 18 players to Chile, including two who represented the USA at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia, in forwards Kelley O’Hara and Casey Nogueira. Of the 18 players, 16 are in college with the two high school-age players being 2007 Gatorade National Player of the Year Melissa Henderson and 2007 Parade Girl’s Soccer Player of the Year Teresa Noyola, both seniors.
The 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will feature 16 teams. Eight countries have already qualified:
Asia: China, Japan, North Korea
Africa: Two berths TBD
Europe: England, France, Germany, Norway
CONCACAF: Three berths TBD
Oceania: One berth TBD
South America: Two berths TBD
U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Roster
Feb. 7-17 – La Serena, Chile
GOALKEEPERS (2): Alyssa Naeher (Penn State), Kristin Olsen (USC);
DEFENDERS : (4) Lauren Barnes (UCLA), Lauren Fowlkes (Notre Dame), Nikki Marshall (Colorado), Ella Stephan (Florida State);
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kasey Johnson (USC), Teresa Noyola (MVLA Mercury), Elli Reed (Portland), Rachel Shipley (Texas A&M), Nikki Washington (UNC), Ingrid Wells (Georgetown), Keelin Winters (Portland);
FORWARDS (5): Ashlee Elliott (Florida), Michelle Enyeart (Portland), Melissa Henderson (Dallas Texans), Casey Nogueira (UNC), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford).
U.S. U-20 WNT Schedule
Date Match-Up Venue
Feb. 11 USA U-20 vs. England U-20 La Serena, Chile
Feb. 13 USA U-20 vs. Norway U-20 La Serena, Chile
Feb. 15 USA U-20 vs. Chile U-20 La Serena, Chile