Six Players Named to Their Second Youth World Championship Roster
Four Potent Forwards Lead U.S. Attack; Lopez to Captain Team in Russia
CHICAGO (June 8, 2006) – U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team head coach Tim Schulz has named the 21-player roster for the 2006 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Championship being held Aug. 17 – Sept. 3 in Russia.
Schulz’s team has played about 50 matches since January as he whittled his team down to 21 players who will participate in the 3rd FIFA world championship for youth women. Schulz evaluated 47 players in game action with the U-20s over the course of this year before finalizing the roster.
The tournament in Russia marks the first time the competition will be played as an Under-20 event. The USA won the first-ever FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in 2002 in Canada and finished third at the 2004 U-19 tournament in Thailand. For the 2006 tournament, the USA was drawn into Group D and will face first-time World Championship participant DR Congo, as well as Argentina and France in first round play. Players must be born on or after January 1, 1986, to be eligible for this year’s U-20 World Championship.
“(Choosing the team) was an extremely difficult process because our country is very large and it is producing wonderful players,” said Schulz. ”Each player (named to the roster) has shown high levels of the unique qualities needed for their positions, and that is one of the main reasons they were selected, but it was also important to have diversity in our talent and I think we accomplished that with the goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards.”
Leading the way for the USA are six veterans of the Thailand team, including forwards Amy Rodriguez and Jessica Rostedt, both of whom scored three times at the world championship in 2004. Defenders Stephanie Lopez and Stephanie Logterman, both of whom played every minute of all six matches in Thailand, were also named. Lopez, who has five caps with the full Women’s National Team, will captain the USA in Russia.
The other two veterans of the previous world championship are goalkeeper Kelsey Davis, who did not play in Thailand but who is competing for the starting job during this cycle, and defender Nikki Krzysik, who played in two matches in 2004, including all 90 minutes in the third-place match victory over Brazil.
All of the USA’s midfielders will be playing in their first world championship and Schulz has some dynamic talents at his disposal. Flank midfielders Danesha Adams, Tina DiMartino, 18-year-old Tobin Heath and 17-year-old Casey Nogueira are unique one-on-one players while Brittany Bock, Amanda Poach and Allie Long all possess skills and ball-winning abilities in the central midfield. Nogueira, who was born in 1989, was the youngest player selected.
Schulz also named Jordan Angeli, who is the team’s most versatile player. She has seen time on all three lines with the USA this year -- at outside back, flank midfield and forward – and has seven goals for the U-20s in 2006.
With Logterman, who played in the midfield in Thailand, Krzysik and Lopez, the back line has a bit more international experience as the two “Stephanies” have 30 and 25 caps respectively at the U-19/U-20 levels. Those three players will be looked to for leadership in a defense that also features the rugged Carrie Dew, the feisty Sarah Wagenfuhr and the speedy Erin Hardy, one of two uncapped field players named to the roster (along with Nogueira).
At striker, Schulz has perhaps four of the most talented players in the world in this age group. Rodriguez has five caps with the full Women’s National Team while Rostedt possesses speed and dribbling ability rarely seen in the women’s game. Rostedt leads the USA in scoring this year with 20 goals in all matches. Lauren Cheney, who is equally talented with her back to goal as she is running at the net, was the NSCAA and Gatorade Girl’s High School Player of the Year and has been in several training camps with the Women’s National Team. Schulz also selected 17-year-old Kelley O’Hara, a slashing dribbling who was the top scorer for the U.S. U-17s in 2005. She is also extremely effective at flank midfield.
Schulz made final decisions on three goalkeepers, choosing the 5-foot-11 Davis, who backed up Ashlyn Harris in 2004, 5-foot-7 Val Henderson, and 5-foot-10 Joanna Haig.
Seventeen of the 21 players named to the roster will be entering their sophomores or junior year of college eligibility in the fall, with the exceptions of Cheney, O’Hara, Heath and Nogueira, all of whom will be entering college as freshmen next fall. Schulz named eleven players born 1986, seven born in 1987, two in 1988, in O’Hara and Heath, and one in 1989 in Nogueira. The USA will likely be one of the younger teams in Russia.
The roster features six players from California, two from Colorado, two from Ohio, two from New York, two from New Jersey, and one each from Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Texas, Georgia, Maryland and Wisconsin.
Schulz named the roster two months before the tournament to give the team time to gel. So far in 2006, the U.S. team has had nine events and will have four more camps/events before the World Championship, with a training camp at the Home Depot Center up next from June 11-18.
“Continuity is very important in picking a team,” said Schulz. “Look at what Greece did in the 2004 European Championships with a united team that worked so well together. Talent is vitally important, but passion and team chemistry are equally as important, if not more so. We wanted to pick the roster early so we could start working with the group of players that will be at the world championship and spend the most amount of time possible molding them into a team.”
The 2006 FIFA World Championship will be contested with 16 teams: host Russia, Australia, China and North Korea from Asia, Nigeria and DR Congo from Africa, the USA, Mexico and Canada from CONCACAF, Brazil and Argentina from South America, France, Switzerland, Germany and Finland from Europe and New Zealand from Oceania.
The 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship will take place at four stadiums in Moscow (Dynamo, Lokomotiv, Shchelkovo and Torpedo) and at one in St. Petersburg (Petrovsky).
GOALKEEPERS (3): Kelsey Davis (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Joanna Haig (Inver Grove Heights, Minn), Val Henderson (Orinda, Calif.);
DEFENDERS (6): Carrie Dew (Encinitas, Calif.), Erin Hardy (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Nikki Kryzsik (Clifton, N.J.), Stephanie Logterman (Austin, Texas), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Sara Wagenfuhr (Colorado Springs, Colo.);
MIDFIELDERS (8): Jordan Angeli (Lakewood, Colo.), Danesha Adams (Shaker Heights, Ohio), Brittany Bock (Naperville, Ill.), Tina DiMartino (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Allie Long (East Northport, N.Y.), Casey Nogueira (Cedarburg, Wis.), Amanda Poach (Bowie, Md.);
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Kelley O’Hara (Fayetteville, Ga.), Jessica Rostedt (Kent, Ohio).
Head Coach Tim Schulz Lakewood, Colo.
Assistant Coach: Gregg Murphy Los Angeles, Calif.
GK Coach: Steve Branz Houston, Texas
U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Player Bio Shorts
2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship
Hometown: Thousand Oakes, Calif.
The tall and powerful goalkeeper was the backup on the U.S. team that played in the 2004 FIFA U-19 World Championship. She has great size and leaping ability with a strong kicking game to match. She spent her freshman year at UCLA in 2005, where she played in eight games, but will transfer to the University of Portland next fall and will red-shirt the 2006 season. She played in three matches at the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Final Qualifying Tournament in Mexico, including the semifinal where the USA qualified for Russia, and the championship game, a 3-2 win over Canada.
Hometown: Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
Won the battle for the final goalkeeper spot with consistent play over the past year, including several training camps with the U.S. U-21s. She played her first two college seasons at Iowa State, but will transfer to Louisville for the fall ’06 seasons. She started all 20 games for Iowa State last season as a sophomore, was named Second-Team All-Big-12 and helped lead the Cyclones to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.
Hometown: Orinda, Calif.
One of the bravest goalkeepers in college soccer, she had a fantastic sophomore season at UCLA, earning Second-Team All-American honors while putting up 10 shutouts. She only allowed 12 goals all season on the way to being named First-Team All-Pac-10. An experienced collegiate goalkeeper having started 50 games over her two seasons at UCLA while playing in two Final Fours, she has quick reactions and is solid on crosses.
Hometown: Encinitas, Calif.
College: Notre Dame
The rugged center back is a talented man-marker and great in the air. She started all 24 games for the Fighting Irish as a freshman in 2005 and led the team in minutes played. She started three matches at the CONCACAF U-20 Final Women’s Qualifying Tournament in Mexico, but was sent off late in the first half of the championship game and will be suspended for the opening match of the World Championship. She scored her first U-20 goal against El Salvador at the qualifying tournament.
Hometown: Costa Mesa, Calif.
The speedy and skillful Hardy helped anchor the UCLA back line (which was led by former U.S. U-19 international Jill Oakes) that allowed just 12 goals on the season and racked up 18 shutouts. Hardy made a late run for one of the final spots on the team after seeing action in several U-20 and U-21 WNT training camps leading up to the roster selection. Primarily a center back, she played in 25 matches for UCLA as a freshman, helping the team to the NCAA title game.
Hometown: Clifton, N.J.
A veteran of the USA’s 2004 FIFA U-19 World Championship squad, she is now a team leader in the center of the U.S. defense. She started four games at the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Final Qualifying Tournament in Mexico, and now has 21 caps at the U-19/U-20 level. A tough tackler and gritty defender, she played the entire 90 minutes against Brazil during the third place match at the 2004 FIFA U-19 WC. She had a great freshman year at Virginia in 2005, starting all 25 matches on the back line and finishing third in minutes played.
Hometown: Austin, Texas
One of the most experienced members of the team along with fellow defender Stephanie Lopez, she has 30 caps at the U-19/U-20 level. She played every minute of all six matches at defensive midfielder during the 2004 U-19 World Championship in Thailand, but will be utilized mostly at outside back on this year’s squad. An excellent defender with good speed, she is extremely composed on the ball and can also add to the USA’s attack out of the back. She started all 20 matches in which she played as a freshman at UT last season and started three matches at the CONCACAF U-20 Final Women’s Qualifying Tournament.
Hometown: Elk Grove, Calif.
One of the most experienced members of the team along with fellow defender Stephanie Logterman, she has 25 caps at the U-19/U-20 level and five at the senior level. She played every minute of every match at left back for the USA at the 2004 FIFA U-19 World Championship in Thailand and assisted on both goals in the USA’s 2-0 quarterfinal win over Australia. Had a stellar sophomore season for Portland, helping the Pilots to an undefeated record of 23-0-2 and the NCAA title. Lopez brings world-class skills and composure to the U.S. back line and will be a key linchpin of the U.S. team in Russia. She is currently in Residency Training Camp with the full Women’s National Team at the Home Depot Center.
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.
College: Florida State
A feisty defender who has also scored a few goals for the USA in 2006, she will add valuable depth to the U.S. back line in the middle or on the flank. Wagenfuhr, whose brother David plays in MLS for FC Dallas, was called into her first U-20 Women National Team camp in January of 2006 after a fine college season at Florida State, in which she started all 25 matches, and a quality performance in the Final Four. She started three matches for the USA at the CONCACAF U-20 Final Women’s Qualifying Tournament.
Hometown: Shaker Heights, Ohio
One of the fastest players in the world at the U-20 level, Adams will be relied on to create danger down the flanks for the USA. She had 21 goals for UCLA as a sophomore last season and has 14 goals for the U.S. U-20s in 2006. She also has 10 career goals in the NCAA tournament and could play for the USA at outside midfield or forward. She played in four matches and had one goal at the CONCACAF U-20 Final Women’s Qualifying Tournament.
Hometown: Lakewood, Colo.
College: Santa Clara
An important player for the USA as she can play left or right back or left or right midfield and forward, Angeli scored 12 goals for Santa Clara as a forward during the 2005 season after converting from defender. Tall and strong with the ability to take players on and serve balls from the flanks, she can be a key part of the USA’s attack whether she is playing in the back or in midfield. She played in four matches, starting three, at the CONCACAF U-20 Final Women’s Qualifying Tournament.
Hometown: Naperville, Ill.
College: Notre Dame
The central midfielder is one of the hardest tacklers in the world at this age group, and has a canon shot, but also has the skills and dribbling ability to create for others. She scored two spectacular goals for the USA in the semifinal of the CONCACAF U-20 Final Women’s Qualifying Tournament against Mexico, one off a brilliant bending free kick and another off a diving header. She scored 12 goals out of the midfield for Notre Dame as a freshman last season and should be a key cog in the U.S. midfield.
Hometown: Massapequa Park, N.Y.
The smallest player on the team, she might also be the craftiest. A jitterbug dribbler, she is dangerous coming down the flanks for the USA and crossing, but can also score. A very difficult player to contain one-on-one, she had five goals for UCLA as a freshman last fall and has scored nine so far this year for the U-20s. She played in four matches, starting three, at the CONCACAF U-20 Final Women’s Qualifying Tournament, while scoring once. She has three younger sisters, the two oldest of which are also in the U.S. Women’s National Team programs.
Hometown: Basking Ridge, N.J.
Heath possesses extra-ordinary talents with the ball at her feet and is one of the best slashing dribblers on the team. She will add depth to the USA’s flank midfield spots and loves to go at players one-on-one. The third-youngest player on the team, she scored her first international goal in Brazil against Canada in mid-April and will be looking to add some extra punch to the U.S. attack in Russia. A long-time member of the U.S. Youth National Team player pools, she will attend UNC next fall.
Hometown: East Northport, N.Y.
College: Penn State
Long made the world championship roster without ever having been in a youth national team camp before January of this year. She had a strong freshman season at Penn State last fall, entering the starting lineup in the fifth game of the season and remaining there through to the NCAA Final Four. She scored four goals with six assists to help the Lions to an undefeated record of 23-0-2. Tall, strong and just a little bit nasty on the tackle, she has the qualities to be an effective attacking midfielder for the USA. She started three games at the CONCACAF U-20 Final Women’s Qualifying Tournament and scored one goal.
Hometown: Cedarburg, Wis.
The youngest player selected (she recently finished her junior year, but will graduate high school early), she was one of the top players in the U-17 Women’s National Team pool last year, and like former U-17 teammates Tobin Heath and Kelley O’Hara, has made to the jump to the U-20 World Championship roster. Nogueira, the daughter or U.S. indoor goalkeeping legend Victor Nogueira, recovered from knee surgery earlier this year and attended just one U-20 training camp before bagging one of the final spots on the roster. A remarkably skillful midfielder, she can score goals from anywhere and has one of the hardest shots on the team. She spent one year of high school in Cedarburg, Wis. and the past two in Raleigh, N.C., and will attend UNC in the fall.
Hometown: Bowie, Maryland
College: Santa Clara
The only player to play in all five matches at the CONCACAF U-20 Final Women’s Qualifying Tournament, she started two of them and scored one goal. Poach is very good on the ball and an excellent distributor in the midfield, but can also beat players on the dribble. One of the USA’s most skillful and composed players, she will most likely be used as a holding midfielder, where she played with Santa Clara as a freshman in 2005, but is versatile enough to play anywhere in the midfield.
Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.
One of the most powerful forwards in the world at the U-20 level, Cheney swept all the national player of the year awards for girl’s high school soccer as a senior. She will attend UCLA next fall as a freshman, but has already been in three training camps with the senior U.S. National Team and is currently in Residency Training Camp with the full team as well. She has 16 goals for the U-20s in 2006 and scored four at the CONCACAF U-20 Final Women’s Qualifying Tournament, including the winning goal in the 3-2 championship game victory over Canada.
Hometown: Fayetteville, Ga.
The second-youngest player on the roster at 17, O’Hara is a consistent threat to score whether she’s playing forward or flank midfield. Speedy and with an excellent work rate, she could be one of the young stars in Russia. She played in four games at the CONCACAF U-20 Final Women’s Qualifying Tournament, scoring once, and found the net four times in five games against college teams in her first camp back after knee surgery in early April in Portland, Oregon. She was the leading scorer for the U.S. U-17s in 2005 with 10 goals and recently scored twice in a scrimmage against the full U.S. Women’s National Team.
Hometown: Lake Forest, Calif.
One of the brightest young players in the Women’s National Team programs, she was uncapped heading into the 2004 U-19 Women’s World Championship before scoring in her first match against South Korea. She would score twice more in the tournament and has since risen to the full Women’s National Team, with whom she has five caps. A powerful combination of strength and speed with an amazingly low center of gravity, she scored four times at the CONCACAF U-20 Final Women’s Qualifying Tournament, tying for the team lead, and has eight goals for the U-20s this year despite playing in just 13 matches due to school commitments. She scored nine goals last season for USC and was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. She is currently with the full team during Residency Training Camp this summer.
Hometown: Kent, Ohio
There are not too many defenders in the world at the U-20 level that can run with Rostedt, and her team-leading 20 goals so far this year with the U-20s attest to that. She scored the crucial tying goal in the championship game of the CONCACAF U-20 Final Women’s Qualifying Tournament, getting three total in the competition. She scored twice against Russia in the USA’s second match in Thailand, and scored the winning goal in a group play win over Spain as well. Her freshman college season at UVA was cut short by a lacerated kidney during the NCAA playoffs, but she still scored 12 goals and was named the ACC Freshman of the Year.