U.S. Head Coach Tony DiCicco Names 20-Player Roster for FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup
CHICAGO (Oct. 27, 2008) – U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team head coach Tony DiCicco has named a 20-player roster that will travel to Chile for the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, which takes place from Nov. 19 – Dec. 7. The roster features players representing 17 colleges across the country. Every game of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will be shown on ESPN360.com and fans will be able follow the U.S. matches on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
“I have tremendous respect for this group of players,” said DiCicco. “They have sacrificed a lot to play for our national team, including missing out on part of their college seasons. But this group has achieved a level of team chemistry and inner support structure that is unique and special. It is a privilege to coach them and as individual players, they possess outstanding soccer pedigree. Our team strength is our unity and a different cast of stars emerges each game.”
The Americans are participating in their fourth World Cup at this level, having qualified for each of the previous three tournaments (held as an Under-19 event in 2002 and 2004) and winning the inaugural event in Canada 2002. Only four other countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada and Germany – have qualified for all four competitions.
The U.S. will open against France on Nov. 19 before facing Argentina on Nov. 22, with both games taking place at the Estadio Nelson Oyarzun in Chillan. The team will then travel to Estadio German Becker in Temuco to conclude group play on Nov. 26 against China.
A total of 17 different universities are represented on the American roster. Portland, with their trio of Michelle Enyeart, Elli Reed and Keelin Winters and North Carolina, represented by Meghan Klingenberg and Nikki Washington, are the only two schools to send more than one player to Chile.
Due to the overlap of the event with the NCAA season, several players who were a part of the team that successfully qualified for the tournament in June are not able to travel to Chile because of commitments to their college programs.
Enyeart leads the U.S. attack with 10 goals in 2008. Alongside Enyeart will likely be California’s Alex Morgan, who has accounted for six goals this year. The team also boasts a potent combination of supporting players to provide an offensive spark. Sydney Leroux is the only member of the team with prior World Cup experience as she was the youngest player in the 2004 event at age 14. With dual citizenship for the U.S. and Canada, Leroux played for Canada in 2004 and is now in a unique position to represent the USA in 2008. Texas A&M’s Alyssa Mautz is a relative newcomer to the team, but her natural goalscoring abilities could prove vital in Chile.
The midfield pairing of Winters and Florida State’s Becky Edwards proved virtually unbeatable during the qualifying campaign, stifling opponents attack in the center of the field. DiCicco used both Ingrid Wells and Gina DiMartino frequently in the midfield during qualifying and will also rely on Portland’s Elli Reed, who can play virtually anywhere on the field, and the youngest member of the team in Christine Nairn.
The U.S. has many options on the back line including Klingenberg and Colorado forward Nikki Marshall. The pair played every minute during qualifying in June at left back and center back, respectively. Next to Marshall, Lauren Fowlkes (Notre Dame) and Kaley Fountain (Wake Forest) have both contributed to stellar defensive efforts throughout the year. Washington State’s Kiersten Dallstream and Arizona State product Liz Harkin round out the defensive unit and provide DiCicco with athletic options at fullback.
Between the goalposts, Penn State standout Alyssa Naeher has been the top-choice goalkeeper for the U.S., earning five shutouts in her nine international games for a 7-2 record. Virginia’s Chantal Jones has also seen some action this year in friendlies, while Minnesota’s Cat Parkhill, the youngest of the trio, earned her place during the team’s final camp before the roster was named.
U.S. U-20 WWC Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Chantel Jones (Virginia), Alyssa Naeher (Penn State), Cat Parkhill (Minnesota)
DEFENDERS (6): Kiersten Dallsteam (Washington State), Kaley Fountain (Wake Forest), Lauren Fowlkes (Notre Dame), Liz Harkin (Arizona State), Meghan Klingenberg (North Carolina), Nikki Marshall (Colorado)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Gina DiMartino (Boston College), Becky Edwards (Florida State), Christine Nairn (Bowie, Md.), Elli Reed (Portland), Ingrid Wells (Georgetown), Keelin Winters (Portland)
FORWARDS (5): Michelle Enyeart (Portland), Sydney Leroux (UCLA), Alyssa Mautz (Texas A&M), Alex Morgan (California), Nikki Washington (North Carolina)
U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team Staff:
|Head Coach:||Tony DiCicco||Wethersfield, Conn.|
|Assistant Coach:||Tom Stone||Lubbock, Texas|
|Assistant Coach:||Kat Mertz||Las Vegas, Nev.|
|Assistant Coach:||Amanda Cromwell||Orlando, Fla.|
|Team Doctor:||Dr. Dan Romanelli||Las Cruces, N.M.
|Dr. Glen Feltham||Danville, Pa.|
|Team Psychologist:||Tiffany Jones||Raleigh, N.C.|
|Team Security:||Craig Conger||Charlotte, N.C.|
|Athletic Trainer:||Donna Hayes||Atlanta, Ga.|
|Massage Therapist:||Nestor Battung||Chicago, Ill.|
|Equipment Coordinator:||Beto Cuevas||Redondo Beach, Calif.|
|Team Coordinator:||Brittany Braun||Greenville, S.C.|
|Press Officer:||Kate McMaster||Chicago, Ill.|