LA MANGA, Spain (April 5, 2018) – The U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team put together an excellent performance in its first game of the Women’s U-23 La Manga Tournament, downing the Sweden U-23 WNT 4-1 as forward Sophia Smith bagged a brace.
It was the second consecutive two-goal came for Smith, who also scored twice in 2-2 draw with France on March 6 in Saint-Malo. Forward Civana Kuhlmann added a single goal, as did midfielder Savannah DeMelo, before Sweden scored in the 69th minute.
The USA will face the U-23 WNTs of England on April 7 and finish against Italy on April 9. The games are part of a friendly tournament that also features the U-23 WNTs of France and Norway and the U-20 WNTs of England, China and Norway.
The Americans opened the scoring in the 25th minute as Smith forced a turnover just outside the penalty box on the right side. With a burst of speed, she accelerated into the box past two defenders and finished low to the far post under pressure from a defender.
Just before halftime, the USA doubled its lead as Smith came down the right flank and found defender Kiara Pickett in the middle of the field. Pickett then played a through ball to Kuhlmann deep into the penalty box and she finished it with one touch over the charging goalkeeper. It was Kuhlmann’s 10th international goal in 20 U-20 caps.
The USA made it two goals in two minutes, albeit on either side of halftime, when Smith once again put pressure on the back line to force a turnover inside the box. In the first minute of the second half, she finished past the onrushing goalkeeper with a crafty toe-poke. The two goals gave Smith 13 in 18 U-20 caps.
The fourth and final goal came in the 64th minute when Abigail Kim dribbled down the right flank with speed and beat several defenders. She then crossed to DeMelo who finished with one-touch from around the penalty spot just inside the left post. It was DeMelo’s fifth U-20 goal in 30 caps.
In the 69th minute, U.S. goalkeeper Amanda McGlynn momentarily preserved the shutout by saving a penalty kick, but Sweden scored on the ensuing corner kick. The service was sent to the top of the penalty box where it was shot by a Sweden player. The shot rebounded off several defenders before Emelie Andersson got her team’s goal off a scrappy finish.
The USA is currently preparing for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. The USA was drawn into Group C which will take place from Aug. 5-24 in four venues in the Brittany region of France. The U.S. opens the tournament on Monday, Aug. 6 against Japan (1:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. local), faces Paraguay on Tuesday, Aug. 9 (1:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. local) and finishes the group against Spain on Monday, Aug. 13 (7:30 a.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. local). The USA will play its first two group games at Stade Guy-Piriou in Concarneau and its third group game at Stade du Clos Gastel in Dinan Léhon.
- U.S. U-20 Women's National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. Sweden U-23 Women’s National Team
Date: April 5, 2018
Competition: Women’s U-23 La Manga Tournament 2018
Venue: Field A – La Manga Club Football Centre; La Manga, Spain
Weather: 64 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 2 4
SWE 0 1 1
USA – Sophia Smith 25th minute
USA – Civana Kuhlmann (Kiara Pickett) 45
USA – Sophia Smith 46
USA – Savannah DeMelo (Abigail Kim) 64
SWE – Emelie Andersson 69
USA: 1- Amanda McGlynn, 2-Kiara Pickett, 5-Zoe Morse, 15-Karina Rodriguez, 13-Tara McKeown (10-Jordan Brewster, 68), 18-Jaelin Howell, 6-Savannah DeMelo (capt.) (20-Samantha Coffey, 68), 8-Brianna Pinto (16-Viviana Villacorta, 46), 9-Civanna Kuhlman (17-Abigail Kim, 46), 3-Sophia Smith (7-Penelope Hocking, 68), 23-Kelsey Turnbow (19-Ashley Sanchez, 46)
Subs Not Used: 4-Naomi Girma, 11-Taryn Torres, 12-Brooke Heinsohn, 14-Samantha Hiatt, 21-Isabel Rodriguez, 22-Laurel Ivory,
Head Coach: Jitka Klimkova
SWE: 1-Matilda Haglund, 2-Ronja Aronsson, 3-Emma Pennsater (13-Josefine Rybrink, 46), 5-Lotta Okvist, 7-Jonna Stahl (19-Michelle De Jongh, 58), 8-Filippa Angeldal (capt.), 9-Rebecka Blomqvist (22-Emma Jansson, 73), 10-Anna Anvegard, 11-Tove Almqvist, 14-Emelie Andersson, 16-Filippa Curmark (18-Ebba Wieder, 58)
Subs Not Used: 12-Britta Elsert Gynning, 15-Amanda Nilden, 17-Nathalie Persson, 20-Therese Simonsson, 23-Julia Zigiotti Olme
Head Coach: Par Lagerstrom
Stats Summary: USA / SWE
Shots: 8 / 7
Shots on Goal: 5 / 3
Saves: 5 / 3
Corner Kicks: 2 / 7
Fouls: 10 / 9
Offside: 3 / 1
USA – Zoe Morse (caution) 68th minute
Referee: Victoria Beyer
Assistant Referee 1: Elodie Coppola
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie Di Benedetto
4th Official: Rikke Melby