U.S. U-20 WNT Falls 3-2 to Germany in First Match of La Manga Tournament

2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup Veterans Samantha Meza and Jordan Canniff Score
By: U.S. Soccer

LA MANGA, Spain (March 1, 2019) -- The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team continued its new cycle with a match against Germany in the Women’s U-19 La Manga Tournament 2019. The USA fell 3-2 as midfielder Samantha Meza and forward Jordan Canniff tallied. Both were members of the U.S. team at the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

“For one of the first games in the new U-20 cycle, I am very proud of the players,” U.S. head coach Mark Carr said. “After just a few days on the ground here in Spain, some classroom sessions, individual and unit meetings, I thought our players improved as the game went on. It’s important to have perspective on where we are. Germany just finished Phase 1 of their UEFA qualifying and have been together as a team since July of 2018, and this is our first event.”

The USA will also face Under-19 sides from France (March 3) and Sweden (March 7) in La Manga, but the opponents feature players from the same birth years as the U.S. team as it embarks on the first year of the 2019-20 cycle.

The USA started slowly, giving up two goals in the first 18 minutes before Meza pulled one back in the 29th. Germany responded quickly, making it 3-1 going into the break. Meza’s goal came off a corner kick. The German goalkeeper cleared the ball out of the penalty box but it fell to Meza about 20 yards from goal and she curled her shot into the upper corner.

The USA rallied defensively in the second half, and Canniff pulled the USA to within one in the 83rd, but the young Americans could not create an equalizer, though one potential goal was controversially disallowed.

“Today, we grew into the game,” added Carr. “As expected, we started off a little slow and nervous and were unfortunate to be down 3-1 at the half. In the second half, I thought we completely controlled the game with and without the ball and created chances. We scored a legitimate third goal to tie the game up and I have no idea why it was called back.”

The 20-player U.S. roster is made up of 11 players born in 2000 (which is the age cut-off year for the next Women’s World Cup), eight players born in 2001 and one in 2002. Nine players on the roster were a part of the USA’s 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Team and three – defender Naomi Girma, midfielder Brianna Pinto and forward Alexa Spaanstra – were a part of the USA’s 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Team and return for their second U-20 cycle. The roster is a mixture of collegiate and youth club players, with seven already enrolled in college.

“All in all, it’s a good starting point for us and if we can learn from our mistakes, build off of this and improve our game, I definitely think there are some exciting times ahead,” Carr said. “One thing that impressed me was our 100-percent attitude from start to finish and we are really looking forward to our game vs. France.”

The friendly competition features 14 countries. In addition to the USA and its three opponents, China, Denmark, England, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Spain and Switzerland are also participating.

- U.S. U-20 Women's National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. Germany
Date: March 1, 2019
Competition: Women’s U-19 La Manga Tournament 2019
Venue: La Manga Club; La Manga, Spain
Weather: 60 degrees, cloudy and windy

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F                                             
GER                      3          0          3
USA                            1          1          2

GER – Sjoeke Nüsken                       12th minute
GER – Melissa Kössler                      18
USA – Samantha Meza                      29
GER – Melissa Kössler                      30
USA – Jordan Canniff                         83

USA: 1-Julia Dohle; 2-Brianna Martinez, 4-Naomi Girma, 3-Natalia Staude, 20-Makenna Morris; 10-Maya Doms (9-Isabella D’Aquila, 58), 6-Sophia Jones, 8-Brianna Pinto (capt.); 7-Alexa Spaanstra, 17-Summer Yates (24-Sakura Yoshida, 83), 21-Samantha Meza (11-Jordan Canniff, 68)
Subs not used:5-Michela Agresti, 13-Maycee Bell, 18-Hannah Richardson, 19-Coriana Dyke, 22-Hensley Hancuff, 23-Emily Gray
Head Coach: Mark Carr

GER: 12-Rafaela Borggräfe; 14-Lara Schmidt, 4-Sophia Kleinherne, 5-Linda Liedel, 3-Lisann Kaut (13-Lea Sophie Bahnemann, 70); 19-Marie Müller (17-Mara Sofie Grutkamp, 83), 6-Greta Stegemann (24-Leonie Köster, 83), 10-Etonam Nicole Anyomi (18-Shekiera Martinez, 83); 7-Melissa Kössler (20-Jasmin Jabbes, 79), 8-Sjoeke Nüsken (capt.), 11-Lena Uebach
Subs not used: 1-Wiebke Willebrandt, 2-Laura Donhauser, 9-Anna-Lena Stolze, 15-Lisa Schöppl, 16-Lisa Ebert, 21-Laura Sieger, 22-Juliane Wirtz, 23-Christin Martina Meyer
Head Coach: Maren Meinert

Stats Summary: USA/GER
Shots: 6 / 10
Shots on Goal: 4 / 7
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 5
Fouls: 5 / 6
Offsides: 1 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Natalia Staude (caution)                     23rd minute
GER – Lena Uebach (caution)                       81