USA Takes on Host Dominican Republic for Berth to FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup
2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship - Semifinal
Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
2 p.m. ET (Concacaf Go, Concacaf Facebook, Concacaf YouTube & TUDN Xtra)
March 6, 2020
U-20 WNT ON BRINK OF WORLD CUP BERTH: After rolling through its first five matches of the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship, the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team has arrived at the pivotal semifinal. A victory punches the USA’s ticket to the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica and Panama, as well as a spot in the tournament final.
The semifinal presents a rematch for the U.S. vs. upstart Dominican Republic, as the tournament host upset Jamaica 2-1 in the quarterfinals to earn its spot in the final four. The USA and DR squared off in their second match of the tournament, a 4-0 group stage win for the Americans. The USA enters the semifinal flying high after downing Canada 4-0 in the quarters, its largest-ever victory over its regional rival in U-20 World Cup qualifying. The U.S. has not conceded in its five matches thus far while scoring 34 goals, an average of almost seven goals a game.
WATCH U-20 WNT QUALIFYING: Concacaf will broadcast all matches of the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship on Concacaf Go, as well as its Facebook and YouTube channels. Additionally, all matches will be available on TUDNXtra.
REMATCH VS. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: The USA took down the Dominican Republic 4-0 last week in the teams’ second Group C match. The American attack got off to a rapid start vs. the tournament host, going up 3-0 within the first 12 minutes of play. Mia Fishel, the team’s leading scorer, bagged a brace in that span, while Rebecca Jarrett netted her first U-20 WNT goal. Midfielder Brianna Pinto capped off the scoring midway through the second half. The USA dominated offensively, outshooting DR 19-3.
Previously, the USA topped Dominican Republic 14-0 at the 2004 Concacaf U-19 Qualifying Tournament in Canada. 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Ball and Golden Boot winner Megan Rapinoe bagged a brace in the match.
CANADA CONQUERED IN QUARTERFINAL: In the quarterfinals, regional rival Canada looked to provide the USA’s stiffest test yet, but the Americans kept rolling to an emphatic 4-0 victory. After a number of solid opportunities early, the U.S. finally broke through on a corner kick in the 35th minute as Fishel had a classy finish off a header assist from captain Naomi Girma. Girma teed up the USA’s second minutes later in a sequence that came after another corner kick. The U.S. captain passed to Pinto inside the box for a crucial score in the 41st.
The USA put the game out of reach on another corner just after the break as Katelyn Duong whipped a nice service into the box that Kennedy Wesley headed home for her first U-20 WNT goal. Fishel capped off the scoring with her 10th of the tournament in the 67th, finishing after a nice run and pass from Alexa Spaanstra.
2020 CONCACAF U.S. WOMEN’S U-20 CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER BY POSITION (COLLEGE OR CLUB; HOMETOWN; U-20 CAPS/GOALS)GOALKEEPERS (2): 12-Claudia Dickey (UNC; Charlotte, N.C.; 3/0), 1-Julia Dohle (Penn State; Scarsdale, N.Y.; 8/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 14-Maycee Bell (UNC; Wichita, Kan.; 7/1), 4-Sierra Enge (Stanford; Cardiff, Calif.; 3/1), 5-Naomi Girma (Stanford; San Jose, Calif.; 29/0), 13-Shae Holmes (Washington; Highlands Ranch, Colo.; 5/1), 2-Brianna Martinez (Notre Dame; Albuquerque, N.M.; 7/0), 3-Emily Mason (PDA; Flemington, N.J.; 5/0), 15-Kennedy Wesley (Stanford; Rossmoor, Calif.; 4/1)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 20-Talia DellaPeruta (Köln/GER; Cumming, Ga.; 8/0), 18-Katelyn Duong (Minnesota; Portland, Ore.; 7/1), 10-Jenna Nighswonger (Florida State; Huntington Beach, Calif.; 8/1), 6-Brianna Pinto (UNC; Durham, N.C.; 36/10), 17-Alexa Spaanstra (Virginia; Brighton, Mich.; 18/3), 7-Summer Yates (Washington; Pasco, Wash.; 8/5)
FORWARDS (5): 9-Mia Fishel (UCLA; San Diego, Calif.; 4/10), 16-Rebecca Jarrett (Virginia; Clifton, N.J.; 7/1), 19-Samantha Meza (Solar Soccer Club; Dallas, Texas; 11/2), 8-Trinity Rodman (SoCal Blues SC; Newport Beach, Calif.; 5/5), 11-Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns; Highlands Ranch, Colo.; 29/23)
The U.S. has kept a clean sheet in five straight matches, equaling a record at this tournament. In 2014, the USA didn’t allow a single goal during the five-game Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship.
Haiti and the USA are the only teams yet to concede in the competition.
Mia Fishel’s ten goals are good for second-most in the tournament behind Haiti’s Melchie Dumornay (13).
Eleven players have scored for the USA at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship: Mia Fishel (10), Brianna Pinto (6), Trinity Rodman (4), Summer Yates (3), Katelyn Duong, Sierra Enge, Shae Holmes, Rebecca Jarrett, Samantha Meza, Alexa Spaanstra and Kennedy Wesley.
Twelve players have logged an assist for the U.S. at the tournament: Spaanstra (5), Rodman (4), Yates (4), Duong (3), Naomi Girma (3), Holmes (2), Jarrett (2), Maycee Bell (1), Brianna Martinez (1), Meza (1), Pinto (1), Wesley (1).
Pinto earned her 36th U-20 WNT cap vs. Canada, moving her to fifth-most all-time. Maya Hayes holds the all-time record with 43 U-20 appearances.
SURPRISE SEMIFINAL RUN FOR HOST DR: The Dominican Republic finished second in Group C to the USA, dominating Honduras 7-0 in its opener and drawing Cuba 0-0 in its third match.
In the Round of 16, Dominican Republic fell behind early to El Salvador, but tied things up before the half. In the second, DR rallied for three more unanswered goals to secure passage to the quarterfinals vs. Group E winner Jamaica. The host took a surprise lead on the Reggae Girlz in the 35th, but Jamaica equalized just two minutes later. In a tightly-contested second half, Domincan Republic scored the game-winner in the 74th, bringing the island nation to the brink of its first U-20 Womens’ World Cup berth and delighting the home fans.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB/COLLEGE):
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Claudia Torres (University of Bridgeport/USA), 12-Nayelis Lopez (Academia 5 de Abril)
DEFENDERS (6): 13-Nadia Colon (Unattached), 14-Giovanna Dionicio (Yale/USA), 4-Gabriela Marte (Penn Fusion Soccer Academy/USA), 20-Alexa Pacheco (Delfines del Este FC), 2-Lynette Ureña (Delaware State/USA), 6-Alicia Victoria (Broward College/USA)
MIDFIELDERS (4): 8-Nicole de Jesus (Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Ureña), 5-Brieana Hallo (Coastal Atlantic FC/USA), 3-Carmen Lorenzo (Academia 5 de Abril), 10-Marianelys Perez (Academia 5 de Abril)
FORWARDS (8): 7-Mia Asenjo (Susa FC/USA), 16-Dahien Cabrera (Cibao FC), 19-Lilian Clase (Delfines del Este FC), 15-Stefany Espinal (Cibao FC), 9-Kristina Garcia (Unattached), 11-Alyssa Oviedo (University of Vermont/USA), 18-Jazlyn Oviedo (Unattached), 17-Ana Santos (Cibao FC)
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC NOTES:
Dominican Republic earned an automatic berth to World Cup qualifying as tournament hosts. Prior to the competition, the island nation stood at 12th in the Concacaf Women’s U-20 ranking.
Dominican Republic named to its roster six players born in 2000, three born in 2001, five born in 2002 and six born in 2003.
Seven players on the Dominican Republic roster currently play at U.S.-based clubs or colleges. Gabriella Marte plays in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy with Penn Fusion, while three play for NCAA Division I teams at Delaware State, Vermont and Yale.
The most Dominican Republic-based players, three each, come from Academia 5 de Abril and Cibao FC.
Dominican Republic 2, Jamaica 1
USA 4, Canada 0
Haiti 3, Guyana 0
Mexico 4, Trinidad and Tobago 0
TOURNAMENT FORMAT: This year brings the 10th edition of the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship. The tournament began in 2002 as the CONCACAF Women’s U-19 Championship.
In this new format, the tournament field featured 20 teams. Sixteen were drawn into four groups of four, while four advanced directly to the Round of 16 via a pre-qualifying tournament. The top three finishers in each group qualified to the Round of 16. From there on, it’s becomes a knockout bracket to the tournament final. The two winners of the semifinal matches will qualify to the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.
This year’s Women’s U-20 Championship will only send two teams to the U-20 Women’s World Cup, rather than the usual three, due to the World Cup being played in the Concacaf region and hosts Costa Rica and Panama both receiving automatic bids.
ABOUT THE U-20 WNT: Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2000 are eligible for the 2020 U-20 Women’s World Cup and head coach Laura Harvey named players from three birth years: 12 players born in 2000, five born in 2001 and three born in 2002. The roster features two of the last three U.S. Soccer Young Female Players of the Year in forward Sophia Smith (2017) and midfielder Brianna Pinto (2019).
The timing of the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship at the start of the year after the college season made the player selection process less difficult. Fifteen of the 20 players on the roster are currently in college while three are playing for youth clubs. Smith is the sole professional on the roster after she was drafted by the Portland Thorns last month, becoming the first teenager to be taken No. 1 overall in the NWSL College Draft. Midfielder Talia DellaPeruta is currently playing as an amateur in Germany with Frauen-Bundesliga club FC Koln.