SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (Feb. 27, 2022) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s Youth National Team recorded its second convincing win in Group E of the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship, downing Puerto Rico 7-0 as forward Avery Patterson scored four times in the first half and assisted on the fifth goal in the second.
With the victory, the USA sits atop Group E and has qualified for the 16-team knockout round with one group match still to play. The young Americans are in pole position to finish first in the group, setting up a Round of 16 clash vs. Suriname.
U.S. head coach Tracey Kevins made six changes from the starting lineup that defeated Nicaragua 6-0 in the first match of the tournament on Feb. 25, giving first-ever U-20 caps to Patterson, goalkeeper Neeku Purcell as well as defenders Lauren Flynn and Lilly Reale. Purcell had a quiet afternoon, facing zero shots.
Patterson wasted no time making an impact in her first cap, scoring in the eighth, 11th, 24th and four minutes into first-half stoppage time for her first international goals. Her first three tallies came on the USA’s first three shots of the game.
Patterson’s four goals marked the 18th time in tournament history that a U.S. player has scored three or more goals in a match, which includes 10 previous three-goal games by a single player, six previous four-goal games and one five-goal game.
In the 58th minute, Patterson played provider on the USA’s fifth goal, setting up Missimo for her first goal of the tournament and first goal at the U-20 level.
The USA’s sixth goal came straight off the training ground as Missimo lined up for a shot from distance on a free kick, but instead played a pass on the ground into the penalty area that was backheeled by forward Andrea Kitahata into the path of defender Emily Mason and she smashed it home from 10 yards out.
Three minutes later, Colton set up Kitahata for her third goal of the tournament after she scored twice off the bench vs. Nicaragua on Feb. 25.
Puerto Rico started a lineup with 10 of its 11 players based in the USA at American youth clubs or colleges but Las Boricuas were no match for the USA’s skill and athleticism with the USA eventually outshooting the islanders 22-0. The USA has yet to allow a shot in this tournament.
The win serves as another step toward the U.S. U-20 WYNT’s qualification for the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, set for this summer in Costa Rica. With the interruption of programming due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, these are the first international matches of the 2021-22 U-20 WYNT cycle and today’s game was just the second match for this age group since March 2020.
The U.S. U-20 WYNT continues Group E play on Tuesday, March 1 against host Dominican Republic (6 p.m. ET; FS2, TUDN Digital). All of the USA’s Group E matches are being played at Estadio Olímpico Félix Sánchez in Santo Domingo. Follow the U-20 WYNT throughout the tournament on ussoccer.com as well as U.S. Soccer Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – Avery Patterson (Ayo Oke), 6th minute: Alexis Missimo played a pass to Oke on the right wing and the right back had space to cross from just outside the penalty area. The ball found the onrushing Patterson and she powerfully headed home from six yards out for the early lead. USA 1, PUR 0
USA – Avery Patterson (Alyssa Thompson), 11th minute: Thompson raced down the right flank deep into the penalty area on the right side and played a perfectly-weighted pass on the ground into the seam for Patterson, who blasted her first-time shot into the upper right corner from eight yards out. USA 2, PUR 0
USA – Avery Patterson (Emily Colton), 24th minute: Colton dribbled up the middle and slipped a perfect pass with her left foot behind the defense to Patterson, who was making a run into the right side of the penalty area. Patterson hesitated to let the goalkeeper go to ground, then raced past her and rolled the ball into the open net to complete her hat trick. USA 3, PUR 0.
USA – Avery Patterson (Talia DellaPeruta), 45+4th minute: In the dying seconds of first-half stoppage time, DellaPeruta knocked a long, high ball over the last Puerto Rico defender. Patterson stayed onside, but then powered past the defender into the penalty area before stroking the ball into the left corner with the outside of her left foot from 12 yards out a few yards to the right of the penalty spot. USA 4, PUR 0
USA – Alexis Missimo (Avery Patterson), 58th minute: Patterson played provider on the USA’s fifth goal, collecting a ball with her back to the net deep inside the penalty area. She held off a defender and then played a short square pass to the left to Missimo, who finished crisply with the inside of her foot into the right side of the net from 10 yards out. USA 5, PUR 0
USA – Emily Mason (Andrea Kitahata), 80th minute: The USA’s sixth goal came straight off the training ground as Alexis Missimo lined up for a shot from distance off a direct free kick, but instead played a pass on the ground into the penalty area that was backheeled by forward Andrea Kitahata and into the path of Mason. She then smashed it home from 10 yards out for her first international goal at this level. USA 6, PUR 0
USA -- Andrea Kitahata (Emily Colton), 83rd minute: Colton ran onto a ball in the right side of the penalty area and cut a short cross to Kitahata in the middle. Kitahata beat the goalkeeper to the bouncing ball to finish from eight yards out to cap the scoring. USA 7, PUR 0
- Forward Avery Patterson’s four-goal performance comes in her first international match at any level. Defender Lauren Flynn also made her international soccer debut.
- This was the USA’s first-ever meeting with Puerto Rico at this competition. Las Boricuas are the 15th opponent that the U.S. has faced in 52 matches in this qualifying tournament.
- The USA has compiled a 46-2-4 record all-time at this tournament, scoring 312 goals across 11 appearances at the Concacaf Championship, while allowing just 18 tallies in 52 total games at this competition.
- Only four players had prior U-20 WYNT caps going into this tournament. Including tonight’s match, the only players on the roster with more than two U-20 caps are: DellaPeruta (12 caps), defenders Emily Mason (8) and Samar Guidry (five) and goalkeeper Mia Justus (two).
- The assist on the first goal was Ayo Oke’s second of the tournament.
- After today’s performance, Patterson leads the USA in scoring after two games with four goals. Forward Andrea Kitahata has three.
- Emily Colton’s two assists in the match up her team-leading total in this tournament to three.
-U.S. UNDER-20 WOMEN’S YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States Under-20 Women’s Youth National Team vs. Puerto Rico
Date: February 27, 2022
Competition: Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship
Venue: Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Kickoff: 4 p.m. local (3 p.m. ET)
Weather: 84 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 4 2 6
PUR 0 0 0
USA – Avery Patterson (Ayo Oke) 8th minute
USA – Avery Patterson (Alyssa Thompson) 11
USA – Avery Patterson (Emily Colton) 24
USA – Avery Patterson (Talia DellaPeruta) 45+4
USA – Alexis Missimo (Avery Patterson) 58
USA – Emily Mason (Andrea Kitahata) 80
USA -- Andrea Kitahata (Emily Colton) 83
USA: 12-Neeku Purcell; 3-Ayo Oke, 14-Lauren Flynn, 5-Lilly Reale, 2-Laney Rouse (13-Samar Guidry, 46); 20-Talia DellaPeruta (4-Emily Mason, 46), 6-Emily Colton, 10-Alexis Missimo; 11-Alyssa Thompson (19-Andrea Kitahata, 66) 9-Michelle Cooper (Capt.) (18-Trinity Byars, 66), 16-Avery Patterson (7-Simone Jackson, 90+3)
Substitutes not used: 1-Mia Justus, 8-Olivia Moultrie, 15-Aidan McConnell
Head coach: Tracey Kevins
PUR: 1-Jlo Varada Vazquez; 2-Iliana Pardo (7-Ana Diaz, 30), 18-Natasha Soto, 5-Estafania Gonzalez Cintron (16-Alondra Nieves, 46), 19-Emma Gonzalez; 3-Karish Rivera de Jesus (4-Leyla Molina, 46), 6-Michelle Berndt (13-Jessica Torres, 67), 17-Marilia Nieves-Melchor, 10-Bryanna Pizarro; 9-Maria Sanabria Buono, 8-Indigo Sims (20-Ivy Garner, 42)
Substitutes not used: 11-Brooke Hart, 12-Ariana Anderson, 14-Lilyana Hernandez, 15-Laniaya del Valle
Head coach: Nat Gonzalez
Stats Summary: USA / PUR
Shots: 22 / 0
Shots on Goal: 11 / 0
Saves: 0 / 4
Corner Kicks: 7 / 0
Fouls: 5 / 3
Offside: 3 / 2
Referee: Astrid Gramajo (GUA)
1st Assistant Referee: Sandra Ramirez (MEX)
2nd Assistant Referee: Chantal Boudreau (CAN)
4th Official: Mirian Leon (MEX)
VAR: Adonal Escobedo (MEX)
AVAR1: Benjamin Whitty (CAY)