USA Qualifies For 2022 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup With 7-0 Victory Against Puerto Rico In Semifinal Of Concacaf Women's U-20 ChampionshipSimone Jackson Records Hat Trick, Michelle Cooper Bags Brace While Talia DellaPeruta and Olivia Moultrie Score One Goal Each in Dominant Win; USA Will Face the Winner of Canada vs. Mexico in Championship Game
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (March 10, 2022) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s Youth National Team defeated Puerto Rico 7-0 in the semifinals of the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship to earn a berth to the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Forward Simone Jackson tallied a second-half hat trick and team captain Michelle Cooper added two tallies in the first half as the young Americans cruised to secure their ticket to the World Cup, set for this August in Costa Rica.
The USA has now qualified for all 10 FIFA Women’s World Cups held at this age level (plus the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, which was cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic). The first two World Cups were staged as U-19 events in 2002 and 2004, and the USA has now qualified for the U-20 WWC in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2022.
With the win today, the USA advances to the championship game and will face the winner of the other semifinal -- Canada vs. Mexico -- on Saturday, March 12 at Estadio Olímpico Félix Sánchez at 3:40 p.m. ET. The U.S. is aiming to win its record seventh Concacaf title at this level.
The USA becomes the first nation to qualify by its on-field play for the 2022 U-20 Women’s World Cup. While Costa Rica earned an automatic berth as host, the Asian, European and Oceanic confederations all canceled their qualification tournaments due to the global pandemic and nominated participants based on the results of their respective 2019 U-19 championships. Africa and South America will conclude their World Cup qualifying competitions later this month.
Puerto Rico initially did well to hold off the U.S. attack, denying dangerous chances for nearly 20 minutes until midfielder Talia DellaPeruta opened the scoring with a 25-yard scorcher in the 19th minute. It took the USA just three minutes to double its lead as midfielder Olivia Moultrie shook off two defenders with some fancy footwork deep inside the penalty box and fired from five yards out to beat the goalkeeper.
Forward Michelle Cooper then took the spotlight as she bagged a brace in six minutes, the first following a clever combination in which defender Laney Rouse played a ball into the box and forward Trinity Byars let it run past with a dummy. The ball rolled to Cooper for the open shot and she curled it off the right post and into the net. She added her second by converting a penalty kick with precision in the 41st after Byars was brought down inside the box.
Jackson entered the game at halftime for Cooper and made the second half her spectacle. She scored her first of the night in the 65th minute, bringing the ball down inside the box with a slick touch and firing hard just inside the left post to beat the goalkeeper from 10 yards out. The forward added her second in the 76th with a brilliant shot from the edge of the goal box following a forced turnover and quick pass from forward Avery Patterson. Jackson completed her hat trick in the 81st minute after Patterson received the ball inside the box and turned on her defender, sending a low pass across the box to find her fellow forward on the right side, where she powerfully buried it from 10 yards out. Jackson’s hat trick, scored over the span of 16 minutes, tied the fastest three-goal performance by the USA at this tournament since 2004, a record set by Patterson vs. Puerto Rico in the group stage on Feb. 27.
Puerto Rico goalkeeper Ariana Anderson, who plays for the Dallas-area youth club Solar SC, had a solid match, making 14 saves to keep the score from getting any higher.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – Talia DellaPeruta (Michelle Cooper), 19th minute – Great combination play from the USA near the opponents’ box led to Cooper passing to DellaPeruta in a central position about 25 yards from the goal. From there, she struck a powerful shot with her right foot that skipped into the goal just inside the left post to open the scoring. USA 1, PUR 0
USA – Olivia Moultrie, 22nd minute – Defender Ayo Oke sent a low cross into the box to find Moultrie’s feet, but the pass took a slight deflection off a Puerto Rico defender. Moultrie latched onto the loose ball, shook off two defenders with nifty footwork and finished with a left-footed strike from five yards out. USA 2, PUR 0
USA – Michelle Cooper (Laney Rouse), 35th minute – Rouse played a pass on the ground into the penalty box from the right flank which Trinity Byars cleverly let go with a dummy run and the ball rolled into the path of Cooper, who curled a shot off the right post and into the net from nine yards out. USA 3, PUR 0
USA – Michelle Cooper, 41st minute – After Byars was brought down inside the box by the goalkeeper on a one-on-one challenge, Cooper stepped up to the penalty spot and converted for her second goal in six minutes. USA 4, PUR 0
USA – Simone Jackson, 65th minute – An American attacking run led to a deflection off a Puerto Rico defender following an attempted shot from Avery Patterson. The ball flew to Jackson and she brought it down with her right foot before placing a right-footed shot inside the left post to beat the ‘keeper from 10 yards out. USA 5, PUR 0
USA – Simone Jackson (Avery Patterson), 76th minute – A turnover in possession led to Patterson finding Jackson near the right side of the field with a quick pass. Jackson dribbled to the top of the 18-yard box and fired low across the goal into the lower left corner. USA 6, PUR 0
USA – Simone Jackson (Avery Patterson), 81st minute – Patterson received the ball inside the box and turned on her defender, sending a pass across to the right side of the box where she found Jackson, who fired across the mouth of goal from 10 yards out to complete her hat trick. USA 7, PUR 0
- Through six games in this tournament, the USA has scored at least three goals in all but one half of play – the first half of the quarterfinal match vs. Haiti on March 8, when the U.S. was limited to just one goal.
- Michelle Cooper’s seven goals are now tied for the team lead with forward Andrea Kitahata. The two are also tied for the tournament lead with Canada’s Olivia Smith, who plays in the second semifinal match tonight.
- Cooper’s goal from the penalty spot marked her second penalty attempt in as many matches. Cooper previously missed her first penalty attempt against Haiti on March 8.
- With tonight’s seven-goal haul, the USA broke its tournament scoring record of 40 goals set during the 2020 qualifying tournament. The U.S. has tallied 47 goals and not conceded with one match left to play.
- Patterson’s two assists tonight bring her tournament total to four, along with six goals scored.
- For the second match in a row, the entire U.S. team wore black armbands in remembrance of Katie Meyer, the former U.S. Youth National Team player and Stanford goalkeeper who tragically passed away last week.
-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: March 10, 2022
Competition: Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship - Semifinal
Venue: Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Kickoff: 4 p.m. local (3 p.m. ET)
Weather: 80 degrees, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 4 3 7
PUR 0 0 0
USA – Talia DellaPeruta (Michelle Cooper) 19th minute
USA – Olivia Moultrie 22
USA – Michelle Cooper (Laney Rouse) 35
USA – Michelle Cooper (Penalty Kick) 41
USA – Simone Jackson 65
USA – Simone Jackson (Avery Patterson) 76
USA – Simone Jackson (Avery Patterson) 81
USA: 12-Neeku Purcell; 2-Laney Rouse (13-Samar Guidry, 70), 4-Emily Mason (14-Lauren Flynn, 57), 15-Aidan McConnell, 3-Ayo Oke; 20-Talia DellaPeruta (10-Alexis Missimo, 57), 6-Emily Colton, 8-Olivia Moultrie; 18-Trinity Byars, 9-Michelle Cooper (Capt.) (7-Simone Jackson, 46), 16-Avery Patterson
Substitutes not used: 1-Mia Justus, 5-Lilly Reale, 11-Alyssa Thompson
Head coach: Tracey Kevins
PUR: 12-Ariana Anderson; 6-Michelle Berndt, 5-Estafania Gonzalez Cintron (13-Jessica Torres, 45+1), 19-Emma Gonzalez (7-Ana Diaz, 69), 10-Bryanna Pizarro (11-Brooke Hart, 46); 3-Karish Rivera de Jesus, 17-Marilia Nieves-Melchor, 4-Leyla Molina, 20-Ivy Garner (Capt.) (16-Alondra Nieves, 46), 15-Laniaya del Valle; 14-Lilyana Hernandez
Substitutes not used: 1-Jlo Varada Vazquez; 9-Maria Sanabria Buono, 18-Natasha Soto
Head coach: Nat Gonzalez
Stats Summary: USA / PUR
Shots: 38 / 1
Shots on Goal: 21 / 0
Saves: 0 / 14
Corner Kicks: 7 / 0
Fouls: 14 / 6
Offside: 7 / 0
USA – Simone Jackson (Caution) 84th minute
Referee: Odette Hamilton (JAM)
1st Assistant Referee: Stephanie-dale Yee Sing (JAM)
2nd Assistant Referee: Sania Medina (DOM)
4th Official: Katia Garcia (MEX)
VAR: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)
AVAR1: Francia Gonzalez (MEX)
AVAR2: Ricardo Montero (CRC)