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US Soccer

USA Defeats Mexico 2-1 to win Group B at 2018 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship

COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago (Jan. 23, 2018) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 2-1 to take first place in Group B at the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship, setting up a semifinal clash with Group A runner-up Haiti on Friday, Jan. 26 (3 p.m. ET; UDN, YouTube) for a berth to the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France.

With the win, the USA finishes atop its group with the full nine points from three wins, while Mexico finished second with six points. Mexico came into the match needing just a tie to win the group as it led on goal difference after both teams won their first two matches, but two goals from the USA in the first half proved to be the difference.

Forward Abigail Kim scored on a semi-breakaway in the 30th minute and Sánchez added a goal in the 39th to give the USA a 2-0 halftime lead that held up despite a late Mexico goal which made the final 15 minutes a bit more tension-filled.

The USA was on the front foot for most of the match, out-shooting Mexico 16-4 and Mexico’s 75th-minute score was its only shot on goal. Led by 18-year-old Jaelin Howell, the USA physically dominated the midfield and stayed busy inside the Mexico penalty area for the entire 90 minutes. The two goals were the first allowed by Mexico in the tournament.

The winners of the semifinal matches and the third-place game earn CONCACAF’s three berths to France. Group A winner Canada faces Mexico in the other semifinal. The USA has qualified for the eight previous FIFA tournaments at this age level.

Up Next: The USA will have a chance to qualify for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup when it meets Haiti on Friday, Jan. 26 at 2:30 p.m. ET (CONCACAF YouTube).

Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt), Instagram (@ussoccer_ynt)

2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship
Final Group B Standings

Team

GP

W

L

D

Pts.

GF

GA

GD

USA

3

3

0

0

9

6

2

+4

Mexico

3

2

1

0

6

7

2

+6

Nicaragua

2

0

2

0

0

0

4

-4

Jamaica

2

0

2

0

0

1

6

-5

Goal Scoring Rundown:

USA – Abigail Kim (Samantha Coffey), 30th minute: After a sustained period of pressure in which the USA came close on several occasions, including several chances that fell to Kim, the Americans broke Mexico down after a long goal kick. The ball fell to Coffey who took a few touches forward and slipped a pass behind the defense to Kim, who slotted her shot into the lower left corner from 13 yards out. USA 1, MEX 0 [WATCH]

USA – Ashley Sanchez (Sophia Smith), 39th minute: The USA attacked with speed and sophistication once again as Sanchez penetrating the attacking third and played a long pass behind the defense to the wide-open Smith on the right wing. Smith settled the ball just inside the edge of the penalty box and had time to look up and pick out the crashing Sanchez, who timed her run perfectly. The U.S. forward then chopped home a first-time shot from six yards out straight-away for her first goal of the tournament. USA 2, MEX 0 [WATCH]

MEX – Katty Martinez, 75th minute: Mexico pulled a goal back with 15 minutes left after U.S. defender Karina Rodriguez got a foot on a through ball, but then stumbled and fell inside the penalty box in the process, giving Martinez a chance at shoot uncontested. She roofed her chance from eight yards out over U.S. goalkeeper Amanda McGlynn to give her team brief hope. USA 2, MEX 1 [WATCH] FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:

MEX – Mia Villegas, 90+1st minute: The USA pushed for a third goal as Civana Kuhlmann powered her way past a defender on the left side and crossed to the far post for Abigail Kim. Her header wasn’t going on goal but the ball was in a highly dangerous area when Mia Villegas slid to clear it out of danger.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA’s six goals in the tournament have come from six different players.
  • The USA will play in the semifinal of this tournament for the ninth consecutive time.
  • Ashley Sánchez’ goal was her seventh in 23 U-20 caps.
  • Abigail Kim’s goal was her fourth in 14 U-20 caps.
  • U.S. head coach Jitka Klimkova made all three allowed substitutes, sending on midfielder Viviana Villacorta at halftime for Savannah DeMelo, forward Civana Kuhlmann for Sophia Smith in the 65th minute and forward Taryn Torres for Sanchez in the 75th minute.
  • The USA has now played Mexico in eight out of the nine CONCACAF U-20 qualifying tournaments, including the last eight in a row, and played them twice in the 2010 tournament.
  • The USA won the first seven games vs. Mexico and then tied 2-2 to open play at the 2016 tournament before today’s victory.
  • Three of the meetings have been in the semifinal, two in the championship game and four in group play.
  • Mexico has qualified for seven consecutive World Cups at the U-20 age level, but has never won the CONCACAF title.

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

Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: January 23, 2018
Competition: CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship – Group B
Venue: Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET
Attendance: 112
Weather: 83 degrees, mostly sunny

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F
USA                             2          0          2
MEX                            0          1          1

USA – Abigail Kim (Samantha Coffey)           30th minute
USA – Ashley Sánchez (Sophia Smith)         39
MEX – Katty Martínez                                     75                       

Lineups:
USA: 12-Amanda McGlynn; 5-Isabel Rodríguez, 4-Naomi Girma, 14-Karina Rodríguez, 17-Kiara Pickett, 18-Jaelin Howell, 10-Samantha Coffey, 9-Savannah DeMelo (15-Viviana Villacorta, 46), 2-Ashley Sánchez (7-Taryn Torres, 75), 3-Sophia Smith (capt.) (20-Civana Kuhlmann, 65), 11-Abigail Kim
Subs not used: 1-Laurel Ivory; 6-Zoe Morse, 8-Brianna Pinto, 13-Tara McKeown, 16-Kelsey Turnbow, 19-Tierna Davidson
Head coach: Jitka Klimkova

MEX: 1-Emily Alvarado; 5-Jimena López (15-Samara Alcalá, 63), 13-Mia Villegas, 3-Miriam García, 2-Ashley Soto; 20-Montserrat Hernández (11-Jacqueline Ovalle, 71), 6-Andrea Hernández, 14-Natalia Villarreal (7-Dayana Cazares, 77), 17-Belén Cruz; 10-Katty Martínez, 18-Norma Palafox
Subs not used: 4-Kim Rodríguez, 8-Alexia Delgado, 9-Daniela Espinosa, 12-Miriam Aguirre, 16-Maricarmen Reyes, 19-Gabriela Juárez
Head coach: Christopher Cuellar

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 16 / 4
Shots on Goal: 4 / 1
Saves: 0 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 17 / 7
Offside: 2 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Tatiana Guzmán (NCA)
Assistant Referee 1: Princess Brown (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing (JAM)
4th Official: Carol-Anne Chenard (CAN)

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Savannah DeMelo
Read more
U-20 WNT Jan 23, 2018

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

Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: January 23, 2018
Competition: CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship – Group B
Venue: Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET
Attendance: 112
Weather: 83 degrees, mostly sunny

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F
USA                             2          0          2
MEX                            0          1          1

USA – Abigail Kim (Samantha Coffey)           30th minute
USA – Ashley Sánchez (Sophia Smith)         39
MEX – Katty Martínez                                     75                       

Lineups:
USA: 12-Amanda McGlynn; 5-Isabel Rodríguez, 4-Naomi Girma, 14-Karina Rodríguez, 17-Kiara Pickett, 18-Jaelin Howell, 10-Samantha Coffey, 9-Savannah DeMelo (15-Viviana Villacorta, 46), 2-Ashley Sánchez (7-Taryn Torres, 75), 3-Sophia Smith (capt.) (20-Civana Kuhlmann, 65), 11-Abigail Kim
Subs not used: 1-Laurel Ivory; 6-Zoe Morse, 8-Brianna Pinto, 13-Tara McKeown, 16-Kelsey Turnbow, 19-Tierna Davidson
Head coach: Jitka Klimkova

MEX: 1-Emily Alvarado; 5-Jimena López (15-Samara Alcalá, 63), 13-Mia Villegas, 3-Miriam García, 2-Ashley Soto; 20-Montserrat Hernández (11-Jacqueline Ovalle, 71), 6-Andrea Hernández, 14-Natalia Villarreal (7-Dayana Cazares, 77), 17-Belén Cruz; 10-Katty Martínez, 18-Norma Palafox
Subs not used: 4-Kim Rodríguez, 8-Alexia Delgado, 9-Daniela Espinosa, 12-Miriam Aguirre, 16-Maricarmen Reyes, 19-Gabriela Juárez
Head coach: Christopher Cuellar

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 16 / 4
Shots on Goal: 4 / 1
Saves: 0 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 17 / 7
Offside: 2 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials: 
Referee: Tatiana Guzmán (NCA)
Assistant Referee 1: Princess Brown (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing (JAM)
4th Official: Carol-Anne Chenard (CAN)

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Jaelin Howell
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US Soccer

How to Watch the USA at the 2018 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team continues its quest to qualify for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this week at the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship in Trinidad & Tobago. The USA won Group B, defeating Nicaragua, Jamaica and Mexico and now faces Haiti in the semifinal on Friday, Jan. 26.   

Here’s everything you need to know about the knockout stage:

With a berth to the 2018 FIFA Women's World Cup in France on the line, there's a lot riding on Friday's game for the USA. A win would automatically qualify the U.S. for the World Cup, while a loss would see the team need to win the Third Place game to get in. The other semifinal will feature Canada taking on Mexico later on Friday. 

The Final and Third Place matches are scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 28.

U.S. U-20 WNT ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Laurel Ivory (Virginia; Surfside, Fla.; 6/0), Amanda McGlynn (Virginia Tech; Jacksonville, Fla.; 4/0)  
DEFENDERS (7): Tierna Davidson (Stanford; Menlo Park, Calif.; 6/0), Naomi Girma (California Thorns FC; 8/0; San Jose, Calif.), Tara McKeown (USC; Newbury Park, Calif.; 12/0), Zoe Morse (Virginia; East Lansing, Mich.; 11/0), Kiara Pickett (Stanford; Santa Barbara, Calif.; 4/0), Isabel Rodriguez (Ohio State; Canton, Mich.; 11/0), Karina Rodriguez (UCLA; Torrance, Calif.; 5/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Samantha Coffey (Boston College; Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; 9/1), Savannah DeMelo (USC; Bellflower, Calif.; 26/4), Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 14/1), Brianna Pinto (NTH Tophat; Durham, N.C.; 10/0), Viviana Villacorta (UCLA; Lawndale, Calif.; 13/1)
FORWARDS (6): Abigail Kim (California; Vashon, Wash.; 14/4), Civana Kuhlmann (Stanford; Littleton, Colo.; 15/9), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA; Monrovia, Calif.; 22/7), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 13/9), Taryn Torres (Virginia; Frisco, Texas; 5/2), Kelsey Turnbow (Santa Clara; Nashville, Tenn.; 9/2) 

*U.S. player caps and goals updated as of 1/23.

IMPORTANT LINKS

KNOCKOUT STAGE SCHEDULE

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semifinals. Winners of each semifinal will clinch a berth in the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. The third and final CONCACAF World Cup spot will be awarded to the third-place match winner.

Date

Matchup

Time (ET)

Broadcast

Jan. 26

USA vs. Haiti

2:30 p.m. 

CONCACAF.com

Jan. 26

Canada vs. Mexico

5:30 p.m. 

UDN

Jan. 28

Third-Place Match

1:00 p.m. 

CONCACAF.com

Jan. 28

Final

4:00 p.m. 

UDN

Read more
U-20 WNT Jan 23, 2018
US Soccer

USA Defeats Mexico 2-1 to win Group B at 2018 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship

COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago (Jan. 23, 2018) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 2-1 to take first place in Group B at the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship, setting up a semifinal clash with Group A runner-up Haiti on Friday, Jan. 26 (3 p.m. ET; UDN, YouTube) for a berth to the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France.

With the win, the USA finishes atop its group with the full nine points from three wins, while Mexico finished second with six points. Mexico came into the match needing just a tie to win the group as it led on goal difference after both teams won their first two matches, but two goals from the USA in the first half proved to be the difference.

Forward Abigail Kim scored on a semi-breakaway in the 30th minute and Sánchez added a goal in the 39th to give the USA a 2-0 halftime lead that held up despite a late Mexico goal which made the final 15 minutes a bit more tension-filled.

The USA was on the front foot for most of the match, out-shooting Mexico 16-4 and Mexico’s 75th-minute score was its only shot on goal. Led by 18-year-old Jaelin Howell, the USA physically dominated the midfield and stayed busy inside the Mexico penalty area for the entire 90 minutes. The two goals were the first allowed by Mexico in the tournament.

The winners of the semifinal matches and the third-place game earn CONCACAF’s three berths to France. Group A winner Canada faces Mexico in the other semifinal. The USA has qualified for the eight previous FIFA tournaments at this age level.

Up Next: The USA will have a chance to qualify for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup when it meets Haiti on Friday, Jan. 26 at 2:30 p.m. ET (CONCACAF YouTube).

Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt), Instagram (@ussoccer_ynt)

2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship
Final Group B Standings

Team

GP

W

L

D

Pts.

GF

GA

GD

USA

3

3

0

0

9

6

2

+4

Mexico

3

2

1

0

6

7

2

+6

Nicaragua

2

0

2

0

0

0

4

-4

Jamaica

2

0

2

0

0

1

6

-5

Goal Scoring Rundown:

USA – Abigail Kim (Samantha Coffey), 30th minute: After a sustained period of pressure in which the USA came close on several occasions, including several chances that fell to Kim, the Americans broke Mexico down after a long goal kick. The ball fell to Coffey who took a few touches forward and slipped a pass behind the defense to Kim, who slotted her shot into the lower left corner from 13 yards out. USA 1, MEX 0 [WATCH]

USA – Ashley Sanchez (Sophia Smith), 39th minute: The USA attacked with speed and sophistication once again as Sanchez penetrating the attacking third and played a long pass behind the defense to the wide-open Smith on the right wing. Smith settled the ball just inside the edge of the penalty box and had time to look up and pick out the crashing Sanchez, who timed her run perfectly. The U.S. forward then chopped home a first-time shot from six yards out straight-away for her first goal of the tournament. USA 2, MEX 0 [WATCH]

MEX – Katty Martinez, 75th minute: Mexico pulled a goal back with 15 minutes left after U.S. defender Karina Rodriguez got a foot on a through ball, but then stumbled and fell inside the penalty box in the process, giving Martinez a chance at shoot uncontested. She roofed her chance from eight yards out over U.S. goalkeeper Amanda McGlynn to give her team brief hope. USA 2, MEX 1 [WATCH] FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:

MEX – Mia Villegas, 90+1st minute: The USA pushed for a third goal as Civana Kuhlmann powered her way past a defender on the left side and crossed to the far post for Abigail Kim. Her header wasn’t going on goal but the ball was in a highly dangerous area when Mia Villegas slid to clear it out of danger.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA’s six goals in the tournament have come from six different players.
  • The USA will play in the semifinal of this tournament for the ninth consecutive time.
  • Ashley Sánchez’ goal was her seventh in 23 U-20 caps.
  • Abigail Kim’s goal was her fourth in 14 U-20 caps.
  • U.S. head coach Jitka Klimkova made all three allowed substitutes, sending on midfielder Viviana Villacorta at halftime for Savannah DeMelo, forward Civana Kuhlmann for Sophia Smith in the 65th minute and forward Taryn Torres for Sanchez in the 75th minute.
  • The USA has now played Mexico in eight out of the nine CONCACAF U-20 qualifying tournaments, including the last eight in a row, and played them twice in the 2010 tournament.
  • The USA won the first seven games vs. Mexico and then tied 2-2 to open play at the 2016 tournament before today’s victory.
  • Three of the meetings have been in the semifinal, two in the championship game and four in group play.
  • Mexico has qualified for seven consecutive World Cups at the U-20 age level, but has never won the CONCACAF title.

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

Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: January 23, 2018
Competition: CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship – Group B
Venue: Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET
Attendance: 112
Weather: 83 degrees, mostly sunny

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F
USA                             2          0          2
MEX                            0          1          1

USA – Abigail Kim (Samantha Coffey)           30th minute
USA – Ashley Sánchez (Sophia Smith)         39
MEX – Katty Martínez                                     75                       

Lineups:
USA: 12-Amanda McGlynn; 5-Isabel Rodríguez, 4-Naomi Girma, 14-Karina Rodríguez, 17-Kiara Pickett, 18-Jaelin Howell, 10-Samantha Coffey, 9-Savannah DeMelo (15-Viviana Villacorta, 46), 2-Ashley Sánchez (7-Taryn Torres, 75), 3-Sophia Smith (capt.) (20-Civana Kuhlmann, 65), 11-Abigail Kim
Subs not used: 1-Laurel Ivory; 6-Zoe Morse, 8-Brianna Pinto, 13-Tara McKeown, 16-Kelsey Turnbow, 19-Tierna Davidson
Head coach: Jitka Klimkova

MEX: 1-Emily Alvarado; 5-Jimena López (15-Samara Alcalá, 63), 13-Mia Villegas, 3-Miriam García, 2-Ashley Soto; 20-Montserrat Hernández (11-Jacqueline Ovalle, 71), 6-Andrea Hernández, 14-Natalia Villarreal (7-Dayana Cazares, 77), 17-Belén Cruz; 10-Katty Martínez, 18-Norma Palafox
Subs not used: 4-Kim Rodríguez, 8-Alexia Delgado, 9-Daniela Espinosa, 12-Miriam Aguirre, 16-Maricarmen Reyes, 19-Gabriela Juárez
Head coach: Christopher Cuellar

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 16 / 4
Shots on Goal: 4 / 1
Saves: 0 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
Fouls: 17 / 7
Offside: 2 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Tatiana Guzmán (NCA)
Assistant Referee 1: Princess Brown (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing (JAM)
4th Official: Carol-Anne Chenard (CAN)

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Savannah DeMelo
Read more
U-20 WNT Jan 23, 2018
US Soccer

Preview: U-20 WNT Looks to Top World Cup Qualifying Group vs. Rival Mexico | 3pm ET | UDN, YouTube

U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship – Group B
Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad & Tobago
3:00 p.m. ET (UDN, CONCACAF YouTube)
Jan. 23, 2018

FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE: By winning its first two games of the tournament, the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team clinched a berth in the semifinals of the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship, but Tuesday’s fixture against Mexico (3:00 p.m. ET) will determine first and second place in Group B. The USA earned its knockout round spot with a thrilling victory over Jamaica, as Jaelin Howell scored in the 89th minute after the Reggae Girlz drew even just a minute prior. Mexico has cruised through its first two games, shutout victories over Jamaica and Nicaragua.

Both squads are already through to the next round. An American win will clinch the group’s top spot, but a Mexican win or draw sends El Tri through in first place. Mexico currently leads the group on goal differential.

Tuesday’s match will be broadcast live on UDN and CONCACAF’s YouTube channel. Follow the U-20 WNT throughout the tournament on ussoccer.com, Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt) and Instagram (@ussoccer_ynt).

2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship
Group B Schedule - USA
Date                Match                                 Kickoff (ET)/Result     Broadcast        Venue
Jan. 19             USA vs. Nicaragua      W 2-0                          UDN                Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 21             USA vs. Jamaica         W 2-1                          CONCACAF YouTube Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 23             USA vs. Mexico           3:00 p.m.                       UDN                Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad

WATCH U-20 WNT QUALIFYING ON UDN: The USA’s match against Mexico will be broadcast live on Univision Deportes Network. In addition, one semifinal match and the tournament final will be carried on the network. All other matches will be streamed on CONCACAF’s YouTube channel.

UDN Broadcast Schedule

Date                Match                          Kickoff (ET)     Broadcast        Venue
Jan. 23           USA vs. Mexico          3:00 p.m.         UDN                Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 26           Semifinal 1 (B1 vs. 2A)          3:00 p.m.         UDN                Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 28             Final                            5:30 p.m.         UDN                Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad

USA VS. MEXICO SERIES:

●   The USA has played Mexico seven out of the eight CONCACAF U-20 tournaments, including the last seven in a row. The North American neighbors played twice in the 2010 tournament.

●   The red, white and blue won the first seven games, with the closest matches coming in 2010 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The USA won 2-1 in group play and 1-0 in the championship game on a goal from Sydney Leroux, who also scored the game-winning goal in the first fixture.

●   The teams tied 2-2 to open play at the 2016 tournament as Mallory Pugh and Emily Fox (who is age-eligible for this tournament but is recovering from ACL surgery) scored in a match that saw the USA ahead 2-0 after 22 minutes before Mexico mounted a comeback and notched the equalizer in the 65th.

●   From this year’s roster, Davidson, DeMelo and Sanchez all played in that 2015 tournament opener

●   Three of the meetings have come in the semifinal, two in the championship game and three in group play.

●   The USA earned its berths to World Cups against Mexico in semifinal matches in 2004 (6-0), 2006 (3-0) and 2012 (4-0).

●   The USA defeated Mexico for the regional title in 2010 (1-0) and 2014 (4-0).

●   Two of the meetings took place in Mexico, during qualifying tournaments in 2006 and 2008.

●   El Tricolor has qualified for seven consecutive World Cups at the U-20 age level, but has never won the CONCACAF title.

●   In 2014, Mexico opened the competition with four straight wins for the first time ever, scoring 22 goals and conceding only two over that stretch. The run set-up a showdown in the final against the USA, who had similarly dominated in compiling a perfect 4-0-0 record, scoring 25 goals and allowing none. The Americans struck three times in the last 30 minutes to earn a 4-0 victory and lift the CONCACAF trophy for a record-extending fourth time.

●   The teams met in the quarterfinal of the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Mexico had the USA on the ropes before the Americans mounted a tremendous comeback. The U.S. scored in the 80th minute through the speedy Ally Watt before getting a dramatic game-winner three minutes into second half stoppage time from Kelcie Hedge off an assist from Ashley Sanchez.

GROUP B STANDINGS AND RESULTS:

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

Mexico

2

2

0

0

6

0

+6

6

United States

2

2

0

0

4

1

+3

6

Nicaragua

2

0

2

0

0

4

-4

0

Jamaica

2

0

2

0

1

6

-5

0


Date                Match                                      Result         Venue
Jan. 19             Mexico vs. Jamaica     4-0                   Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 19         USA vs. Nicaragua      W 2-0              Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 21           Mexico vs. Nicaragua 2-0                   Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 21            USA vs. Jamaica         W 2-1              Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad

THRILLER SECURES SEMIFINALS: The USA controlled most of Sunday night’s fixture against Jamaica, but led just 1-0 at the half. 2017 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year Sophia Smith had a few dangerous chances in the opening 45, and finally found the back of the net on a rocketed free kick goal in the 42nd minute.

The Reggae Girlz fought back in the second half, and a series of aggressive attacking runs saw them draw even in the 88th on a set-piece score. Undeterred, the USA mounted a quick response. On a run towards the goal down the left side, Smith poked it to Howell in front of the net, and she slotted home the game-winner with a sliding shot in the 89th minute. The victory clinched the Americans a berth in the ever-important semifinals and extended the USA’s unbeaten streak at the tournament to 22.

SUCCESSFUL START: The USA dominated possession against Nicaragua, controlling the ball for more than 70 percent of the match and outshooting La Azul y Blanco 19-3. The American attack finally broke through in the 17th minute. Savannah DeMelo connected with Taryn Torres on a cross in front of the net and Torres hammered it home for the game’s opening score. Kuhlmann’s goal came just after halftime, when Jaelin Howell forced a turnover and slid the ball to the forward on a run towards the net. Kuhlmann slotted it into the corner for her ninth goal in 13 U-20 caps.

EL TRI TRIUMPHANT THUS FAR: Mexico is also undefeated in its first two matches, and currently leads Group B on goal differential. El Tri’s attack was in top form in its opener against Jamaica, downing the Reggae Girlz 4-0. Nicaragua put up a tough fight in Sunday’s other Group B match, but Mexico prevailed 2-0 over La Azul y Blanco.

2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship Roster (College or Club; Hometown; Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPERS (2): Laurel Ivory (Virginia; Surfside, Fla.; 6/0), Amanda McGlynn (Virginia Tech; Jacksonville, Fla.; 3/0) 
DEFENDERS (7): Tierna Davidson (Stanford; Menlo Park, Calif.; 6/0), Naomi Girma (California Thorns FC; 7/0; San Jose, Calif.), Tara McKeown (USC; Mission Viejo, Calif.; 12/0), Zoe Morse (Virginia; East Lansing, Mich.; 11/0), Kiara Pickett (Stanford; Santa Barbara, Calif.; 3/0), Isabel Rodriguez (Ohio State; Canton, Mich.; 10/0), Karina Rodriguez (UCLA; Torrance, Calif.; 4/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Samantha Coffey (Boston College; Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; 8/1), Savannah DeMelo (USC; Bellflower, Calif.; 25/4), Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 14/1), Brianna Pinto (NTH Tophat; Durham, N.C.; 10/0), Viviana Villacorta (UCLA; Lawndale, Calif.; 12/1)
FORWARDS (6): Abigail Kim (California; Vashon, Wash.; 13/3), Civana Kuhlmann (Stanford; Littleton, Colo.; 14/9), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA; Monrovia, Calif.; 22/6), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 12/9), Taryn Torres (Virginia; Frisco, Texas; 4/2), Kelsey Turnbow (Santa Clara; Nashville, Tenn.; 10/2)

MEXICO ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (2): Miriam Aguirre (Club Pachuca/MEX); Emily Alvarado (Texas Christian University/USA)
DEFENDERS (6): Samara Alcala (Club Atlas/MEX); Miriam Garcia (Club Guadalajara/MEX); Jimena Lopez (Texas A&M University/USA); Kim Rodriguez (Oklahoma State University/USA); Ashley Soto (SoCal Blues/USA); Mia Villegas (Davis Legacy/USA)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Dayana Cazares (Club America/MEX); Belen Cruz (Club Tigres/MEX); Alexia Delgado (Club America/MEX); Andrea Hernandez (Club Toluca/MEX); Montserrat Hernandez (Club America/MEX); Jacqueline Ovalle (Club Tigres/MEX); Maricarmen Reyes (West Coast FC/USA); Natalia Villarreal (Club Tigres/MEX)
FORWARDS (4): Norma Duarte (Club Guadalajara/MEX); Daniela Espinosa (Club America/MEX); Gabriela Juarez (Slammers FC/USA); Katty Martinez (Club Tigres/MEX)

RUN-UP TO T&T: The timing of the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship at the start of the year after the college season made the player selection process less difficult. Sixteen of the 20 players on the roster are currently in college. The four outliers – defender Naomi Girma (California Thorns FC), midfielder Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado), midfielder Brianna Pinto (NTH Tophat) and forward Sophia Smith (Real Colorado) – are all high school seniors who are among the most experienced players on the roster. Howell, Pinto and Smith all saw training time with the senior WNT in 2017, but none earned a cap. All four youth club players are currently competing in the inaugural season of the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy.

Players born on or after January 1, 1998 are eligible for the 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup, and head coach Jitka Klimkova named players from three birth years: six born in 1998, 11 born in 1999 and three born in 2000. The 17-year-old Smith, recently named 2017 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year, is the youngest player on the squad. Klimkova was able to evaluate 40 players in international game action last year, and evaluate many more during college matches last fall. The U-20s have gone through an excellent preparation schedule that saw the team go 6-4-2 in international matches. The losses came to youth women’s powers Japan, Germany and Brazil, while the USA also defeated similarly strong squads from England, Germany, Norway and France.

TOURNAMENT FORMAT: This year marks the ninth edition of the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship. The tournament began in 1999 as the CONCACAF Women’s U-19 Championship. The field features eight nations divided into two groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group will qualify for the semifinals. The winners of those games, as well as the winner of the third-place match, will earn berths to the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in France. 

GROUP A STANDINGS AND RESULTS:

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

Canada

2

2

0

0

7

2

+5

6

Haiti

2

2

0

0

6

4

+2

6

T & T

2

0

2

0

3

6

-3

0

Costa Rica

2

0

2

0

3

7

-4

0


Date                Match                                           Result             Venue
Jan. 18             Costa Rica vs. Canada             1-3                   Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 18             T&T vs. Haiti                           2-3                   Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 20             Haiti vs. Costa Rica                 3-2                   Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 20             Canada vs. T&T                       4-1                   Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad


MORE ON THE U.S. U-20 WNT:

 

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U-20 WNT Jan 22, 2018

U-20 WNT's DeMelo Aims for World Cup Return

When the ball hit the back of the net, a weight came off the shoulders of Savannah DeMelo. The first collegiate goal for the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team midfielder was a long time in the making, one important checkpoint on a long road to recovery.

“It gave me a lot of confidence and set the tone for the rest of the season,” DeMelo said. “The cross was coming in and I was like, ‘You’ve done this a million times, just place it in the corner.’ I remember the ball going into the back of the net. I just hugged my closest teammate, we jumped around in the air and it was an awesome feeling.”

The score secured a 2-0 victory for USC over Missouri in DeMelo’s second game as a Trojan. It sparked a run of four goals in six games. It came perhaps a year after it could have, but that delay took place because of DeMelo’s status as one of the top youth players in the country. She deferred her USC admission in order to play in the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea. But after a stellar showing at CONCACAF qualifying for the tournament, a knee injury suffered two months before the World Cup impacted her ability to perform at her highest level.

Without as much playing time in Papua New Guinea, DeMelo focused on positively impacting the team as a great teammate. She made the most of her on-field minutes, but also valued her time on the sideline in support of the squad.

The experience also left her with a desire for more. That first collegiate goal served as a rung on the climb back to U-20 success. After a full season at USC to recapture her swagger, she’s hungrier than ever with a World Cup berth on the line at the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship in Trinidad.

“After that 2016 World Cup, I lost a lot of confidence,” DeMelo said. “I had had everything planned out. I was so excited to get as much playing time as I did in qualifiers. But I realized my role was going to change once I got to the World Cup. You accept your role and help as much as you can on the team. Now, I’ve brought confidence from college back to here.”

At the 2015 Women’s U-20 CONCACAF Championship in Honduras, DeMelo started all five of the USA’s matches en route to the tournament title and Best XI honors. She catalyzed the red, white and blue’s midfield as they punched their World Cup ticket and she stood primed to be a key midfield contributor in at the World Cup.

Those plans changed two months before the tournament. During a routine workout between National Team camps, DeMelo misstepped on a cut and suffered an untimely knee injury. It didn’t require surgery, but it would severely impact DeMelo’s fitness.

“I was out, two months prior to the World Cup. I knew that I wasn’t going to be in as good of shape as I wanted to be. But I would never change the experience I had in Papua New Guinea,” DeMelo said. “It’s rare that you get to go to a World Cup. I think I grew as a person and as a teammate – by not being the starter, I learned how important it is to be the one who gets everyone going, to be the voice on the bench.”

A tough spell ensued for DeMelo after the World Cup in November. As she worked to fully recover from her injury, she didn’t appear in a National Team camp until the following April, which brought her to the first camp under new U-20 WNT head coach Jitka Klimkova, appointed to the position a few weeks earlier. DeMelo struggled with rust and a new coaching philosophy. Those early difficulties made her 2017 rise all the more impressive.

“Her first camps back were challenging for her, but it’s unbelievable where she is now,” Klimkova said. “She’s back and she’s one of our key players. I’m sure her first goal now is to qualify and her second goal is to be a starter and a leader in the World Cup.”

DeMelo’s first season at USC expedited her growth. Eager to make her mark in Los Angeles, especially after the Trojans took home the NCAA title during her deferred season, DeMelo was dynamic as USC’s #10. Back at full strength, the season served to rekindle her confidence.

“She’s the player that I’ve seen the most growth from, starting in April 2017 when she came back to our camp for the first time, to where she is now in January,” Klimkova said. “That’s a big credit to her college environment. She had an amazing college season and her confidence just went up. Where she is at this point, I’m very pleased. She is really helping this team to succeed.”

While Baylor dealt the Trojans a devastating early exit from the NCAA Tournament – a penalty kick shootout defeat in the second round – their elimination opened another door for DeMelo. Klimkova scheduled a November camp to ramp up preparations for World Cup qualifying. With most U-20 mainstays still active in the collegiate post-season, the group featured many players in their first National Team appearances. An inexperienced roster called for DeMelo to be a leader.

Since that camp, it’s been “all systems go” for the U-20 WNT as they ready for World Cup qualifying. Four players on the roster have previous U-20 qualifying experience while nine others have CONCACAF experience at the U-17 level. DeMelo has risen through the ranks with some of her teammates since the U-15 level. At the culmination of her U-20 National Team career this year, DeMelo will compete alongside the players that she has grown up with.

“This year will be special with all the girls,” DeMelo said. “It’s nice to have each other’s backs. We’ve all seen how far we’ve come and how much we’ve sacrificed. It’s great to all come together as a group and go win something.”

Papua New Guinea provided DeMelo an education in being a great teammate. Now, she couldn’t be more excited to take on another World Cup with some of her best friends. As a more mature player on and off-the-field, DeMelo is flying high on the precipice of qualifying. She’s more driven than ever to make her mark in Trinidad and earn another shot at the World Cup.

“Every choice that I made helped to get me where I am now,” DeMelo said. “Now, I know what to expect going into qualifiers and a World Cup. Especially, mentally, how to focus if you aren’t the star or aren’t playing a lot of minutes. We’ve got to punch a ticket to the World Cup and this team has what it takes.”

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U-20 WNT Jan 18, 2018

Tournament Preview: USA Ready for Stern Test at 2018 CONCACAF U-20 Women"s Championship

U.S. U-20 WNT OPENS WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team kicks off the 2018 CONCACF Women’s U-20 Championship on Friday, Jan. 19 against Nicaragua (5:30 p.m. ET; UDN). The match marks the USA’s first step towards qualification for the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, to be held this summer in France. The U-20s continue Group B play on Sunday, Jan. 21 when they take on Jamaica (6:30 p.m. ET) and will close out the first round on Tuesday, Jan. 23 against Mexico (3:00 p.m. ET; UDN). All of the tournament’s matches will be played at Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Trinidad, about 20 miles south of Port of Spain. Follow the U-20 WNT throughout the tournament on ussoccer.com, Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt) and Instagram (@ussoccer_ynt).

Group B Schedule - USA

Date     Match                     Kickoff (ET) Broadcast          Venue
Jan. 19 USA vs. Nicaragua 5:30 p.m.      UDN                     Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 21 USA vs. Jamaica    6:30 p.m.      CONCACAF.com Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 23 USA vs. Mexico      3 p.m.           UDN                     Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad

WATCH U-20 WNT QUALIFYING ON UDN: The USA’s first and third group matches will be broadcast live on Univision Deportes Network. In addition, one semifinal match and the tournament final will be carried on the network. All other matches will be streamed on CONCACAF.com.

Date      Match                            Kickoff (ET) Broadcast Venue
Jan. 18  Costa Rica vs. Canada 3:00 p.m.       UDN           Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 19  USA vs. Nicaragua      5:30 p.m.      UDN           Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 20  Haiti vs. Costa Rica       5:30 p.m.       UDN           Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 21  Nicaragua vs. Mexico    4:00 p.m.      UDN            Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 22  T&T vs. Costa Rica       5:30 p.m.       UDN           Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 23  USA vs. Mexico           3:00 p.m.      UDN           Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 26  Semifinal 1 (B1 vs. 2A) 3:00 p.m.       UDN           Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad
Jan. 28  Final                              5:30 p.m.       UDN           Ato Boldon Stadium; Couva, Trinidad

RUN-UP TO T&T: The timing of the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship at the start of the year after the college season made the player selection process less difficult. Sixteen of the 20 players on the roster are currently in college. The four outliers – defender Naomi Girma (California Thorns FC), midfielder Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado), midfielder Brianna Pinto (NTH Tophat) and forward Sophia Smith (Real Colorado) – are all high school seniors who are among the most experienced players on the roster. Howell, Pinto and Smith all saw training time with the senior WNT in 2017, but none earned a cap. All four youth club players are currently competing in the inaugural season of the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy. 

Players born on or after January 1, 1998 are eligible for the 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup, and head coach Jitka Klimkova named players from three birth years: six born in 1998, 11 born in 1999 and three born in 2000. The 17-year-old Smith, recently named 2017 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year, is the youngest player on the squad. Klimkova was able to evaluate 40 players in international game action last year, and evaluate many more during college matches last fall. The U-20s have gone through an excellent preparation schedule that saw the team go 6-4-2 in international matches. The losses came to youth women’s powers Japan, Germany and Brazil, while the USA also defeated similarly strong squads from England, Germany, Norway and France.

TOURNAMENT FORMAT: This year marks the ninth edition of the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship. The tournament began in 1999 as the CONCACAF Women’s U-19 Championship. The field features eight nations divided into two groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group will qualify for the semifinals. The winners of those games, as well as the winner of the third-place match, will earn berths to the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in France. Group A is composed of host T&T, Canada, Costa Rica and Haiti. They'll kick off the tournament on Thurs., Jan. 18 as Canada faces Costa Rica and T&T meets Haiti.

SUCCESS IN U-20 QUALIFYING: The USA is 34-2-2 all-time in this tournament. After racking up some high scores in the early days of the competition, the U.S. has scored 249 goals, while allowing just 14. In the 2016 qualifying tournament, staged in Honduras, the USA tied Mexico 2-2 in its first game, but then won its final four games while allowing just one goal (a 6-1 win vs. Panama in group play), putting together a 22-3 goal difference. The USA has qualified for all eight FIFA U-19/U-20 Women’s World Cups that have been contested, winning three of them: 2002, 2008 and 2012.

GOING FOR SIX: CONCACAF has held eight tournaments for U-19/U-20 women and the USA has won five of them, including the past four. The first tournament, in 2002, did not produce a champion as the two groups in Trinidad & Tobago competed on separate islands (one on Trinidad and one on Tobago). The group winners advanced to the first FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup, without semifinals or a final being played. The USA then won four of the next six tournaments, losing the final to Canada in 2004 and 2008. The USA has advanced to the final of the past seven tournaments, facing Canada five times and Mexico twice.

U-20 HISTORY LESSON: The USA’s trip to Trinidad & Tobago carries a shade of history. The first-ever World Cup qualifying tournament for this age group was held on the two islands. The U.S. team at that tournament featured a number of future senior WNT players and several future stars – including Heather O’Reilly and Lindsay Tarpley -- and the red, white and blue would go on to win the first-ever FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup.

U-20 WNT A SPRINGBOARD TO FULL WNT: Many of the players who have scored for the USA in this tournament have gone on to become familiar WNT call-ups. Lindsay Tarpley, Heather O’Reilly, Leslie Osborne, Megan Rapinoe, Yael Averbuch, Rachel Buehler (now Van Hollebeke), Amy Rodriguez, Allie Long, Lauren Cheney (now Holiday), Kelley O’Hara, Alex Morgan, Meghan Klingenberg, Sydney Leroux, Kristie Mewis, Lindsey Horan, Julie Johnston, Morgan Brian, Mallory Pugh and Andi Sullivan have all scored in this competition and gone on to earn caps with the full WNT. Current WNT players Crystal Dunn and Samantha Mewis also represented the USA through two U-20 cycles. Thirteen of the players listed above have played for the USA in a Women’s World Cup at the senior level. 

BOOKED TO FRANCE: More than half of the field for the 16-team 2018 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup is set. Joining host France from Europe will be England, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. China PR, Korea DPR (North Korea) and Japan have qualified from Asia while New Zealand has qualified out of Oceania. Along with the three CONCACAF berths, there are still two berths from Africa and two from South America up for grabs. France will host the tournament in four stadiums in the Brittany region.

2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship Roster (College or Club; Hometown; Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPERS (2): Laurel Ivory (Virginia; Surfside, Fla.; 5/0), Amanda McGlynn (Virginia Tech; Jacksonville, Fla.; 2/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Tierna Davidson (Stanford; Menlo Park, Calif.; 6/0), Naomi Girma (California Thorns FC; 6/0; San Jose, Calif.), Tara McKeown (USC; Newbury Park, Calif.; 11/0), Zoe Morse (Virginia; East Lansing, Mich.; 9/0), Kiara Pickett (Stanford; Santa Barbara, Calif.; 2/0), Isabel Rodriguez (Ohio State; Canton, Mich.; 8/0), Karina Rodriguez (UCLA; Torrance, Calif.; 3/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Samantha Coffey (Boston College; Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; 7/1), Savannah DeMelo (USC; Bellflower, Calif.; 23/4), Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 12/0), Brianna Pinto (NTH Tophat; Durham, N.C.; 9/0), Viviana Villacorta (UCLA; Lawndale, Calif.; 10/1)
FORWARDS (6): Abigail Kim (California; Vashon, Wash.; 11/3), Civana Kuhlmann (Stanford; Littleton, Colo.; 12/8), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA; Monrovia, Calif.; 20/6), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 11/8), Taryn Torres (Virginia; Frisco, Texas; 3/1), Kelsey Turnbow (Santa Clara; Nashville, Tenn.; 8/2)

U.S. ROSTER NOTES:

  • Klimkova named three players who were not a part of the roster for last month’s 2017 Nike Women’s International Friendlies: defenders Tierna Davidson and Kiara Pickett of Stanford as well as forward Ashley Sanchez of UCLA. At the time of the Friendlies, the trio was coming off of playing in the NCAA College Cup Final.
  • Thirteen players on the roster have previous CONCACAF World Cup qualifying experience and 11 have played for the USA in a FIFA Women’s World Cup at the youth level.
  • This will be the first CONCACAF qualifying tournament for Klimkova. While she took over as head coach in April 2017, she is no stranger to Youth World Cups nor World Cup qualifying. Klimkova came to U.S. Soccer from the New Zealand Football Federation, where she served as head coach of the New Zealand U-17 Women’s National Team and as an assistant coach for the Ferns U-20 Women’s National Team through 2013 and 2014. She was also an assistant coach for the senior New Zealand Women’s National Team in 2014 and worked as the USA’s head scout at the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.
  • Defenders Tierna Davidson and Kiara Pickett, midfielder Savannah DeMelo and forward Ashley Sanchez were all members of the U.S. team that won the 2015 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship to qualify for the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea. Davidson, DeMelo and Sanchez all earned Best XI honors at the World Cup qualifying tournament.
  • Davidson played in all five games of the 2015 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship, starting four and picking up one goal and one assist. DeMelo started all five games, finishing with one goal and three assists. Pickett played in only the first match before suffering an injury that kept her out for the rest of the tournament. Sanchez, one of the youngest players on the squad, scored three goals and five assists, including the game-winner in the championship match for a 1-0 victory against Canada.
  • Davidson will fly directly to Trinidad & Tobago after training with the senior WNT at its annual January Camp in Los Angeles.
  • DeMelo and Sanchez went on to play in the Papua New Guinea World. DeMelo played in three matches while Sanchez started all six, notching one goal (against New Zealand) and two assists.
  • Sanchez also played in the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan, where she captained the team and scored three goals.
  • Her goal against New Zealand at the U-20 Women’s World Cup made her the only player in U.S. history to score in the U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cup in the same cycle.
  • The two goalkeepers on the roster – Laurel Ivory of Virginia and Amanda McGlynn of Virginia Tech – were both full-time starters during their college seasons, Ivory as a freshman and McGlynn as a sophomore.
  • Of the 16 college players on the roster, 12 completed their freshman seasons last fall while four –Davidson, forward Abigail Kim, McGlynn and defender Zoe Morse -- were sophomores.
  • The youth club players – defender Naomi Girma (California Thorns FC), midfielder Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado), midfielder Brianna Pinto (NTH Tophat) and forward Sophia Smith (Real Colorado) – are all high school seniors. The quartet all currently play in the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy, now in its inaugural season.
  • Eleven players on the roster participated in the 2016 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship. The Americans took home the title, outscoring their opponents 18-2 and defeating Mexico 2-1 in the championship game on goals from Sanchez and Civana Kuhlmann.
  • Those eleven players are: Ivory, Girma, Pickett, defender Isabel Rodriguez, defender Karina Rodriguez, Howell, Pinto, Kuhlmann, Sanchez, Smith and forward Taryn Torres.
  • Sanchez scored five goals in the U-17 qualifying tournament and Kuhlmann put four in the net.
  • Ten of the 11 players who played in U-17 WWC qualifying ( minus Taryn Torres ) went on to play in the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
  • Kuhlmann scored a hat trick against Paraguay in the opening game of the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
  • It was the first hat trick by a U.S. player in a FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, but the fourth by a U.S. player in a youth Women’s World Cup. Sydney Leroux scored three times against Switzerland at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany; Maya Hayes notched a hat trick against Ghana at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan; and Kelly Wilson scored three goals against Denmark at the 2002 U-19 Women’s World Championship in Canada.
  • Morse and Kuhlmann were members of the U.S. U-17 team that fell in penalty kicks to Mexico in the semifinals of the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship. The USA failed to qualify despite outscoring its opponents 26-1 in the tournament.
  • Every player on the roster has been capped at the U-20 level, led by DeMelo (23) and Sanchez (20).
  • Forwards Smith and Kuhlmann have the most international goals on the roster with eight each, followed by Sanchez (six). Six other players have scored in U-20 international matches.
  • The three players born in 2000 – Girma, Pinto and Smith -- are age-eligible for the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
  • The 20 players on the roster come from 15 different youth clubs in nine different states. There are eight players from California – two from Northern and six from Southern – as well as three players from Colorado, two from Michigan and two from Florida.
  • Players from 10 colleges are represented on the roster, including three players each from NCAA Champion Stanford and NCAA runner-up UCLA. Three players come from the University of Virginia and two from USC.

USA VS. NICARAGUA SERIES:

  • The two countries have never met at the U-20 level and Friday’s match will mark the first meeting between the USA and Nicaragua in women’s soccer at any level.

NICARAGUA ROSTER (CLUB)
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Beykel Mendez (Unattached); Alicia Norori (Leyendas Futbol Club /NCA); Yahara Salmeron (Diriangen FC/NCA) 
DEFENDERS (4): Gloria Bermudez (Leyendas Futbol Club /NCA); Sheyla Flores (Aguilas de Leon /NCA); Diana Ortega (Diriangen FC/NCA); Kesly Pérez (Leyendas Futbol Club/NCA)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Alis Cruz (UNAN Managua /NCA); Jaclyn Gilday Baquero (Unattached); Ariadna Meza (Aguilas de Leon /NCA); Natalie Orellana (Unattached); Katherine Pereira (Leyendas Futbol Club/NCA); Edy Pérez (Leyendas Futbol Club /NCA)
FORWARDS (7): Yessenia Flores (Diriangen FC/NCA); Alma Gutierrez (Real Esteli/NCA); Yorcelly Humphreys (Leyendas Futbol Club /NCA); Lisbeth Moreno (Somotillo F.C/NCA); Hormyne Paiz (UNAN Managua/NCA); Shanelly Treminio (Real Esteli/NCA); Elizabeth Vega (Unattached)

USA VS. JAMAICA SERIES:

  • The USA has played Jamaica three times in the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship, all in group play.
  • The USA has won all three games by a 13-1 margin.
  • In both 2006 (4-1 as Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Cheney had goals) and 2010 (6-0 as Christine Nairn and Sydney Leroux scored twice each), the USA opened the tournament against Jamaica.
  • Their most recent meeting came at the 2014 tournament, as the teams squared off in the second group match. The USA’s goals came from current NWSL players Savannah Jordan (Houston Dash) and McKenzie Meehan (Sky Blue FC), and current U.S. WNT midfielder Andi Sullivan.
  • Jamaica’s head coach is Lorne Donaldson, club coach for U.S. players Sophia Smith and Jaelin Howell at Real Colorado.

JAMAICA ROSTER (CLUB)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Yazmeen Jamieson (Ontario University/CAN); Sydney Schneider (Match Fit Academy/USA)
DEFENDERS (7): Nevillegail Able (Waterhouse FC/JAM); Emily Caza (Seton Hall University/USA); Chyanne Dennis (University of South Florida/USA); Madiya Harriot (Vanderbilt University/USA); Jadyn Matthews (Orlando City Soccer Club/USA); Erin Mikalsen (East Carolina University/USA); Jayda Pelaia-Hylton (East Carolina University/USA)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Ebony Clarke (Richmond Girls Soccer/CAN); Gabrielle Gayle (Unattached); Alyssa Julien (Eastern Kentucky University/USA); Giselle Washington (Concorde Fire/USA)
FORWARDS (7): Olufolasade Adamolekun (United Soccer Alliance/USA); Jody Brown (St. Ann Women's FC/JAM); Marlee Fray (Sunrise Soccer Club/USA); Jazmin Grant (University of Houston/USA); Mireya Grey (University of Washington/USA); Kevena Reid (GC Foster College/JAM); Shayla Smart (Montverde Academy/USA)

USA VS. MEXICO SERIES:

  • The USA has played Mexico seven out of the eight CONCACAF U-20 tournaments, including the last seven in a row. The North American neighbors played twice in the 2010 tournament.
  • The red, white and blue won the first seven games, with the closest matches coming in 2010 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The USA won 2-1 in group play and 1-0 in the championship game on a goal from Sydney Leroux, who also scored the game-winning goal in the first fixture.
  • The teams tied 2-2 to open play at the 2016 tournament as Mallory Pugh and Emily Fox (who is age-eligible for this tournament but is recovering from ACL surgery) scored in a match that saw the USA ahead 2-0 after 22 minutes before Mexico mounted a comeback and notched the equalizer in the 65th.
  • From this year’s roster, Davidson, DeMelo and Sanchez all played in that 2015 tournament opener
  • Three of the meetings have come in the semifinal, two in the championship game and three in group play.
  • The USA earned its berths to World Cups against Mexico in semifinal matches in 2004 (6-0), 2006 (3-0) and 2012 (4-0).
  • The USA defeated Mexico for the regional title in 2010 (1-0) and 2014 (4-0).
  • Two of the meetings took place in Mexico, during qualifying tournaments in 2006 and 2008.
  • El Tricolor has qualified for seven consecutive World Cups at the U-20 age level, but has never won the CONCACAF title.
  • In 2014, Mexico opened the competition with four straight wins for the first time ever, scoring 22 goals and conceding only two over that stretch. The run set-up a showdown in the final against the USA, who had similarly dominated in compiling a perfect 4-0-0 record, scoring 25 goals and allowing none. The Americans struck three times in the last 30 minutes to earn a 4-0 victory and lift the CONCACAF trophy for a record-extending fourth time.
  • The teams met in the quarterfinal of the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Mexico had the USA on the ropes before the Americans mounted a tremendous comeback. The U.S. scored in the 80th minute through the speedy Ally Watt before getting a dramatic game-winner three minutes into second half stoppage time from Kelcie Hedge off an assist from Ashley Sanchez.

MEXICO ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (2): Miriam Aguirre (Club Pachuca/MEX); Emily Alvarado (Texas Christian University/USA)
DEFENDERS (6): Samara Alcala(Club Atlas/MEX); Miriam Garcia (Club Guadalajara/MEX); Jimena Lopez (Texas A&M University/USA); Kim Rodriguez (Oklahoma State University/USA); Ashley Soto (SoCal Blues/USA); Mia Villegas (Davis Legacy/USA)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Dayana Cazares (Club America/MEX); Belen Cruz (Club Tigres/MEX); Alexia Delgado (Club America/MEX); Andrea Hernandez (Club Toluca/MEX); Montserrat Hernandez (Club America/MEX); Jacqueline Ovalle (Club Tigres/MEX); Maricarmen Reyes (West Coast FC/USA); Natalia Villarreal (Club Tigres/MEX)
FORWARDS (4): Norma Duarte (Club Guadalajara/MEX); Daniela Espinosa (Club America/MEX); Gabriela Juarez (Slammers FC/USA); Katty Martinez (Club Tigres/MEX)

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

  • Nicaragua qualified by taking second in Group A at the Central American Zone qualifying tournament for the 2018 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship. In the three-team group, Nicaragua defeated Belize 5-1 but lost to Costa Rica, 1-0. The performance was good enough for a semifinal berth, where La Azul y Blanco downed El Salvador, 2-1 to qualify for the final tournament.
  • Alys Cruz, Sheryl Flores, Yessenia Flores, Elizabeth Vega and Shanelly Treminio scored for Nicaragua against Belize.
  • Y. Flores and Cruz netted against El Salvador, with the added extra time game-winner coming from Cruz in the 111th minute to send Nicaragua to T&T.
  • Jamaica qualified by winning the Caribbean Zone qualifying tournament. The Reggae Girlz won their four-team group, advancing to the final round where they defeated the Dominican Republic and Haiti by 1-0 scores before downing St. Kitts and Nevis 9-0.
  • Alufoloshade Adomoluken scored against the Dominican Republic and Nevillegail Able got the game-winner against Haiti.
  • Shayla Smart (2), Jody Brown (2), Marlee Fray (3), Jadyn Matthews and Alufoloshade Adomoluken, off a penalty kick, were the goal scorers vs. St. Kitts and Nevis.
  • Like the USA, Mexico was granted an automatic berth into the final qualifying tournament.

BY THE NUMBERS:

3 Birth years represented on the U.S. roster: 1998 (six players), 1999 (11 players) and 2000 (three players)
4 Non-collegiate players: Naomi Girma, Jaelin Howell, Brianna Pinto and Sophia Smith, all currently playing in the inaugural season of the Girls’ Development Academy
5 Players have trained with the senior WNT: Tierna Davidson, Jaelin Howell, Brianna Pinto, Ashley Sanchez and Sophia Smith
5 CONCACAF U-19/U-20 tournaments, out of seven, in which the USA has won all its games
8 Players from the California on this year’s qualifying roster
13 Players competing in club/college soccer in California
10 Colleges represented on the roster, featuring players from the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and WCC
13 Players have previously participated in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying at the youth level
12 Different countries the USA has faced in CONCACAF U-19/U-20 women’s qualifying, it will be 13 after Friday’s fixture against Nicaragua
20 Match unbeaten streak for the USA in the CONCACAF U-20 qualifying tournament
18 Games out of 38 in which the USA has scored five or more goals in CONCACAF U-19/U-20 qualifying
23 U-20 caps for Savannah DeMelo, the most on the team
34 All-time matches won in the CONCACAF U-19/U-20 championship by the USA
38 Players who played in a game for the U.S. U-20 WNT in 2015
790 Minutes played by Sophia Smith this year in international competition, the most on the team

MORE ON THE U.S. U-20 WNT:

HEAD COACH JITKA KLIMKOVA: Jitka Klimkova was named head coach for the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team in April 2017. In the full-time position, she is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the U-20 WNT program as she prepares to the team for CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

  • Klimkova joined U.S. Soccer in January 2015 as Development Coach for U.S. Women’s Youth National Teams in one of three newly created positions. In that role, she worked mostly as head coach of the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team, giving her an excellent base of knowledge and experience to move to her current position. She also served as the USA’s head scout at the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.
  • Klimkova has more than 20 years of coaching and playing experience at the international, professional and youth club levels in New Zealand, Australia, the USA and her native Czech Republic.
  • Before her arrival at U.S. Soccer, Klimkova was a part of the New Zealand Football Federation, serving as head coach of the New Zealand U-17 Women’s National Team and an assistant coach for the Ferns U-20 Women’s National Team over 2013 and 2014. She also worked as an assistant coach for the senior New Zealand Women’s National Team in 2014.
  • At the professional level, Klimkova coached Canberra United FC in the Australia W-League from 2011-2013, winning the league title in 2012 and earning Coach of the Year honors. Prior to coaching in Australia, she was club director and head coach for FC Slovácko Uherske in the Czech Republic First Division. She also worked extensively with the Czech Republic Football Federation, serving as the head coach for the U-19 Women’s National Team from 2009-2011 and the U-17 Women’s National Team from 2006-2009.
  • Klimkova started her coaching career as an assistant with DFC Comlex Otrokovice in the Czech Republic First Division from 2003-2005 before becoming head coach for the 1.FC Slovacko women’s team from 2006-2011. She also managed the club’s youth girls’ teams during that time.
  • As a midfielder, she represented the Czech Republic from 1999-2003 while playing club soccer for DFC Compex Otrokovic from 1995-2003 and Slávia Holíč from 1991-1995.
  • Klimkova also has a background in coaching education, teaching UEFA license courses at various levels in the Czech Republic. Klimkova, who resides in Southern California, earned her Bachelor of Science in Coaching & Sport Management at the University of Olomouc in 2009. She holds a UEFA Professional Coaching License and speaks Czech, German and Russian.
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U-20 WNT Jan 18, 2018
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