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Global Jan 18, 2014

U.S. U-20 WNT qualifies for 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup with 6-0 semifinal win against Trinidad & Tobago

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands  – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team simultaneously booked its place in the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship Final after claiming a 6-0 win semifinal victory against Trinidad & Tobago at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.

The USA will go for its third straight CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship title when it plays Mexico on Sunday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. ET. As finalists, both the USA and Mexico have qualified for this summer’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada. Earlier on Sunday, Costa Rica, a 3-1 loser to Mexico in the other semifinal, and Trinidad & Tobago will play for third place and the final World Cup spot out of the CONCACAF region. Both matches will be broadcast live on FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2GO. Fans can follow the U.S. U-20 WNT on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

The USA has now qualified for its seventh straight FIFA tournament at this age level. The first two were held U-19 tournaments and the next four have been U-20 events.

Against T&T, forward McKenzie Meehan put in another strong performance, scoring two goals to take her total tournament tally to six, tying her for the lead in the Golden Boot race with Mexico’s Tanya Samarzich.

Midfielder Stephanie Amack scored twice in a seven-minute span in the first half, both off assists from right back Andi Sullivan, who is the youngest player on the roster, while forwards Savannah Jordan and Mallory Weber also goals. Jordan has not scored a goal in all four matches so far.

Goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland, who wore the captain’s armband, secured her third clean sheet of the tournament with the help of a well-organized back line that included Sullivan, center-backs Cari Roccaro and Katie Naughton and left back Laura Liedle.

The USA wasted no time carving out the first scoring opportunity of the match in just the second minute when a superb passing sequence led to a stinging cross from Sullivan that was headed narrowly over the bar by Jordan. From that point, only numerous offside calls prevented the Americans from causing more damage in the first half, as its crisp possession and movement helped create consistent scoring chances.

The breakthrough came in the 13th minute when Sullivan lofted a long free kick from the left side to the back left post for Naughton, who sent a perfectly headed pass back across goal to an unmarked Meehan. The Boston College striker placed a tidy header into the back of the net and the Americans were off and running.

Jordan added the Americans’ second goal in the 27th minute with an excellent bit of skill. She collected a deftly-weighted slip from Rachel Hill at the top of the box, turned away from her defender and slotted a quick shot past on-rushing Trinidad goalkeeper Keri Myers into the lower left corner.

Strong attacking play by Sullivan from the right flank then led to Amack notching the third goal in the 33rd minute. Yet another excellent series of quick passes got Sullivan free and dribbling into the right side of the box. Her shot on goal was kick-saved, but deflected right into the path of Amack at the top of the box. She did not hesitate in first-timing a blast into the roof of the net.

Soon after, the USA won a free kick 40 yards from goal near the left wing. Sullivan lofted a cross to the back post where the 5-foot-10 Amack met the ball in stride to head home her second goal of the game and third of the tournament, giving the Americans a commanding 4-0 lead at the break. Amack now has three goals in the tournament.

The second half began in similar fashion to the first as the USA was denied a quick-fire opening goal. This time, Weber – a halftime replacement for Jordan – saw a shot from point-blank range saved by Myers after USA’s passing unlocked the Trinidad defense once again.

Meehan got her second goal in the 65th minute, also off a header. This time a sweeping move from down the right flank saw Weber whip in a cross to the back post that Summer Green headed the ball back across the goal mouth to a wide open Meehan, who nodded home a flicked header to make it 5-0.

Weber capped things off in the 86th minute, smashing home a lower cross from fellow second-half sub Margaret Purce after it took a deflection off an attempted shot by Meehan. The goal was Weber’s third of the tournament.

 

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