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Youth WNT Mar 07, 2020

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team facing Mexico for Concacaf Championship title

U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship – Final
Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
1 p.m. ET (Concacaf Go, Concacaf Facebook, Concacaf YouTube & TUDN Xtra)
March 8, 2020

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team qualified for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup with a 6-0 victory vs. Dominican Republic on Friday. Now, the USA has one more mission to accomplish: winning the regional title. The U.S. and Mexico will square off for the Confederation crown on Sunday, March 8 at 1 p.m. ET (Concacaf Go, Concacaf Facebook, Concacaf YouTube & TUDN Xtra).

The USA has dominated thus far at the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship – scoring 40 goals while not conceding in its first six games of the tournament. The U.S. team has scored more goals than any other nation at the competition and are the only team yet to allow a goal. After a difficult opening match that saw Mexico escape with a 2-1 win over Puerto Rico, El Tri cruised to the semifinals, where it took a penalty-kick shootout after a 1-1 draw in regulation to top Haiti and reach the championship match.

CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: The USA has won five of eight previous Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championships that crowned a champion, the most of any nation. It has reached the final of every tournament and has won four of the last five titles.

This year’s championship match presents a rematch of the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship Final, which saw Mexico edge the U.S. in a dramatic penalty kick shootout to win its first Concacaf title. After falling behind in the first half, current senior WNT stalwart Tierna Davidson equalized just after the break, but the USA couldn’t find a winner in regulation or extra time and fell in PKs 4-2. Three players return from the USA’s 2018 World Cup qualifying roster – defender Naomi Girma, midfielder Brianna Pinto and forward Sophia Smith. The USA previously defeated Mexico in the 2014 and 2010 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship Finals.

WORLD CUP TICKET CLINCHED: World Cup qualification hung in the balance for the USA’s semifinal rematch vs. host Dominican Republic, but the U.S. got off to a lightning start to secure its spot at Costa Rica/Panama 2020. Brianna Pinto bagged a brace in the first four minutes of play, Trinity Rodman added a goal and Pinto completed a hat trick to put the USA up 4-0 by the 21st minute. In the second half, a goal from leading scorer Mia Fishel and a second from Rodman padded the U.S. lead and clinched a ticket to the 2020 U-20 Women’s World Cup. Goalkeeper Claudia Dickey and the USA defense kept the team’s sixth straight clean sheet of the tournament.

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.; 4/0), 1-Julia Dohle (Penn State; Scarsdale, N.Y.; 8/0)

DEFENDERS (7): 14-Maycee Bell (UNC; Wichita, Kan.; 8/1), 4-Sierra Enge (Stanford; Cardiff, Calif.; 4/1), 5-Naomi Girma (Stanford; San Jose, Calif.; 30/0), 13-Shae Holmes (Washington; Highlands Ranch, Colo.; 6/1), 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.; 9/0), 18-Katelyn Duong (Minnesota; Portland, Ore.; 8/1), 10-Jenna Nighswonger (Florida State; Huntington Beach, Calif.; 9/1), 6-Brianna Pinto (UNC; Durham, N.C.; 37/13), 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.; 5/11), 16-Rebecca Jarrett (Virginia; Clifton, N.J.; 8/1), 19-Samantha Meza (Solar Soccer Club; Dallas, Texas; 12/2), 8-Trinity Rodman (SoCal Blues SC; Newport Beach, Calif.; 6/7), 11-Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns; Highlands Ranch, Colo.; 30/23).

TOURNAMENT NOTES:

  • The U.S. has kept a clean sheet in six straight matches, 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.
  • The USA is the only team to not concede in the Dominican Republic.
  • Mia Fishel’s 11 goals rank second in the tournament, teammate Brianna Pinto’s nine rank third behind Haiti’s Melchie Dumornay (14).
  • Fishel and Pinto have scored a combined 20 goals, the most of any two teammates at this tournament.
  • Eleven players have scored for the USA at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship: Mia Fishel (11), Brianna Pinto (9), Trinity Rodman (5), Summer Yates (3), Katelyn Duong, Sierra Enge, Shae Holmes, Rebecca Jarrett, Samantha Meza, Alexa Spaanstra and Kennedy Wesley.
  • Fourteen players have logged an assist for the U.S. at the tournament: Rodman (6), Spaanstra (5), Yates (4), Duong (3), Naomi Girma (3), Fishel (2), Holmes (2), Jarrett (2), Maycee Bell (1), Brianna Martinez (1), Meza (1), Jenna Nighswonger (1), Pinto (1), Wesley (1).
  • Girma and Sophia Smith picked up their 30th U-20 WNT caps vs. Dominican Republic.
  • Brianna Pinto’s 37 U-20 caps rank fifth all-time. With an appearance vs. Mexico, she will move into a three-way tie for third with Samantha Mewis and 2018 U-20 WWC teammate Savannah DeMelo.

MEXICO’S PATH TO THE FINAL: After a bumpy start, Mexico won all three of its group stage games to finish first in Group D. In its opener, El Tri needed a goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time to top Puerto Rico 2-1, but then breezed by Nicaragua 4-0 and found three late goals to put away Guyana 3-0. In the Round of 16, Mexico crushed pre-qualifying entrant Grenada 12-1 and after a scoreless first half, put away Trinidad and Tobago 4-0 in the quarterfinals.

The semifinal presented Mexico its biggest challenge yet in Haiti, a team featuring many players who had played in the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup two years ago and team that had rolled to the semifinal. Following a deadlocked first half, the Caribbean nation got on the board first in the 56th of a brilliant free kick from star Melchie Dumornay, but Mexico’s Joseline Montoya scored an equalizer on a goalkeeper error in the 68th. Things were evenly matched through the rest of the second half and extra time, sending the semifinal to penalties. The kicks from the spot saw Mexico top Haiti 4-2 as all four Mexican players converted and goalkeeper Wendy Toledo made a crucial save to clinch a spot in the U-20 Women’s World Cup and a date in the tournament final with the USA.

MEXICO ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB/COLLEGE):
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Zoe Aguirre (Eastern Kentucky/USA), 12-Wendy Toldeo (Santos Laguna)
DEFENDERS (7): 6-Laura Parra (Toluca), 15-Julieta Peralta (Pachuca), 16-Reyna Reyes (Alabama/USA), 5-Ximena Rios (America), 3-Tanna Sanchez (ITESM), 4-Nicole Soto (Arizona State/USA), 19-Karla Zempoalteca (Leon)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 18-Silvana Flores (Arsenal/ENG), 17-Yanin Madrid (Pachuca), 8-Nicole Perez (Guadalajara), 20-Maricarmen Reyes (UCLA/USA), 11-Anette Vazquez (Guadalajara)
FORWARDS (6): 7-Nayeli Diaz (St. Mary’s/USA), 10-Alison Gonzalez (Atlas), 9-Gabi Juarez (Princeton/USA), 2-Destinee Manzo (UC Irvine/USA), 13-Joseline Montoya (Guadalajara), 14-Mariel Roman (Toluca)

MEXICO NOTES:

  • The USA is 8-0-2 all-time vs. Mexico at the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship.
  • The nations have met in three finals, second-most to the USA vs. Canada, who have met in five. The U.S. and Mexico have also met in two semifinals.
  • A litany of senior WNT stars have scored against Mexico at this tournament, including Morgan Brian, Tierna Davidson, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Sydney Leroux, Kelley O’Hara and Mallory Pugh.
  • Seven players on the Mexico roster currently play at U.S. colleges, competing in the Big West, Ivy League, Ohio Valley Conference, Pac-12, SEC and West Coast Conference.
  • Midfielder Maricarmen Reyes is a teammate of USA forward Mia Fishel at UCLA, and the sister of U.S. Beach Soccer National Team player Oscar Reyes.
  • Of the 12 players based in Mexico, the most, three, come from Guadalajara.
  • Mexico’s roster features eight players born in 2000, six born in 2001 and six born in 2002.
  • Forward Gabi Juarez and Reyes return from Mexico’s 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship squad.
  • Ten players represented Mexico at the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay, where El Tri reached the tournament final.

PATH TO THE FINAL:

Date Stage Match-Up Goal Scorers
Feb. 22 Group C USA 9, Cuba 0 Fishel (4), Pinto (2), Spaanstra, Duong, Meza
Feb. 24 Group C USA 4, Dom. Rep. 0 Fishel (2), Jarrett, Pinto
Feb. 26 Group C USA 11, Honduras 0 Rodman (4), Holmes, Duong, Yates (2), O.G. (3)
Feb. 29 Round of 16 USA 6, St. Lucia 0 Fishel (2), Enge, Pinto (2), O.G.
March 4 Quarterfinal USA 4, Canada 0 Fishel (2), Pinto, Wesley
March 6 Semifinal USA 6, Dom. Rep. 0 Pinto (3), Rodman (2), Fishel
Date Stage Match-Up Goal Scorers
Feb. 23 Group D Mexico 2, Puerto Rico 1 Gonzalez (2)
Feb. 25 Group D Mexico 4, Nicaragua 0 Juarez, Gonzalez, Vazquez, Madrid
Feb. 27 Group D Mexico 3, Guyana 0 Montoya (2), Roman
March 1 Round of 16 Mexico 12, Grenada 1 Roman, Gonzalez (2), Reyes, O.G. (2), Zempoalteca, Juarez, Perez (2), Reyes, Diaz
March 4 Quarterfinal Mexico 4, Trinidad and Tobago 0 Vazquez, Juarez, Gonzalez, Manzo
March 6 Semifinal Mexico 1 (4), Haiti 1 (2) Montoya

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 became a knockout bracket to the tournament final. The two winners of the semifinal matches qualified to the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

This year’s Women’s U-20 Championship has sent just 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.