USA battles Japan in must-win Group D finale at FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup
U.S. U-20 WYNT vs. JAPAN – Group D
2022 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup
Aug. 17 | Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto; Alajuela, Costa Rica
USA FACES JAPAN IN GROUP D FINALE NEEDING A WIN TO ADVANCE IN 2022 FIFA U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP:
After a convincing 3-0 win over Ghana to open the 2022 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup and a gut-wrenching 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in its second match, the U.S. Under-20 Women’s Youth National Team faces a must-win scenario in its final group stage match against Japan on Wednesday, Aug. 17 at Estadio Morera Soto (7 p.m. ET; FS2).
The simplest scenario for the USA to advance to the quarterfinals would be a victory over Japan by at least two goals. Japan leads Group D with six points and plus-3 goal difference. The USA and the Netherlands are tied on points with three each, but the Dutch have a plus-2 goal difference to the USA’s zero. If the USA can win by two goals over Japan, it would give both teams six points, but the Americans would have a plus-2 goal difference – with goal difference being the first tiebreaker — and Japan would be at plus-1, putting the USA ahead of the Japanese no matter the result of the Ghana-Netherlands match, which will be contested at the same time at Estadio Nacional. If Ghana and Netherlands draw, the USA can advance with any victory over Japan.
GROUP D STANDINGS
WATCH FIFA U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ON FOX:
All the matches of the tournament are being broadcast on either Fox Soccer Plus, FS1 or FS2 and are available online at Foxsports.com and the Fox Sports App with corresponding authentication. All the knockout stage matches will be shown on either FS1 (five matches, including both semifinals and the championship game) or FS2 (three matches). Additionally, all 32 games are being streamed live on FIFA+ in territories that do not have TV rights holders for the tournament.
2022 FIFA U.S. U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION (COLLEGE OR CLUB; HOMETOWN; U-20 CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Mia Justus (Florida State; Lakewood, Ohio; 7), Neeku Purcell (UCLA; Seattle, Wash.; 6), Teagan Wy (California; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.; 2)
DEFENDERS (6): Lauren Flynn (Florida State; Arlington, Va.; 9/0), Samar Guidry (Virginia; McKinney, Texas; 11/0) Emily Mason (Rutgers; Flemington, N.J.; 16/3), Ayo Oke (California; Lawrenceville, Ga.; 10/0), Lilly Reale (UCLA; Hingham, Mass.; 7/1), Laney Rouse (Virginia; Cary, N.C.; 8/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Korbin Albert (Notre Dame; Grayslake, Ill.; 5/1), Talia DellaPeruta (UNC; Cumming, Ga.; 20/5), Annie Karich (Santa Clara; Surfside, Calif.; 1/0), Carina Lageyre (Duke; Cooper City, Fla.; 5/0), Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC; Wilsonville, Ore.; 8/2)
FORWARDS (7): Trinity Byars (Texas; Richardson, Texas; 10/3); Michelle Cooper (Duke; Clarkston, Mich.; 8/9); Simone Jackson (USC; Redondo Beach, Calif.; 9/7), Andrea Kitahata (Stanford; Hillsborough, Calif.; 7/7), Ally Sentnor (UNC; Hanson, Mass.; 3/1), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC; Frisco, Texas; 5/3), Alyssa Thompson (Total Futbol Academy; Studio City, Calif.; 5/4)
FIRST GAME SUMMARY:
The USA’s convincing 3-0 win over Ghana marked the USA’s fifth win in an opening match of a FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. The USA had failed to win its opening match in its last three U-20 Women’s World Cup appearances with two losses and draw. The only other time the USA failed to win its opening match of a U-20 World Cup was a 1-1 draw with Ghana in 2010. This time around, the USA out-shot Ghana 21-5 and did not allow a shot on goal. The USA scored at opportune times, getting an 11th minute goal from team captain Michelle Cooper, a 38th minute score from Alyssa Thompson after Ghana’s Jacqueline Owusu had received a red card for stomping on the Achilles tendon of midfielder Korbin Albert, and then again just six minutes into the second half via Ally Sentnor to effectively put the game away. The USA will rue not finding the net a few more times after playing with a player advantage for almost an hour. Ghana went hard into every tackle and received four yellow cards in addition to the red.
SECOND GAME SUMMARY:
Despite a solid attacking performance – the USA out-shot the Netherlands 14-11 and had seven corner kicks to three for the Dutch – the USA was not sharp on either end of the field and fell 3-0 in the second Group D match for both teams. Netherlands on the other hand, was much more efficient, putting seven of its 11 shots on goal and scored off a corner kick, a great strike from distance and a penalty kick to give itself a leg up on the USA heading into the final match-day of Group D play. The Dutch also created some goal mouth scrambles in front of the U.S net via their talented wingers. U.S. head coach Tracey Kevins made six changes to the lineup that faced Ghana, and then put on three subs at half and two more in the 67th minute in search of a goal or two, but it proved to the Netherlands’ night and the USA could not find the net.
- Nineteen of the 21 players on the World Cup have seen action over the first two games of the tournament. Only midfielder Annie Karich, an injury replacement for Sally Menti, and goalkeeper Teagan Wy have yet to play.
- Two players have played all 180 minutes so far: Midfielder Jaedyn Shaw and defender Lauren Flynn. Four other players have played 135 minutes or more.
- Goalkeepers Mia Justus and Neeku Purcell have each played one match.
- The USA roster is composed of 18 players currently in college or enrolling this fall, one youth club player and two professional players, the most professionals ever for a U.S. team at a FIFA youth Women’s World Cup.
- Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2002, are age-eligible for the World Cup, and the USA roster features eight players born in 2002, eight born in 2003, four born in 2004 and one in 2005. Sixteen of the 20 players who helped the USA roll to a 7-0-0 record and 49-0 goal differential at the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship made the World Cup roster. The USA’s two professional players — Jaedyn Shaw of San Diego Wave FC and Olivia Moultrie of Portland Thorns FC – are trailblazers.
- Shaw entered the NWSL via the Discovery Process and signed her first professional contract with the Wave on July 18 after training for six months with the Washington Spirit. Moultrie signed with the Thorns in June of 2021 to become the youngest player ever to join the National Women’s Soccer League.
- The incoming college freshman on the roster are goalkeeper Neeku Purcell (UCLA), midfielder Carina Lageyre (Duke), Annie Karich (Santa Clara) and goalkeeper Teagan Wy (California).
- The rising sophomores are goalkeeper Mia Justus (Florida State), defenders Ayo Oke (California), Emily Mason (Rutgers), Lilly Reale (UCLA), midfielder Korbin Albert (Notre Dame) and forwards Andrea Kitahata (Stanford), Michelle Cooper (Duke), Simone Jackson (USC), Trinity Byars (Texas) and Ally Sentnor (UNC), although Sentnor did redshirt her freshman season due to injury.
- The rising juniors are defenders Laney Rouse (Virginia), Lauren Flynn (Florida State) and Samar Guidry (Virginia) plus midfielder Talia DellaPeruta (UNC).
- Every player on the roster has been capped at the U-20 level, led by DellaPeruta (21 caps) and defender Emily Mason (17 caps), the two players on the roster who participated in the previous U-20 WYNT cycle.
- The five players born in 2004 and 2005 – forwards Thompson, Shaw and Sentnor, midfielder Moultrie and goalkeeper Wy — are age-eligible for the 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
- The USA has played the second-most games (49) in the FIFA U-19/U-20 Women’s World Cup, behind only Germany (50) and has scored the second-most goals (104), also behind Germany (130).
- Five players who did not make the World Cup qualifying roster persevered to make the World Cup Team. Those players are forward Jaedyn Shaw, midfielders Carina Lageyre and Korbin Albert, forward Ally Sentnor and goalkeeper Teagan Wy.
- The roster is made up of players from 12 different colleges and 13 different states. There are four players on the roster from California, three from Texas and two from Georgia, Washington and Massachusetts.
- UCLA, UNC, Florida State, Duke, Virginia and California each have two players on the World Cup roster. The only player on the roster who is not in college or will be this fall is forward Alyssa Thompson, who plays for the U-17 boys’ team in MLS Next at Total Futbol Academy in Los Angeles and is headed to Stanford in the fall of 2023.
USA U-20 WYNT VS. JAPAN:
- Japan won its first two games of the tournament, 1-0 over Netherlands and 2-0 over Ghana and now needs a tie against the USA or a loss by one goal (if Netherlands beats Ghana) to advance.
- Japan is defending champions of this tournament, having beaten Spain four years ago, 3-1, in the championship game.
- Yuzuki Yamamoto scored Japan’s goal vs. the Dutch from the run of play while Maika Hamano scored both of Japan’s goals vs. Ghana from the penalty spot.
- Japan is a historical powerhouse on the women’s youth level and is the only nation to win FIFA Women’s World Cups at the senior, U-20 and U-17 levels.
- This will be the third consecutive U-20 WWC tournament in which the USA and Japan will square off. The USA suffered 1-0 losses in the 2018 group stage and 2016 Third-Place Match.
- Due to the global pandemic, the Asia Football Confederation nominated teams based on results of 2019 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship which Japan won, beating North Korea in the championship game, 2-1.
- All of Japan’s players play domestically except for goalkeeper Shu Ohba, who attends East Tennessee State in the USA where she was the Southern Conference Freshman of the year in 2021.
JAPAN 2022 FIFA U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Shiori Fukuda (Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies), 18-Shu Ohba (East Tennessee State University, USA), 21-Nina Noda (NTV Tokyo Verdy Belez)
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Akane Nishino (Mynavi Sendai Ladies), 3-Ibuki Nagae (AC Nagano Parceiro Ladies), 8-Rion Ishikawa (Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies), 7-Mihoshi Sugisawa (Omiya Ardija Ventus), 12-Haruna Tabata (Cerezo Osaka Sakai Ladies), 16-Shinomi Koyama (Cerezo Osaka Sakai Ladies)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 5-Manaka Hayashi (JFA Academy Fukushima), 6-Aemu Oyama (NTV Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 8-Kokona Iwasaki (NTV Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 14-Manaka Matsukubo (JFA Academy Fukushima), 15-Suzu Amano (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 19-Riko Yoshida (Chifure AS Elfen Saitama), 20-Urara Watanabe (Nittaidai FC Ladies)
FORWARDS (5): 9-Yuzuki Yamamoto (NTV Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 10-Aoba Fujino (Tokyo Verdy Beleza), 11-Maika Hamano (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 13-Mei Shimada (Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies), 17-Maya Hijikata (NTV Tokyo Verdy Beleza)