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Global Jan 23, 2018

USA set to face Mexico in CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship

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

(Via U.S. Soccer) – 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.

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


●   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.


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)

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.


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