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Global Aug 03, 2018

USA to open FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup on Monday vs. Japan

(Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team opens the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup on Monday, Aug. 6 against Asian champion Japan (1:30 p.m. ET; FS2).

The event marks a significant milestone in the team’s two-year cycle as the USA has compiled a 17-5-5 international record heading into tournament. The U-20s continue Group C play on Thursday, Aug. 9 when they face Paraguay (1:30 p.m. ET; FS2), and close out the group stage on Monday, Aug. 13 against European champion Spain (7:30 a.m. ET, FS2). The USA’s first two games will be played at Stade Guy-Piriou in Concarneau, while the final game is set for Stade du Clos Gastel in Dinan-Lehon. All of the tournament’s matches will be played in four small venues across the Brittany region in northwestern France. Follow the U-20 WNT throughout the tournament on ussoccer.comFacebook, Twitter ( @ussoccer_ynt) and Instagram (@ussoccer_ynt).

GROUP C SCHEDULE – USA

DATE MATCH KICKOFF (ET) BROADCAST VENUE
Aug. 6 USA vs. Japan 1:30 p.m. FS2 Stade Guy-Piriou; Concarneau, France
Aug. 9 USA vs. Paraguay 1:30 p.m. FS2 Stade Guy-Piriou; Concarneau, France
Aug. 13 USA vs. Spain 7:30 a.m. FS2 Stade du Clos Gastel; Dinan-Lehon, France

WATCH FIFA U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ON FOX: All three of the USA’s group stage matches will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 2. Following pool play, all knockout round games will also be broadcast live on FS2. Matches are also available to be streamed on the Fox Sports App and Fox Sports Go.

HOW WE GOT HERE: The USA earned its berth to the World Cup with a victory over Haiti in the semifinals of the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship last January. The win came in dramatic fashion, as Haiti scored a last-minute equalizer in regulation to send the match to a penalty kick shootout. Goalkeeper Amanda McGlynn shut down the Haitians with an incredible performance in the decisive penalty kick shootout and defender Zoe Morse hammered home the game-winning and World Cup-clinching PK.

Drawn into Group B, the USA opened the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Nicaragua as Torres and Civana Kuhlmann (who will unfortunately miss the U-20 WWC due to injury) found the back of the net. In the second group stage game, Jamaica tied the USA in the 88th minute, but the U-20s responded emphatically with a game-winning goal at the death from Howell. In the final group stage match, the USA downed Mexico 2-1 on goals from Kim and Sanchez. A rematch with Mexico awaited in the championship, where the USA fell in PKs following extra time. After suffering an early deficit, Davidson headed in a 49th-minute equalizer, but the USA wasn’t able to find a game-winning goal.

RUN-UP TO FRANCE: Since January’s World Cup qualifying campaign, the U-20s have come together often for training camps and games, and have put together some impressive results, compiling an 8-1-1 record. The USA went undefeated at two international tournaments in the lead-up to the World Cup, defeating Germany, Haiti and France to claim the Tournoi Maurice Revello Sud Ladies Cup in June and downing Sweden’s U-23 squad, England and Italy’s U-23s at April’s La Manga tournament. They’ve also contested sets of friendlies against France and Brazil in 2018, and have faced off against 13 international opponents entering the World Cup.

REPRESENTING THE USA: Head coach Jitka Klimkova has selected a superbly-talented 21-player roster for the World Cup. Seventeen players on the roster just wrapped up their freshman and sophomore years of college, while five come from youth clubs and will be freshmen in the fall. Those five players- defender Naomi Girma (California Thorns FC), midfielder Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado), midfielder Brianna Pinto (NTH Tophat), forward Sophia Smith (Real Colorado) and forward Penelope Hocking (So Cal Blues) – all spent 2017-18 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: seven born in 1998, 10 born in 1999 and four born in 2000. Fifteen players helped the USA qualify for the World Cup at January’s Concacaf Championship and 10 represented the U.S. at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan. Three return from the 2016 U-20 WWC in Papua New Guinea- Savannah DeMelo, Emily Fox and Ashley Sanchez.

SOPHIA SCORES: Smith enters the World Cup as the USA’s leading scorer with 21 career goals at the U-20 level. The forward is the reigning U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year, and has scored in 10 of the USA’s 15 games this year, including a current nine-game scoring streak heading into the tournament.

Beginning in March, her goal-scoring run stands as a Youth National Team scoring record and ties Michelle Akers’ nine-game streak at the senior level in 1991. Her 21 goals are good for fourth on the U-20 WNT’s all-time scoring list behind Sydney Leroux (29), Kelley O’Hara (24) and Lindsey Horan (24).

16 TEAMS, ONE CHAMPION: This year marks the ninth edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. The biennial competition began as the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in 2002. Sixteen teams have qualified for the U-20 WWC through continental competitions and have been drawn into four groups. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the quarterfinals. From there, it’s a knockout round bracket to the tournament final.

Group A Group B Group C Group D
France Brazil Japan China PR
Ghana England Paraguay Germany
Netherlands Korea DPR Spain Haiti
New Zealand Mexico USA Nigeria

FRANCE 2019: France will also host next summer’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The senior event will be played in nine cities across the whole of France, including Rennes, Brittany’s capital. FIFA mandates that the host of the quadrennial Women’s World Cup also stage the U-20 event the year before, in part to serve as a dry run for the senior event. The hosting pattern began in 2010 when Germany hosted the U-20 WWC before a historic WWC in 2011. Canada hosted the U-20 WWC in 2014 before staging the 2015 WWC, won by the USA.

SUCCESS AT THE U-20 WWC: The USA has qualified for every edition of the U-20 WWC and has won three of the eight previous tournaments, compiling a 30-6-8 overall record. At the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women’s Championship in 2002, the USA took home the title by defeating host Canada 1-0 with on a golden goal in overtime from Lindsay Tarpley in front of nearly 50,000 fans.

In 2008, future senior WNT stars Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan helped lead the USA to the tournament title, scoring in the championship match against North Korea. Most recently, the U.S. won the 2012 tournament, downing three group winners in the knockout rounds en route to the trophy.

Heartbreakingly, the USA has been knocked out of the tournament in penalty kicks in 2006, 2010 and 2014. The U-20s have lost just five games in regulation in the previous eight tournaments, including three defeats to Germany. In addition to three tourney titles and three PK exits, the USA has finished third, in 2004, and fourth, in 2016.

PAPAUA NEW GUINEA 2016: The USA finished fourth at the last U-20 Women’s World Cup, a historic tournament contested in Papua New Guinea. After winning its group by the slimmest of margins, topping France on a FIFA Fair Play points tiebreaker, the U.S. downed regional rival Mexico in the quarterfinals. In the semis, the USA suffered a hard-fought extra time loss to Korea DPR before falling to Japan 1-0 on an 87th-minute goal in the Third-Place match.

U-20 WNT A SPRINGBOARD TO SENIOR WNT: Many players who have represented the USA at the U-20 level have gone on to star for the full WNT. Most recently, forward Mallory Pugh captained the USA in 2016 in Papua New Guinea. Morgan Brian, Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz and Samantha Mewis helped the U-20s lift the trophy in 2012, while Alyssa Naeher backstopped Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan’s 2008 team to the championship. Tobin Heath, Kelley O’Hara and Amy Rodriguez appeared at the 2006 tournament in Russia, while Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn and Rodriguez also represented the U-20s in 2004 in Thailand. Lori Chalupny, Heather O’Reilly, Lindsey Tarpley, Leslie Osborne, Ashlyn Harris and Rachel Van Hollebeke all helped the USA lift the first tournament trophy in 2002.

2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Roster by Position (College or Club; Hometown; U-20 Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Hillary Beall (Michigan; Laguna Beach, Calif.; 0/0), Laurel Ivory (Virginia; Surfside, Fla.; 12/0), Amanda McGlynn (Virginia Tech; Jacksonville, Fla.; 10/0)

DEFENDERS (7): Emily Fox (UNC; Ashburn, Va., 32/3), Naomi Girma (California Thorns FC; San Jose, Calif.; 17/0), Samantha Hiatt (Stanford; Newcastle, Wash.; 11/1), Tara McKeown (USC; Newbury Park, Calif.; 22/0), Zoe Morse (Virginia; East Lansing, Mich.; 19/0), Kiara Pickett (Stanford; Santa Barbara, Calif.; 16/0), Isabel Rodriguez (Ohio State; Canton, Mich.; 19/0)

MIDFIELDERS (5): Savannah DeMelo (USC; Bellflower, Calif.; 36/5), Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 26/2), Brianna Pinto (NTH Tophat; Durham, N.C.; 22/3), Taryn Torres (Virginia; Frisco, Texas; 12/2), Viviana Villacorta (UCLA; Lawndale, Calif.; 23/1)

FORWARDS (6): Erin Gilroy (Tennessee; Bellmore, N.Y.; 4/2), Penelope Hocking (So Cal Blues; Anaheim, Calif.; 9/3), Abigail Kim (California; Vashon, Wash.; 24/6), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA; Monrovia, Calif.; 33/11), Alexa Spaanstra (Virginia; Brighton, Mich.; 3/0), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.; 25/21)

ROSTER NOTES

  • This will be the first World Cup for Klimkova as the USA’s head coach. Klimkova took over the program in April 2017, but is no stranger to youth World Cup tournaments. 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 World Cup Team in Costa Rica in 2014 and as an assistant coach for the Ferns’ U-20 Women’s World Cup Team in Canada the same year. The U-20 tournament was a historic success for New Zealand, as the nation made it to the quarterfinals before falling to Nigeria.
  • Of the 21 players on the roster, six are heading into their freshman season, 10 will be sophomores come the fall and five – forwards Erin Gilroy and Abigail Kim, defender Samantha Hiatt, goalkeeper Amanda McGlynn and defender Zoe Morse – are entering their junior campaigns.
  • The roster’s five youth club players – defender Naomi Girma (California Thorns FC), midfielders Howell (Real Colorado) and Pinto (NTH Tophat) and forwards Penelope Hocking (So Cal Blues) and Smith (Real Colorado) – will enter college as freshmen this fall.
  • Howell, Pinto, Ashley Sanchez and Smith have all had the opportunity to train with the senior WNT, but none have been capped.
  • Hocking led the Development Academy in scoring for the entire nation this season, tallying 36 goals in 19 games for the So Cal Blues.
  • Every player on the roster except for back-up goalkeeper Hillary Beall has been capped at the U-20 level, led by DeMelo (36), Sanchez (33) and Fox (32).
  • Behind Smith’s 21 international goals, Sanchez has netted 11 times for the U-20s, and Abigail Kim has added six goals. Twelve of the roster’s 21 players have scored for the USA at this level.
  • Fifteen players helped the team qualify for the World Cup at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship in Trinidad and Tobago: DeMelo, Girma, Howell, Ivory, Kim, McGlynn, McKeown, Morse, Pickett, Pinto, Rodriguez, Sanchez, Smith, Torres and Villacorta
  • Howell led the team in scoring at World Cup qualifying, netting a game-winner in the final moments against Jamaica in the second group stage game and scoring the USA’s lone goal against Haiti in the semifinal
  • Ten players represented the USA at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup: Beall, Girma, Howell, Ivory, Pickett, Pinto, Rodriguez, Sanchez, Smith and Spaanstra. Sanchez captained the team and netted three goals in Jordan.
  • The four players born in 2000 – Girma, Pinto, Smith and Alexa Spaanstra – are age-eligible for the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
  • The 21 players on the roster come from nine different states. Eight hail from California (seven from Southern California), while three are from Michigan and two each are from Colorado, Florida and Washington. The roster also features players from New York, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
  • Ten colleges are represented on the roster, three from Virginia and two each from reigning NCAA champion Stanford and 2017 runner-up UCLA.
  • Midfielder Delanie Sheena of UCLA travelled with the team to France as an alternate for the World Cup roster.

USA VS. JAPAN:

  • Japan was the USA’s last opponent at the U-20 WWC, as the two nations met in the Third-Place Match of the 2016 tournament. Japan won 1-0 on an 87th-minute goal.
  • The teams played a pair of friendlies in May 2017 at the beginning of the U-20 cycle. Japan won the first match 2-1 and the teams drew 2-2 in the second, both played in Carson, Calif.
  • Japan has qualified for six of nine U-20 Women’s World Cups.
  • The Young Nadeshiko‘s best finish at the competition is third, a position they reached in both 2016 and as the host nation in 2012.
  • The roster features players from three birth years: 11 born in 1998, eight born in 1999 and two born in 2000
  • All but one of Japan’s players compete domestically, across 10 different Japanese teams.
  • The exception, midfielder Fuka Nagano, is the reigning AFC Asian Young Footballer of the Year. She competes for Korea’s Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels. One of the nation’s top clubs, they have won the WK League for five straight seasons.
  • Seventeen of Japan’s 21-player roster play for first-division clubs in the country’s Nadeshiko League.
  • Three players each come from Cerezo Osaka Sakai Ladies, INAC Kobe Leonessa, Nittaidai Fields Yokohama and current league leader NTV Beleza.
  • Head coach Futoshi Ikeda took the reins for Japan last year. He previously served as a caretaker manager for Japanese men’s second division side Avispa Fukuoka.

Japan – 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Roster by Position (Club)
GOALKEEPERS (3): #21 Mai Fukuta (Nittaidai Fields Yokohama), #18 Hannah Stambaugh (INAC Leonessa), #1 Aguri Suzuki (Vegalta Sendai Ladies)

DEFENDERS (6): #17 Nanami Kitamura (Cerezo Osaka Sakai Ladies), #4 Moeka Minami (Urawa Reds Ladies), #2 Nana Ono (Kanagawa University), #3 Miyu Takahira (Vegalta Sendai Ladies), #6 Hana Takahashi (Urawa Reds Ladies), #5 Riko Ushijima (INAC Leonessa)

MIDFIELDERS (8): #20 Jun Endo (Academy Fukushima), #8 Yui Fukuta (INAC Leonessa), #7 Honoka Hayashi (Cerezo Osaka Sakai Ladies), #12 Yurina Imai (Nittaidai Fields Yokohama), #13 Asato Miyagawa (NTV Beleza), #10 Fuka Nagano (Hyundai Steel Red Angels Women/KOR), #9 Hinata Miyazawa (NTV Beleza), #15 Mizuka Sato (United Ichihara Ladies)

FORWARDS (4): #16 Fuka Kono (Nittaidai Fields Yokohama), #14 Mami Muraoka (Orca Kamogawa FC), #11 Saori Takarada (Cerezo Osaka Sakai Ladies), #19 Riko Ueki (NTV Beleza)

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

  • Japan qualified for the U-20 WWC as champions of the 2017 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship in October.
  • The Young Nadeshiko‘s qualifying campaign was highlighted by a 1-0 victory over reigning U-20 WWC champion Korea DPR in the final.
  • Japan secured its World Cup bid with a 5-0 victory over China PR in the semifinal as three teams qualified to France from Asia: the finalists and the third-place game winner.
  • In the group stage, Japan put together a 3-0 record, scoring 15 goals. The team opened with an 8-0 victory over Vietnam, downed Australia 5-1 and defeated South Korea 2-0.
  • Forward Saori Takarada led Japan in goal-scoring at the tournament, with five goals. She netted a hat trick in the group stage opener and bagged a brace in the game against Australia.

USA VS. PARAGUAY:

  • The two countries have never met at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
  • Paraguay and the USA met in the opening game of the group stage at the 2016 U-17 WWC in Jordan, a 6-1 victory for the U.S.
  • Ten of Paraguay’s players were on their 2016 U-17 WWC roster.
  • Both Kiara Pickett and Ashey Sanchez scored against Paraguay in 2016.
  • 2018 marks Las Albirrojas‘ second time at the U-20 WWC, following an appearance in 2014.
  • Forward Jessica Martinez will be participating in her fourth youth World Cup. She previously represented Paraguay at the 2014 U-20 and U-17 WWCs as well as the 2016 U-17 WWC. She was just 15 years old during the 2014 U-20 WWC.
  • Martinez also led Paraguay in scoring at World Cup qualifying for each of those competitions.
  • All but one player on Paraguay’s roster compete domestically across seven different Paraguayan teams.
  • Martinez is the lone exception, competing in Brazil for storied club Santos.
  • Martinez and forward Lice Chamorro have already debuted for Paraguay’s senior side, competing at the 2018 Copa America Femenina.
  • Cerro Porteño, one of the Paraguay’s most popular teams, is the most-represented club on the roster with seven players.
  • The roster features players from four birth years: four born in 1998, eight born in 1999, six born in 2000 and three born in 2001.
  • Head coach Epifania Benitez is the first female head coach to be hired by the Paraguayan federation.

Paraguay – 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Roster by Position (Club)
GOALKEEPERS (3): #21 Jessica Franco (Sportivo Luqueño), #12 Isabel Ortiz (Humaita), #1 Heidi Salas (Cerro Porteño),

DEFENDERS (7): #3 Lorena Alonso (UAA), #18 Daysy Bareiro (Cerro Porteño), #5 Limpia Fretes (Cerro Porteño), #4 Deisy Ojeda (Olimpia), #20 Ruth Sosa (UAA), #2 Maria Vecca (Club Deportivo Capiata), #14 Natalia Villasanti (UAA)

MIDFIELDERS (7): #19 Celeste Aguilera (Humaita), #17 Dahiana Bogarin (Cerro Porteño), #11 Lice Chamorro (Cerro Porteño), #8 Fanny Godoy (Club Deportivo Capiata), #6 Camila Gonzalez (Club Deportivo Capiata), #15 Graciela Martinez (Cerro Porteño), #7 Rosa Miño (Cerro Porteño)

FORWARDS (4): #13 Blanka Avila (12 de Octubre), #10 Jessica Martinez (Santos/BRA), #16 Jessica Sanchez (Olimpia), #9 Fabiola Sandoval (Sportivo Luqueño)

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

  • Paraguay qualified for the U-20 WWC as runner-up at the 2018 South American U-20 Women’s Championship in January.
  • Las Albirrojas earned their World Cup berth with a 4-2 victory in the final stage over Colombia. Only the top two teams in qualifying advanced from South America.
  • Earlier in the final round, Paraguay also defeated Venezuela 3-1.
  • Paraguay went undefeated in the first stage to clinch a spot in the final round. It opened with a 6-1 victory over Colombia, defeated host Ecuador 2-0, took down Peru 4-1 and closed Group A play with a 3-0 win over Argentina.
  • Star forward Martinez led the team in scoring, with seven goals. She put together a four-goal performance in the first game against Colombia and tallied a brace in the 4-1 win over Peru.

USA VS. SPAIN:

  • The USA and Spain have met once at the World Cup: in the final group stage match of the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand, a 1-0 victory for the U.S.
  • This year marks Spain’s third appearance at the U-20 WWC. After a quarterfinal appearance in Papua New Guinea, it’s the nation’s first back-to-back appearances.
  • Every player on the Spanish roster competes domestically across 12 Spanish teams. Eighteen of the players come from clubs that will play in Spanish’s top division this fall.
  • Forward Claudia Pina was named the top scorer in all UEFA national team competitions at any age level or gender in 2017, with 16 goals for Spain.
  • That number includes seven goals in a 22-0 defeat of Montenegro, making her the only player to score seven in a UEFA match at any level in 2017.
  • Pina made her debut this January for Barcelona’s senior side. Just 16 years old, she became the youngest player to ever take the field for a senior Barcelona team.
  • Midfielder Aitana Bonmati debuted for the senior Spanish side in the team’s November World Cup qualifiers. She has also played for the non-FIFA recognized Catalonia national team.
  • Forward Lucia Garcia and midfielder Patricia Guijarro have also debuted for Spain’s full team. Guijarro usually serves as the U-20s’ captain.
  • The Spanish roster features players from four birth years: eight born in 199e, six born in 1999, four born in 2000 and three born in 2001.

Spain – 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Roster by Position (Club)
GOALKEEPERS (3): #21 Catalina Coll (UD Collerense), #13 Noella Ramos (Levante UD), #1 Maria Isabel Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid)

DEFENDERS (7): #4 Laia Aleixandri (Atletico Madrid), #2 Ona Battle (Madrid Club de Futbol Femenino), #11 Carmen Menayo (Atletico Madrid), #3 Berta Pujadas (RCD Espanyol), #12 Lucia Rodriguez (Madrid Club de Futbol Femenino), #19 Paula Sancho (Valencia), #5 Andrea Sierra (Athletic Club)

MIDFIELDERS (7): #14 Aitana Bonmati (FC Barcelona), #6 Damaris Egurrola (Athletic Club), #9 Paula Fernandez (Malaga), #8 Patricia Guijarro (Atletico Madrid), #18 Eva Navarro (Sporting Plaza Argel), #10 Maite Oroz (Athletic Club), #16 Silvia Rubio (Madrid Club de Futbol Femenino),

FORWARDS (3): #15 Candela Andujar (FC Barcelona), #17 Lucia Garcia (Athletic Club), #20 Claudia Pina (FC Barcelona), #7 Nuria Rabano (Atletico Arousana Galicia)

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

  • Spain qualified for the U-20 WWC as champions of the 2017 UEFA Women’s U-19 Championship last August.
  • La Roja took down World Cup host France 3-2 in the final, equalizing the score at 2-2 in the 85th minute and finding the game-winner in the 90th.
  • In the semifinal, Spain took down fellow World Cup participant Netherlands 3-2.
  • Spain clinched its spot at the U-20 WWC after finishing second in Group A. Four teams qualify from Europe, usually the four semifinalists, but France qualified automatically as the tournament host. To fill the outstanding berth, the two third-placed teams after the group stage, Scotland and England, played a one-game playoff.
  • In the group stage, Spain defeated European championship host Northern Ireland 2-0, fell 2-0 to Germany and downed Scotland 1-0.
  • Guijarro led the tournament in scoring with five goals. She scored in four of France’s five games, including the game-winner at the death against France.

TOURNAMENT NOTES

  • Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1998 are eligible for this tournament.
  • Single yellow cards will be absolved after the quarterfinal round.
  • Two cautions received during two different matches will result in suspension for the following match.
  • If a player is sent off as a result of a direct or indirect red card, she will be suspended for the following match.
  • Should teams be tied on points at the end of the group stage, the tie-breakers are as follows:

a) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches
b) goal difference in all matches
c) greatest number of goals scored

  • If two or more teams are still tied on the basis of the first three criteria, the ranking will be determined as follows:

d) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned
e) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned
f) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned
g) FIFA Fair Play points
h) drawing of lots

  • At the end of the tournament, FIFA will present several awards. The Golden, Silver and Bronze Boot will be awarded to the three players with the highest numbers of goals scored, with number of assists serving as a tiebreaker.
  • The Golden, Silver and Bronze Ball will be awarded to the best players of the tournament. The FIFA Technical Study Group will select a short list after the semifinals.
  • The Golden Glove will be awarded to the top goalkeeper in the tournament, as selected by the FIFA Technical Study Group.
  • The tournament’s official slogan is “Dare to Shine,” representing the hopes and dreams of all participants.
  • Ettie, an anthropomorphic hen, will serve as the tournament mascot for next summer’s WWC and will also appear at the U-20 WWC. She is the daughter of Footix, the iconic mascot of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, hosted in France and won by the French Men’s National Team.

USA BY THE NUMBERS
3 Birth years represented on the U.S. roster: 1998 (seven), 1999 (10) and 2000 (four)
3 Of eight previous FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups that the USA has won
4 Players have trained with the senior WNT: Jaelin Howell, Brianna Pinto, Ashley Sanchez and Sophia Smith
5 Non-collegiate players: Naomi Girma, Jaelin Howell, Brianna Pinto and Sophia Smith, who all competed in the inaugural 2017-18 season of the Girls’ Development Academy
5 Games lost by the USA in regulation at this tournament
8 Players from California on this year’s World Cup roster
9 Consecutive international games in which Sophia Smith has scored
10 Colleges represented on the roster, featuring players from the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC
12 Players have previously represented the USA at a youth World Cup
13 different countries that the USA has faced in the lead-up to the World Cup (Brazil, England, Finland, France, Haiti, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Nicaragua, Norway and Sweden)
18 Players have scored for the U-20 WNT this cycle
20 Countries the USA has faced at the U-20 WWC. The U.S. has faced Germany six times, the most of any team
21 Goals scored by Sophia Smith this cycle, the most on the team
23 Shutouts recorded all-time by the USA at the U-20 WWC, a rate of over 50 percent of all games played
30 Games won by the USA all-time at the U-20 WWC
36 U-20 caps for Savannah DeMelo, the most on the team
44 Games all-time played by the USA
46 Players have played for the U-20 WNT this cycle
93 Goals scored by the USA at this tourney, an average of 2.11 per game
1164 Minutes played by Kiara Pickett in 2018, the most on the team

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 the team for success at the 2018 U-20 WWC.

  • Klimkova joined U.S. Soccer in January 2015 as Development Coach for the women’s Youth National Team program in one of three newly created positions. In that role, she worked mostly as head coach of the U.S. U-19 WNT, giving her an excellent base of knowledge and experience for her current position. She also served as the USA’s head scout at the 2016 U-20 WWC 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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