June 10, 2010
Story courtesy of U.S. Soccer
CHICAGO - U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team head coach Jillian Ellis has named the 21 players who will represent the United States at the 2010 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup, being held in Bochum, Bielefeld, Augsburg and Dresden, Germany from July 13-Aug. 1.
Ellis named her squad after a two-week training camp in Los Angeles and San Diego which was the last extended domestic event for the U.S. team before it departs for Germany in early July. The U.S. team will play its final international matches before the World Cup in Europe as the squad will travel to Germany on June 6 for two games, facing Japan on June 10 and Germany on June 13.
"For us, the timing was important to name the team now," said Ellis on choosing the final squad before departing for the exhibition matches in Germany. "This is our last preparation trip and it is essentially a dry run for the World Cup. It will be a chance for the players to come together and really experience a trip to Germany together before the actual tournament. We also approached it from the point of view that we wanted to let players settle in and enjoy the experience without the anxiety of making the team. Now they can focus on gelling and the World Cup."
At the U-20 Women's World Cup, the USA will be playing in Group D along with Ghana, Switzerland and Korea Republic, and will be based in Dresden for its first two games before moving to Bielefeld to finish the first stage.
The U.S. will open against Ghana on July 14 before facing Switzerland on July 17, with both games taking place at the Rudolf-Harbig Stadium in Dresden, a newly built 27,000-seat venue that will also host games of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The U.S. team will then travel to the recently renovated Bielefelder Alm Stadium, a 28,000-seat venue in Bielefeld, to conclude group play against the Koreans.
Among the 21 players named are two that were a part of the U.S. team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile in forward Sydney Leroux and midfielder Christine Nairn. Leroux became the first American player to win both the Golden Ball as the tournament's top player and the Golden Shoe as its top scorer after pounding in five goals during the tournament.
Nairn played in all six matches in Chile, starting four, including the semifinal and the championship game victory against Korea DPR. Nairn is the only player on the U-20 roster who has caps for the full U.S. National Team, playing twice last summer against Canada and getting her first goal in a 1-0 victory against Canada on July 22, 2009 in Charleston, S.C.
Ellis also named seven players who were a major parts of the 2008 U-17 team that advanced all the way to the championship game of the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in New Zealand before falling in overtime to Korea DPR.
Among those players are defender Amber Brooks, who captained the USA in several matches in New Zealand including the Final, the tournament's Bronze Ball winner Kristie Mewis and Silver Shoe winner Vicki DiMartino, who scored five goals in the tournament. DiMartino's running mate at forward in New Zealand, Courtney Verloo was also named to the roster. She scored four times in the U-17 Women's World Cup.
The three other U-17 veterans are outside back Rachel Quon, who played every minute of five starts in New Zealand, defender Crystal Dunn who played outside back for the U-17s but is a center back for the U-20s, and midfielder Samantha Mewis, the younger sister or Kristie. In 2008, the Mewis' became the first sisters to represent the USA at a Women's World Cup and will do it for the second time in Germany.
Rounding out the defenders is the speedy Kendall Johnson from the University of Portland and a pair of 5-foot-10 center-backs in Toni Pressley from Florida State and Sade Ayinde from Maryland.
Rounding out the midfielders is Zakiya Bywaters from UCLA, Teresa Noyola from Stanford, Casey Short from Florida State and Jenna Richmond, a high school senior from McLean Soccer Club who was slated to be a key part of the 2008 U-17 Women's World Cup Team, but was derailed by an ACL injury and couldn't make it back for selection to the squad for New Zealand.
Adding firepower up front with Leroux is a duo of forwards who add tremendous speed: high school senior Maya Hayes from the Aristocats Club in New Jersey and Tiffany McCarty from Florida State.
The trio of goalkeepers consistsu of Adrianna Franch from Oklahoma State, Bianca Henninger, who played all five games during the qualifying tournament and 16-year-old Bryane Heaberlin, the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. U-17s this year. Heaberlin is the only player who won't go on the June trip to Germany as Ellis will bring just 20 players.
In 2009, the U.S. U-20s compiled an overall record of 9-2-3 in all matches and 4-1-2 record in international games, losing only to Germany. So far in 2010, the U.S. is 14-1-3 overall and 11-0-1 in international matches. The only loss came to the Atlanta Beat of WPS.
The age cut-off date for this Women's World Cup is players born on or after Jan. 1, 1990. Nine of the 21 players selected by Ellis were born in 1990, eight were born in 1991 and three were born in 1992, meaning they would be age-eligible for the 2012 Under-20 Women's World Cup. Two of those 1992s are Dunn and Samantha Mewis, who have already played in a FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup. The youngest player selected was Heaberlin who was born in 1993. She doesn't turn 17 until November.
Ellis selected three graduating high school seniors, nine rising sophomores and seven rising juniors, plus rising high school senior Samantha Mewis and rising high school junior Bryane Heaberlin. Ten different colleges are represented on the roster, led by three players from Stanford, Florida State, UCLA and two players from Boston College, North Carolina and Penn State.
The 16 nations competing in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup are: host Germany; Japan, Korea Republic and Korea DPR from Asia; England, France, Sweden and Switzerland from Europe; the USA, Costa Rica and Mexico from CONCACAF, Brazil and Colombia from South America, Nigeria and Ghana from Africa; and New Zealand from Oceania.
U.S. 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Oklahoma State; Salina, Kan.), Bryane Heaberline (Clearwater Chargers; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Bianca Henninger (Santa Clara; Los Gatos, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Sade Ayinde (Maryland; North Bellmore, N.Y.), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina; Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Kendall Johnson (Portland; Portland, Ore.), Toni Pressley (Florida State; Melbourne, Fla.), Rachel Quon (Stanford; Lake Forrest, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Amber Brooks (North Carolina; New Hope, Pa.), Zakiya Bywaters (UCLA; Las Vegas, Nev.), Kristie Mewis (Boston College; Hanson, Mass.), Samantha Mewis (Scorpions SC; Hanson, Mass.),Christine Nairn (Penn State; Bowie, Md.), Teresa Noyola (Stanford; Palo Alto, Calif.), Jenna Richmond (UCLA; Centreville, Va.), Casey Short (Florida State; Naperville, Ill.)
FORWARDS (5): Vicki DiMartino (Boston College; Massapequa, N.Y.), Maya Hayes (Penn State; West Orange, N.J.), Sydney Leroux (UCLA; Pheonix, Ariz.), Tiffany McCarty (Florida State; Laurel, Md.), Courtney Verloo (Stanford; Tualatin, Ore.)
National Team Staff
Head Coach: Jill Ellis (Santa Monica, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: B.J. Snow (Hermosa Beach, Calif.)
Assistant Coach: Dave Chesler (Seattle, Wash.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Kat Mertz (Las Vegas, Nev.)