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Leroux and Nairn head squad
by Paul Kennedy, January 12th, 2010 7AM



[U.S. UNDER-20 WOMEN] Holdovers Sydney Leroux, winner of the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe at the 208 Under-20 Women's World Cup, and Christine Nairn, who has been capped twice on the senior national team, head the squad selected to represent the USA at the Concacaf under-20 qualifying tournament to be held Jan. 19-30 in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

U.S. head coach Jillian Ellis named 20 players, including eight players who were members of the U.S. team that took second at the 2008 Under-17 Women's World Cup in New Zealand.

They include 2008 Under-17 Women's World Cup Bronze Ball winner Kristie Mewis, Silver Shoe winner Vicki DiMartino and Taylor Vancil, who was named the best goalkeeper of the tournament in New Zealand.

The former U-17s include three high school seniors --  defender Crystal Dunn and midfielders Elizabeth Eddy and Samantha Mewis.

Jenna Richmond, a high school senior from McLean Soccer Club, was slated to be a key part of the 2008 U-17 Women's World Cup Team but was derailed by an ACL injury.

The fifth high school senior is Maya Hayes from the Montclair Aristocats in New Jersey.

The squad includes three current collegians from Florida State and two each from Boston College, Stanford and UCLA.

QUALIFYING. The USA will open Group B action against Jamaica on Jan. 21 (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, live, 4:30 p.m. ET) and then face Trinidad & Tobago Jan. 23, and Mexico Jan. 25 at the same time. Group A consists of Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba and host Guatemala.

The group winners will play the runners-up from the opposite group on Jan. 28. The championship and third-place matches set for Jan. 30. Both semifinal matches and the tournament final will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel.

All matches will be played at the 17,000-seat Estadio Cementos Progreso.

GERMANY '10. The winners of the semifinal matches and of the third-place match will qualify for the U-20 Women's World Cup being held July 13-Aug. 1 in four German cities (Bochum, Bielefeld, Augsburg and Dresden).

Eight nations have already qualified for Germany 2010:  host Germany; Japan, North and South Korea from Asia and England, France, Sweden and Switzerland from Europe.

The age cut-off date for this Women's World Cup is players born on or after Jan. 1, 1990.

U.S. Under-20 Roster:
Bianca Henninger (Santa Clara; Los Gatos, Calif.)
Taylor Vancil (Louisville; South Elgin, Ill.)
Amber Brooks (North Carolina; New Hope, Pa.)
Vicki DiMartino (Boston College; Massapequa, N.Y.)
Crystal Dunn (Albertson SC; Rockville Centre, N.Y.)
Kendall Johnson (Portland; Portland, Ore.)
Toni Pressley (Florida State; Melbourne, Fla.)
Rachel Quon (Stanford; Lake Forest, Ill.)
Zakiya Bywaters (UCLA; Las Vegas, Nev.)
Elizabeth Eddy (So Cal Blues, Costa Mesa, Calif.)
Kristie Mewis (Boston College; Hanson, Mass.)
Samantha Mewis (Scorpion SC; Hanson, Mass.)
Christine Nairn (Penn State; Bowie, Md.)
Teresa Noyola (Stanford; Palo Alto, Calif.)
Jenna Richmond (McLean SC; Centreville, Va.)
Casey Short (Florida State; Naperville, Ill.);
Maya Hayes (Aristics Club; West Orange, N.J.)
Sydney Leroux (UCLA; Phoenix, Ariz.)
Morgan Marlborough (Nebraska; Raymore, Mo.)
Tiffany McCarty (Florida State; Laurel, Md.)


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