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USA-North Korea, women against girls
by Paul Kennedy, June 24th, 2011 12:40AM

TAGS:  women's national team, women's world cup


[WOMEN'S WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN] Like it did in 2007, the USA will open play at the Women's World Cup against North Korea. But when the Koreans take to the field Tuesday at Dresden's Rudolf-Harbig Stadium (TV: ESPN, Univision, live, 12:15 P.M. ET), they will bear little resemblance to the team that tied the USA, 2-2, four years ago.

North Korea will be the youngest team at the Women's World Cup with an average age of 20 years, 11 months, an average of almost seven years younger than the USA, the oldest team at the tournament.

With one of the most successful girls national team programs in the world -- it won the 2006 Under-20 World Cup and 2008 Under-17 World Cup and was second to the USA at the 2008 Under-20 World Cup -- it is no surprise that North Korea has brought 10 players under the age of 20 at the start of the tournament.

Defender Song Jong Sun, the lone holdover from the Korean starting lineup four years ago, is at 30 the team's oldest player.

Its star, Jon Yun Mi, is the team's fourth oldest player at the age of 24.

Jon didn't begin playing soccer until she entered secondary school, but she was one of the stars of the 2006 Under-20 World Cup championship team. The playmaker was the MVP of the 2010 Women's Asian Cup.

North Korea Roster:
Goalkeepers: Hong Myong Hui (April 25), Kim Chol Ok (April 25), Ri Jin Sim (Wolmido)
Defenders: Jon Hong Yon (April 25), Ho Un Byol (April 25), Song Jong Sun (Amrokgang), Paek Sol Hui (April 25), Yu Jong Hui (April 25), Jong Pok Sim (April 25), Ri Un Hyang (Amrokgang).
Midfielders: Kim Myong Gum (Rimyongsu), Kim Su Gyong (April 25), Jo Yun Mi (April 25), Ri Ye Gyong (Amrokgang), Jon Myong Hwa (April 25), Kim Un Ju (April 25), Kim Chung Sim (April 25)
Forwards: Yun Hyon Hi (April 25), Ra Un Sim (Amrokgang), Choe Mi Gyong (Rimyongsu), Kwon Song Hwa (April 25)

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