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U.S. U-20 talent spread across the country
March 2nd, 2012 4:03AM
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TAGS:  college women, high school girls, under-20 women's world cup, youth girls


[BY THE NUMBERS] The USA opens play at the Concacaf U-20 Women's Championship in Panama City Friday against Guatemala. It is seeking its third U-20 regional crown and features a star-studded team of collegians and prep stars. The talent is spread out across the country with players from 17 different states on the 20-player roster.

The USA and Canada have won two Concacaf titles apiece. The Americans won in 2006 and 2010, while Canada won the tournament in 2004 and 2008, defeating the USA in the championship game both times. The tournament was an U-19 event in 2004. FIFA later aligned the ages for its women's championships to make them the same as the men's championships.

Four U.S. players -- goalie Abby Smith, defenders Stephanie Amack and Cari Roccaro and forwards Lindsey Horan -- are still in high school, while the rest of the squad is in college. Goalie Bryane Heaberlin enrolled this winter as a freshman at North Carolina.

Five U.S. players were on the U.S. roster for the 2010 U-20 Women's World Cup in Germany: Heaberlin, 2010 Soccer America Freshman of the Year Crystal Dunn, 2011 Soccer America MVP selection Maya Hayes, Sam Mewis and Mollie Pathman.

Six of the players were on the team that outscored opponents 32-0 in the group phase of the 2010 Concacaf U-17 Women's Championship but did not qualify for the U-17 Women's World Cup in Trinidad & Tobago when it fell to Canada on penalty kicks in the semifinals: 2011 Soccer America Freshman of the Year Morgan Brian, her Virginia teammate Olivia Brannon, Heaberlin, Smith, Roccaro and Horan.

There are players from 17 different states on the roster. Florida, New York and Texas lead all states with two players each on the team. Amazingly, there is no player on the team from the girls hotbed of Southern California. Amack, the lone California representative, hails from the Bay Area suburb of Pleasanton.

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