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U.S.-based stars lead Mexico into quarterfinals
March 20th, 2014 12:32AM

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TAGS:  mexico, u-17 women's world cup, youth girls

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[UNDER-17 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] The USA is absent from the Under-17 Women's World Cup in Costa Rica, but it has a strong representation at the tournament as Mexico, starting six U.S.-based players, rolled into the quarterfinals with its second 4-0 win on Wednesday. Mexico was one of six teams to open the tournament with a pair of wins.

Goalie Emily Alvarado (Texas Rush) had shutouts in both games, and Janae Gonzalez (So Cal Blues) scored in both games to lead Mexico, which beat the USA in a shootout in the semifinals of Concacaf qualifying to advance to the U-17 Women's World Cup.

Also starting for Mexico in Wednesday's 4-0 win over China were Vanesse Flores (Albion Hurricanes), Kimberly Rodriguez (Texas Rush), Eva Gonzalez (Dallas Texans) and Jacqueline Crowther (Legends FC). Crowther and Gonzalez had goals in a three-goal blitz in the first 14 minutes of the 4-0 win over Colombia.

The tournament surprise is Ghana, which followed up on its 2-0 win over North Korea, a perennial Asian girls power, with a 1-0 win over European champion Germany. Ghana started four 15-year-olds and Sandra Owusu Ansah, who turned 14 in January.

Canada, the Concacaf runner-up to Mexico, tied its first two games, while host Costa Rica has already been eliminated after two shutout losses.

GROUP A:
March 15 in San Jose
Costa Rica 0 Venezuela 3
Italy 2 Zambia 0
 March 18 in San Jose
Costa Rica 0 Italy 1
Venezuela 4 Zambia 0

GROUP B:

March 15 in Liberia
Ghana 2 North Korea 0
Germany 2 Canada 2
March 18 in Liberia
Ghana 1 Germany 0
North Korea 1 Canada 1

GROUP C:

March 16 in Tibas
New Zealand 1 Paraguay 1
Japan 2 Spain 0
March 19 in Tibas
Spain 3 New Zealand 0
Paraguay Japan 10 Paraguay 0

GROUP D:

March 16 in Alajuela
Mexico 4 Colombia 0
China 1 Nigeria 2
March 19 in Alajuela
Mexico 4 China 0
Nigeria 2 Colombia 1


4 comments
  1. David Crowther
    commented on: March 20, 2014 at 1:05 p.m.
    I've been watching the games at the stadium in Alajuela and Janea Gonzalez has been one of the revelations of this cup. She has been pretty much unstoppable on the right side of the Mexican attack. I read somewhere that she had been invited to the US ODP camp last year. Not sure how she ended up with Mexico, but it's a big loss to the US.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: March 20, 2014 at 1:49 p.m.
    >Mr. Crowther: May I assume that you're one of the player's father? In answer to your question re: Janea Gonzalez "... a big loss to the US..." this has been the case now - at least for the past decade and more, whereby a lot of players with dual nationality have been overlooked and by-passed by many in US soccer. In the boys-men's side, this has been what could be termed a deliberate pattern, and there is even a for-profit organization that actually conducts try outs for players of Latino/Hispanic background and invites pro-team scouts from Mexico and other countries for possibly extending an invite for a tryout in Liga MX, etc. As for Leo Cuellar, former member of Mexico's NT and World Cup veteran, btw, did you know that he lived here in the Los Angeles area several decades ago, and even coached Cal State University for a couple of years and his son played in the Cal South youth system? It was during Coach Leo's US stay that he became one of the early proponents and advocates not only for Mexico to recruit - or go after - players with dual nationality, a practice that is now also used extensively by other Central American countries. I am very happy and proud for/of the Mexican U17 Ladies, and wish them well in the coming rounds!

  1. David Crowther
    commented on: March 22, 2014 at 2:13 a.m.
    Just to clarify, I have no relation (that I know of) to Jackie Crowther, though it is naturally gratifying to see someone with my last name score in a world cup game. As for Mexico and Central America recruiting players from the US, it only makes sense. Particularly female players given that the US is way ahead when it comes to women's soccer. Especially if the US ODP is going to continue to undervalue Hispanic players like Janea. Of course the Ticos don't really do that, but mostly because there just aren't that many Ticos living in the US. Fortunately this hasn't kept Costa Rica from completely dominating women's soccer in Central America no matter how many ringers the Salvadoreans, Guatemalans and Hondurans bring in. The increasing number of Ticas playing college soccer in the US were all developed here in Costa Rica, which is actually pretty amazing if you consider that just 20 years ago it was almost unheard of here for girls to play soccer. I helped get the girl's soccer team started at my son's school and one of the girls who started playing there is on the squad that qualified for the upcoming U20 world cup. It feels like a real vindication given all the flack we got back then from some of the more conservative parents.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: March 23, 2014 at 3:48 p.m.
    David: Thank you for your insightful comments, they're very much appreciated because. as you pointed out above, the perhaps and hopefully soon-to-be discarded ODP system has undervalued Hispanic players, and unless something huge, I mean huge takes place in the very near future, it is highly likely that even the much vaunted Academy system will take up where ODP left off, that is continue to undervalue Hispanic/Latino players. And here's a tid bit of historical incident that took place in the '80s when my son played in ayso: because of my soccer background, I was "cajoled" to coach my son's team, and then was "convinced" to coach the "all star" division. Well, during a playoff game in the Santa Monica area, the then ayso commissioner stormed the field, and demanded to speak to a very gifted player, let's call him - Andy. When I interceded, his parents weren't present then, as his coach I politely asked the lady commissioner what she needed or wanted, she brushed past me and proceeded to gril Andy, as to his age, where he was born, his school grade , etc. When I forcefully interrupted her, I told her that he had been "vetted", his birth certificate scrutinized, etc, she just about called me a cheat and a sneak for including a "ringer" cause Andy was just too good of a player for the group. Anyhow,the game was played, Andy's parents arrived at half time, went to the commissioner and told her in no uncertain terms that she was dead wrong in quizzing Andy without their presence, because Andy then was but all of eight years old! So, has much of anything changed in the past two-three decades?


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