The Americans, guided by former Philadelphia Charge coach Mark Krikorian and featuring four players from the 2002 squad, is an overwhelming favorite to win one of the regionÆs two berths at the Nov. 10-27 FIFA U-19 WomenÆs World Championship in Thailand.
Tournament host Canada, which on Friday meets Jamaica in a Group A opener at Montreal, also is expected to qualify. The Canadians lost to the Americans in overtime of the 2002 title game.
The United States is led by goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, defender Rachel Buehler and forwards Kerri Hanks and Angie Woznuk, all veterans of the 2002 championship, and central defender Becky Sauerbrunn.
Midfielder Jen Redmond has been dropped from the roster after sustaining a broken toe. She was replaced by Chioma Igwe.
The Americans meet Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday and Costa Rica on Tuesday in Group B play. Mexico is a likely semifinal opponent on June 4. The final is June 6 in Ottawa.
ôWeÆve had a nice opportunity to get ourselves on the same page,ö Krikorian, whose team has been training in Canada the past week, said on the eve of the opener. ôI think weÆre as prepared as weÆre going to be.ö
Costa Rica, with a squad featuring several full national-teamers, including star Shirley Cruz, is considered the AmericansÆ toughest group foe. The Ticas roster includes Vanessa Rojas, a Southern California high-schooler.
CanadaÆs roster features several U.S.-based collegians, including NebraskaÆs Brittany Timko and Notre DameÆs Katie Thorlakson. Timko, Thorlakson and Kara Lang (who, like Timko, is a full national-team regular) played in the 2002 World Championship.
Mexico has several Americans on its roster, including University of the Pacific striker Carmen Padilla and Alta Loma (Calif.) Arsenal midfielder Rebecca Juarez and defender Nancy Gutierrez. Juarez has played for MexicoÆs full national team.
The American roster is dominated by collegians and high school seniors. There are two high school sophomores (Southern Californians Alexa Orand and Kelsey Davis) and two high school juniors (Yael Averbuch and Nikki Krzysik, both from New Jersey) on the U.S. team.
WOMENÆS UNDER-19 QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT
at Montreal and Ottawa
Group A: Canada, Mexico, Panama, Jamaica
Group B: United States, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago, Dominican Republic
May 28: Mexico vs. Panama and United States vs. Dominican Republic at Ottawa; Canada vs. Jamaica and Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago at Montreal.
May 30: Jamaica vs. Mexico and Canada vs. Panama at Ottawa; Costa Rica vs. Dominican Republic and United States vs. Trinidad & Tobago at Montreal.
June 1: Panama vs. Jamaica and Canada vs. Mexico at Ottawa; Trinidad & Tobago vs. Dominican Republic and United States vs. Costa Rica at Montreal.
June 4: Semifinals at Montreal.
June 6: Final and third-place game at Ottawa.
Note: Finalists advance to Nov. 10-27 FIFA U-19 WomenÆs World Championship in Thailand.
Goalkeepers: Stephanie Labbe (Edmonton Aviators/W-League), Stacy Van Boxmeer (Indiana Univ.).
Defenders: Justine Labrecque (Laval), Marie-Emilie Morier Perrault (FC Select Rive Sud), Sari Raber (Univ. of Nebraska), Katie Radchuck (Univ. of Connecticut), Caroline Vanderpool (LSU), Emily Zurrer (Illinois).
Midfielders: Amanda Cicchini (Dixie 86), Selenia Iacchelli (Edmonton Aviators/W-League), Veronique Maranda (FC Select Rive-Sud), Katie Thorlakson (Univ. of Notre Dame), Brittany Timko (Univ. of Nebraska).
Forwards: Josee Belanger (Montreal Xtreme/W-League), Lisa Collison (Ohio State Univ.), Aysha Jamani (SW United), Kara Lang (Vancouver Whitecaps/W-League), Eilish McConville (Queens United), Jodie-Anne Robinson (Semiahmoo Spirit).
Head Coach: Ian Bridge.
Goalkeepers: Cindy Alfaro (Chicas del Caribe), Silva Arias (San Jose), Irlanda Arroyo (San Ramon).
Defenders: Flora Aguilar (San Jose), Maria Bernardita Araya (Puriscal), Betzy Bustos (Saprissa), Vanessa Rojas (Torrance, Calif.), Monica Salazar (UCEM-Alajuela), Erlin Santamaria (Santos), Daniela Serruth (San Jose).
Midfielders: Shirley Cruz (UCEM-Alajuela), Lidia Jeanntte Espinoza (Chicas del Caribe), Amanda Esquivel, Jennifer Jimenez (UCEM-Alajuela), Kandy Mendoza (San Jose), Mariam Montes (Saprissa), Ivonne Rodrfguez (San Jose), Jocelyn Rios (UCEM-Alajuela), Laura Sanchez (UCEM-Alajuela).
Forwards: Yendry Cambronero (Saprissa), Massiel Chacon (Saprissa), Mariana Madriz (Cartago), Karla Villalobos (San Jose), Amara Wilson (Colorado College).
Head Coach: Ricardo Rodriguez.
Goalkeepers: Margarita Arlen Guerrero, Heydi Francisca Salazar.
Defenders: Ana Odaliza Diaz, Leonela Mojica Guzman, Maria Mojica Guzman, Niurka Edili Hernandez, Dahiana Joseph Lorenzo, Jiselly Maria Rodriguez, Marlyn Arody Rosado.
Midfielders: Denny Dominguez, Yadirsa Fernandez, Ana Brendaly Frias, Esmerlyn Garcfa, Oliva Isabel Santana, Yolanda Osana Valerio.
Forwards: Rainelsa Peralta, Johana Elizabeth Santelis, Davilayda Uribe.
Head Coach: Santiago Morel.
Goalkeepers: Camile Brown (Rae Town FC), Tashana Taylor (St. Jago School).
Defenders: Julie Fearon (Rae Town FC), Marcille McBean (Queens School), Kimmia Parker, Latoya Panton (Barbican FC), Marsha Boyd Steward (Portmore Strikers), Lishon Williams (Donald Qurrie).
Midfielders: Rochelle Bryan (Portmore Strikers), Omalyn Davis (Excelsion), Sharika Duncan (Harbour View), Jody-Ann McGregor (Barbican FC), Stacy-Ann Johnson (Rae Town FC), Christian Murray (Excelsion), Incola Pinnock (Queens School).
Forwards: Sheree Marrow (Harbour View), Venecia Reid (Bridgeport HS).
Head Coach: Christopher Bender.
Goalkeepers: Talia Gabriela Cano, Anjuli Ladron de Guevara, Paola Martinez, Elizabeth Sanchez.
Defenders: Maria De Lourdes Diaz, Ana Laura Galindo, Nancy Gutierrez, Cynthia Torres, Jessica Torres, Maria Isabel Valdez, Devinder Marisol Vega, Alexandra Velasquez, Pamela Villegas.
Midfielders: Teofila Chavez, Miriam Dominguez, Daniela Espinoza, Rebecca Juarez, Alexandrea Mendoza, Janet Sandoval.
Forwards: Gloria Andrade, Noemi Gonzalez, Maria De Lourdes Gordillo, Andrea Guadalupe Moreno, Leslie Anne Munoz, Christine Nieva, Monica Ocampo, Carmenita Padilla, Carol Sarai Ramirez, Melyne Yasmin Valdez, Inga Christine Woiwode.
Head Coach: Leonardo Cuellar.
Goalkeepers: Farissa Cordoba (Ladies S.), Laila Fuertes (ULCAIT).
Defenders: Lucrecia Bustamente (Santa Ana), Ericka Contreras (San Martfn), Ninoska Hurtado (Santa Ana), Tatiana Montes (ULCAIT), Irene Pineda (Santa Ana), Ruth Romero (ULCAIT).
Midfielders: Karina Barahona (Cosmos), Milagros De Leon, Maxima Gonzalez (Ladies S.), Yorden Perez (ULCAIT), Sumara Samuels (ULCAIT), Kesiah Wattey (San Martin).
Forwards: Lisbeth Davis (Ladies S.), Amarelis De Mera (Ladies S.), Nayeli Machado (Navy Bay), Yohan Rodrfguez (San Martfn).
Head Coach: Ezequiel Fernßndez.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
Maylee Attin-Johnson (Stingrays), Amy Boisson, Shurell Burton, Afiya Castle, Kennya Cordner, Lindsay Deslauriers, Aveann Douglas (Real Dimension), Nadia James (Real Dimension), Dernell Mascall, Jemilia Mathlin, Katrina Meyer (Joe Public FC), Ahkeela Mollon (Young Harris College, Ga.), Anastasia Prescott, Niasha Reyes (Petrotrin), Kia Rigsby, Ayana Russell, Tandia Taylor, Gail Ann Thomas.
Head Coach: Jamaal Shabazz.
Goalkeepers: Kelsey Davis (SoCal United), Ashlyn Harris (Univ. of North Carolina).
Defenders: Rachel Buehler (Stanford Univ.), Nikki Krzysik (New Jersey Lady Stallions/W-League), Stephanie Logterman (Univ. of Texas), Stephanie Lopez (Univ. of Portland), Kia McNeill (Boston College), Becky Sauerbrunn (Univ. of Virginia).
Midfielders: Yael Averbauch (New Jersey Lady Stallions/W-League), Chioma Igwe (Univ. of California), Stephanie Kron (UCLA), Stacy Lindstrom (UCLA).
Forwards: Bristyn Davis (UCLA), Sheree Gray (Penn State Univ.), Kerri Hanks (Univ. of Notre Dame), Alexa Orand (Slammers), Megan Rapinoe (Univ. of Portland), Angie Woznuk (Univ. of Portland).
Head Coach: Mark Krikorian.