French: 'Playing Japan was a whole new experience'

[USA UNDER-20 WOMEN] Japan beat the USA, 3-0, for its second win in two games in U.S. under-20 under-20 women’s friendlies at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center.

Japan, which brought five players from the team that finished third at the 2010 Under-20 World Cup it hosted, got two goals from captain Ayaka Michigami sandwiched around a goal by Miku Kojima.

The USA, which was outshot 15-7, has just one holdover from its team that won the 2012 World Cup in Notre Dame sophomore Cari Roccaro.

“Defensively, our ability to handle a high level of speed of play and movement off the ball needs to improve,” said U.S. coach Michelle French. “Before these two games, we hadn’t faced that sort of pressure and that sort of technical ability, so playing Japan was a whole new experience for this group. It was pretty evident that we need to deal with that better.”

U.S. goalkeeper Kaela Little made eight saves before she was ejected in the 80th minute for taking down a Japanese attacker who had rounded her and was about to shoot into an open goal. Katelyn Rowland came off the bench cold and saved the penalty kick from Marin Hamamoto.

Aug. 11 in Carson, Calif.
USA 0 Japan 3. Goals: Michigami 15, 70, Kojima 63.
USA -- Little; Mueller (Weatherholt, 23), Freeman (Naughton, 12), Roccaro, Liedle; Lavelle, Payne (Andrews, 46), Sullivan; Green (Mills, 79), Munerlyn (Beckie, 59; Rowland, 81), Purce (Walker, 70)
Japan -- Yamashita (Hayashizaki, 46); Doko, Shimizu, Miyake (Hatanaka, 61), Nakasato, Narumiya (Inoue, 41), Kurishima, Kawahara (Hamamoto, 46), Shiraki, Michigami (Capt.)
Red card: USA – Little 80.
Referee: Adam Brugman (USA).
Next story loading loading..