USA goes for World Cup berth against Mexico

[CONCACAF UNDER-17 WOMEN"S CHAMPIONSHIP] The USA will look to clinch a berth in the 2014 Under-17 Women's World Cup in Costa Rica with a win over Mexico on Thursday in the semifinals of the Concacaf U-17 Women's Championship in Montego, Bay Jamaica. It will face a Mexican team with eight American-based players.

The USA outscored its first three opponents, 17-0, to bring its scoring total to 73-0 over the last two-plus U-17 qualifying tournaments, but that doesn't mean qualification is assured. It outscored the opposition 38-0 in 2010 only to fail to qualify when it fell to Canada in a shootout at the same hurdle.

On Monday, goals from Zoe Redei, her fifth of the tournament, and Mallory Pugh, her third, gave the USA first place in Group B with a 2-0 win over Canada after easy wins over Trinidad & Tobago (8-0) and Guatemala (7-0) in Montego Bay.

The USA has beaten Mexico twice previously in Concacaf qualifying (1-0 and 3-0). The current teams played earlier in the year during a tournament in Costa Rica that served as a U-17 Women’s World Cup test run for the hosts. The USA prevailed 3-0 with goals from Pugh, Madison Haley and Kacie Tillman, who did not make the qualifying roster.

Mexico's squad includes five players from Texas -- goalie Emily Alvarado, and midfielders Eva Gonzalez, Aylin Villalobos, Briana Woodall and Vanessa Flores -- and three from California -- defender Jessica Moreno, midfielder Marianna Maldonado and forward Janae Gonzalez.
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