Commentary

U.S. U-20 women scoreless in World Cup prep tourney

By Mike Woitalla

Another sign that other nations are catching up with the USA in women’s soccer came at this month’s U-20 Women’s NTC Invitational in Carson, California.

Two months before the 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea, the USA went winless and scoreless in its three games.

Coach Michelle French’s team opened against South Korea with a 0-0 tie, lost 1-0 to England, the only team at the tournament that didn’t qualify for this year’s U-20 World Cup, and lost, 2-0, to Brazil.

The Brazilians outshot the USA, 7-3 and had four shots on goal while the Americans failed to force a save from Brazilian keeper Carla.

Mallory Pugh, who is recovering from an ankle injury, sat out the South Korea game and was eased back into action by French. The 18-year-old 2016 Olympian played the final 15 minutes of the England game and the first 30 minutes against Brazil.

Ashley Sanchez, 17, the U-20s’ second leading scorer behind Pugh at the U-20 World Cup qualifying tournament with three goals and five assists, missed the NTC Invitational as she is with the U.S. squad preparing for the 2016 U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan Sept. 30-Oct. 21.

England, which beat Brazil (1-0) and tied South Korea (0-0) in addition to its victory over the USA, won the NTC Invitational. Brazil, which tied South Korea (1-1), finished second while the USA finished last.

Sept. 18 in Carson, Calif.
USA 0 Brazil 2. Goals: Gabi 13, Fernada (Daiane) 94+.
USA -- Chandler, Jean, Riehl, Elliston, Cousins (Otto, 68), Canales (Flores, 68), Pugh (Fox, 30), Ogle, Scarpa (Doyle, 54), Hedge (Harr, 54), Jacobs.
Brazil -- Carla, Julia, Giovanna, Daiane, Rena (Nicoly, 83), Yasmim, Lais, Gabi, Geyse (Adailma, 46), Bruna, Victoria (Fernada, 92).
(full game video)

Sept. 16 in Carson, Calif.
USA 0 England 1. Goal: Haines (Mayling) 78.
USA -- Murphy, Jean, Riehl, Elliston, Cousins (Moyer, 85), Otto (Jacobs, 59), Flores (Fox, 46), Canales (Doyle, 59), Ogle, Scarpa (Goins, 85), Hedge (Pugh, 75).
England -- Baggaley; Wilson (N’Dow, 71), Carter, Brett, Bartrip, George, Zelem, Ayane (Humphrey, 66), Dear, Mayling (Turner, 89), Flint (Haines, 66).
(full game video)

Sept. 14 in Carson, Calif.

USA 0 South Korea 0.
USA -- Murphy; Jean, Riehl, Elliston, Cousins, Otto (Jacobs, 60), Canales (Flores 31), Ogle (capt.), Scarpa (Goins, 76), Fox (Doyle, 46), Hedge (Moyer, 83).
South Korea -- Kim Minjung, Ha Seulgi, Hong Hyeji, Meang Dahee (Kim Hyein, 71), Park Yeeun, Jang Chang Choi Heejeong, 83), Song Jiyoon (Kwon Dohee, 83), Han Chaerin (Kang Chaerim, 57), Kim Seongmi (Namgung Yeji, 57), Ko Yoojin (Lee Sohee, 71), Yoon Sunyong.
(full game video)

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U.S. U-16 girls head to Netherlands

Coach Jaime Frias has named a 20-player roster for the U.S. U-16 girls national team's Sept. 16-27 training camp in the Netherlands, where it will play three games, including one against the Dutch U-17 national team Sept. 20.

The USA will also face two regional academy teams: CTO Amsterdam on Sept. 23 and CTO Eindhoven on Sept. 26.

The trip marks the U-16s' second of the year following the 1st Women’s “Delle Nazioni” Tournament in Gradisca, Italy, where in April they fell lost to Italy (1-0), beat Iran (6-0) and lost to Mexico in a penalty kick shootout after a 1-1 tie.

The U-16s are in the second year of a two-year cycle before becoming the U-18s and then the U-20s with the goal of playing in the 2020 U-20 Women’s World Cup. The Netherlands' training camp roster is comprised of 16 players born in 2000 and four 2001s. The 2001s are eligible for the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup.

U.S. U-16 girls national team
GOALKEEPERS (2): Hensley Hancuff (Oklahoma Football Club; Edmond, Okla.), Katie Meyer (Eagles SC; Newbury Park, Calif.).
DEFENDERS (5): Maycee Bell (Sporting KC Blue Valley; Wichita, Kan.), Madelyn Desiano (So Cal Blues; San Clemente, Calif.), Sierra Enge (So Cal Blues; Cardiff, Calif.), Shae Holmes (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Brianna Martinez (New Mexico Rush; Albuquerque, N.M.).
MIDFIELDERS (7): Croix Bethune (Concord Fire; Alpharetta, Ga.), Coriana Dyke (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Jenna Nighswonger (Slammers FC; Huntington Beach, Calif.), Leah Scarpelli (PDA; Brick, N.J.), Kali Trevithick (San Diego Surf, Temecula, Calif.), Madeline Vergura (FC Stars; Concord, Mass.), Summer Yates (PacNW SC; Pasco, Wash.).
FORWARDS (5): Rebecca Jarrett (World Class; Washington Township, N.J.), Samantha Meza (Dallas Kicks; Balch Springs, Texas), Ashlynn Serepca (Carolina Rapids; Cornelius, N.C.), Emaly Vatne (Michigan Hawks; Sterling Heights, Mich.), Olivia Wingate (FC Stars; Wilmington, Mass.).

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Coaching Education

• The NSCAA is offering new coaching education programs that focus on small-sided games, from 4v4 through 11v11. The NSCAA Coaching Development Courses replace the NSCAA Levels 1-6 Diploma curriculum. ... The NSCAA has also created a 30-minute online course titled "Get aHEAD Safely in Soccer," which is available at no charge.

Links:
NSCAA Coaching Course Menu
NSCAA course hosting
NSCAA.com/heading

• The U.S. Soccer Federation has announced the dates and locations for the next A-Senior, A-Youth and B course opportunities, starting in early 2017, with a Sept. 21-Oct. 2 application window.

Links:
USSF Digital Coaching Center (DCC)
Pre-Application Checklist
FAQs
A-Senior Course
A-Youth Course
B Course

7 comments about "U.S. U-20 women scoreless in World Cup prep tourney".
  1. James Madison, September 19, 2016 at 7:56 p.m.

    I would argue it is less a matter of other nations catching up than of the United States falling behind. Preference for athleticism over technique and game sense, which plagues the US men, has increasingly been infecting the women. As female football develops in other nations with better men's teams, the women benefit from copying the men.

  2. Wooden Ships replied, September 19, 2016 at 8:59 p.m.

    There's a lot of truth in your comment, IMO. Modeling has more influence than anything. I've seen that in the States for over 50 years. As a player, a coach-manager and as a referee you exhibit what you know and see, the style. The Italian article touched on it. Pirlo, earlier in the season, referenced it. We have more learning technique I think. Pulisic and Pugh come to mind. Can you imagine how devestating Dunn and Zyardes would be with a quality touch? Parents, coaches and clubs sure like to champion the bigger, faster players while getting results prior to any international competition, especially the senior teams, where technical skills win out.

  3. Mark Calcat, September 19, 2016 at 9:06 p.m.

    You are absolutely correct James Madison, but I am not sure that it is for the reasons you specify. Women from have been coming to the US to play college soccer, then return to spots on the home national teams. I think that US Soccer, Sunil and Company, are systematically destroying the best women's program in the world because they have had the gall to ask for equal pay. They are showing them that they are more than happy to watch the program collapse than to surrender a pennies worth of control.

  4. Wooden Ships replied, September 19, 2016 at 9:29 p.m.

    Mark, they do come here but the imprinting of how to play the game comes with them. Believe it or not, some coaches at the university level, try to coach that out of them. I agree with you on the USSF. Also, most countries don't combine competitive sport and a university education. Actually, it might be only us and Canada that do.

  5. Mark Calcat, September 19, 2016 at 11:32 p.m.

    I do not disagree with any of that. I still think that USWNT defined the women's game tactically and athletically, particularly with giants like Michelle Akers and Mia Hamm. I have coached men and women for over 25 years and worked with some of the best USSF coaches around and there is general concurrence that women are raised up in quality by playing against quality women to a much greater extent than by playing against men. It has been such an awesome program and an inspiration for all female athletes that I am deeply saddened to see it being deconstructed by a politically dysfunctional National Federation.

  6. Wooden Ships replied, September 20, 2016 at 7:19 a.m.

    I agree with you Mark. The original group of US women and the Nine for Niners were amazing in how they played, how they won, and how they carried themselves. To think that then and now, the accomplishments and influence they've had on our sporting society isn't being heralded substantively by the governing body is a shame. And deserving of a change of leadership.

  7. Jorge Delgado, September 20, 2016 at 6:06 p.m.

    One wonders why Michelle French is still coaching this team. She didn't do well at all in the last world cup. This time she decided the solution was to take a group of players into a long term training camp, asking them to forego the college season and one semester of their college education. A lot of the top players passed. So far the strategy is a total failure. And really, where is the analysis of her coaching abilities and the decision of US soccer to stick with her?

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