Stalemate start for USA at U-20 Women's World Cup

By Mike Woitalla

The USA, facing what is likely its strongest Group C opponent, opened the U-20 Women's World Cup in Papua New Guinea by tying France, 0-0.

Mallory Pugh had the best U.S. chances, after dribbling from midfield, in the 31st and 62nd minutes. But her shot on the first chance went to France keeper Mylene Chavas -- her only save of the game -- while Pugh’s second shot went high.

The French outshot Coach Michelle French’s team, 17-3 while U.S. keeper Casey Murphy was credited with four saves during the game in which France had 60 percent of the possession.

In its second Group C game (Thursday, 4 am ET, FS1, NBC Universo), the USA faces New Zealand, which opened with a 1-0 win over Ghana.

"What an absolutely incredibly athletic team France is," said French. "They gave us all that we could handle and then some. They have personality players, they can take on and they can serve. With that being said, I could not be more impressed with the effort, grit, and the attitude of our team to compete. At the end of the day, we had a couple of opportunities to win so it was a great first game of our group."

Nov. 14 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
USA 0 France 0
USA -- Murphy; Elliston, Otto, Riehl, Jean; Sanchez, Ogle, Roberts (DeMelo, 65), Petersen (Fox, 76); Pugh, Scarpa (Watt, 79).
France -- Chavas; Karchaoui, Cissoko, Mansuy, 13- Greboval, Cascarino; Geyoro, Garbino (Leger, 69), Gathrat; Cascarino, Mateo (Gauvin, 83).
Referee: Casey Reibelt (Australia)
Att.: 2,033.

U-20 Women's World Cup: Schedule and Results

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Southern Californians strike for Mexico

Mexico opened its U-20 Women's World Cup campaign with a 2-0 win over South Korea. As was the case when Mexico beat Honduras, 2-0, in the third-place game of the U-20 Concacaf Championship to clinch a spot at World Cup, its goals were scored by Southern Californians Kiana Palacios and Jacqueline Crowther.

Palacios, a junior at UC Irvine, played her youth ball with Slammers FC. Crowther, of Legends FC, is a sophomore at Baylor. In total, nine players on Mexico's 21-player roster represent U.S. colleges or youth teams. Crowther's goal was set up by another Mexican-American, Maria Sanchez of American Falls, Idaho. Mexico's starting goalkeeper Emily Alvarado is a freshman at TCU out Texas Rush.

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U.S. U-14 boys convene in Carson

U.S. U-14 boys national team coach Clint Peay  has called in a squad of 48 players for the team's only camp of 2016, Nov. 13-20 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.

The group will play two intra-squad games on Nov. 16 and three games against U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs -- vs. Strikers FC, LA Galaxy and Real So Cal -- on Nov. 19.

All players were born in 2003.

U.S. U-14 boys national team.
GOALKEEPERS (5): Andrew Cordes (Colorado Rapids; Denver, Colo.), Eliot Jones (NE Revolution; New Britain, Conn.), Gavin Krenecki (Sacramento Republic; Fair Oaks, Calif.), Jacob Morris (Real Colorado; Parker, Colo.), Tommy Williams (Sporting KC; Roeland Park, Kan.).
DEFENDERS (13): Mateo Acosta (FC United; Skokie, Ill.), Diego Alvarado (Chicago Fire; Addison, Ill.), Fernando Alvarez (C.F. Pachuca; New York, N.Y.), Dominic Briones (Columbus Crew; Pickerington, Ohio), Ryan Cote (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Reece Fragle (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Camilo Gallego (Kendall SC; Miami, Fla.), Jobany Garcia (Metropolitan Oval; Brooklyn, N.Y.), Jacob Greene (D.C. United; Crofton, Md.), Issac Homer (Portland Timbers; Portland, Ore.), Kayden Pierre (Vardar; Rochester Hills, Mich.), Boca Rogart (Real So Cal, Sylmar, Calif.), Zachary Sardi-Santos (NE Revolution; Newton, Mass.).
MIDFIELDERS (20): Paxten Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; Medford, N.J.), Valentin Bargagna (Atlanta United; Atlanta, Ga.), Joel Brown (Baltimore Armour; Elkridge, Md.), Sebastian Burke (Chelsea FC; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.), Owen Butcher (Solar Chelsea; Plano, Texas), Elton Chifamba (Columbus Crew; Blacklick, Ohio), Jeremy Garay (D.C. United; Woodbridge, Va.), Brian Gutierrez (Chicago Fire; Burbank, Ill.), Sota Kitahara (Seattle Sounders FC; Edmonds, Wash.), Martin Killeen (LA Galaxy; Brea, Calif.), Ryan Kipness (NYCFC; Stamford, Conn.), Brian Lopez (Weston FC; Miami, Fla.), Morris Matthews (NE Revolution; Cambridge, Mass.), Andrew McGee (Pateadores; Fullerton, Calif.), Jack McGlynn (BW Gottschee; Middle Village, N.Y.), Nicholas Pariano (Crew Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Nicolas Pereira (Weston FC; Miami, Fla.), Noah Sick (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Dominic Vegaalban (Sacramento Republic; Rocklin, Calif.), Micah Worton (Atlanta United; Marietta, Ga.).
FORWARDS (10): Andres Cardenas (Weston FC; Doral, Fla.), Tyler Freeman (Sporting KC; Shawnee, Kan.), Anthony Hernandez (Columbus Crew; Reynoldsburg, Ohio), Tega Ikoba (Vestavia Hills; Madison, Ala.), Marcos Isidoro (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Lateef Omidiji Jr. (FC Dordrecht; Breda, Netherlands), Jose Ortega (Bethesda; Potomac, Md.), Sam Sarver (Internationals; Beachwood, Ohio), Andre Saucedo-Avila (Portland Timbers; Beaverton, Ore.), Dante Sealy (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas).

8 comments about "Stalemate start for USA at U-20 Women's World Cup".
  1. Bill Dooley, November 14, 2016 at 8:38 p.m.

    Memo to Michelle French: When possession in France vs USA is 60-40 to them, and you get outshot 17-3, it's not about the athleticism of the opponent.

  2. R2 Dad replied, November 14, 2016 at 9:47 p.m.

    well put--my thoughts exactly!

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, November 15, 2016 at 4:03 a.m.

    My impression was that most of the US players lacked fitness which drove the team tactics. On the quick counterattacks from our own half, there were no 3rd runners. Yet when the ball was won high up the field the attack was well supported. Tired players don't close down space like they should and don't make the attacking runs into space needed. You don't measure a team by its best players, but rather all the players on the field. This team was very much an amateur college/club team fit enough for NCAA substitution rules, but not 90-minute fit. First touch skills were lower than I expected, and there were a lot of unforced turnovers, often from forcing a pass that wasn't available or from too little pace on the pass. The fitness issue indicates a lack of professional attitude. Fitness can be improved independently. Either the women are being coddled or else they view the U20 team as the ultimate club team rather than a professional development opportunity.

  4. Ric Fonseca, November 14, 2016 at 10:41 p.m.

    Just when will US Soccer, those of the MNT or WNT, going to learn about the overall talent being trained right in our own yard, playing for top local clubs and universities, and then seeing them go and play elsewhere, i.e. those ladies listed above? Seems to me that "some south of the border" xenophobia rules in US Soccer!

  5. Chris J, November 16, 2016 at 11:13 a.m.

    love it, Bill! Well said. Despite all the rhetoric around being more technical, our coaches only know/see athleticism. France completely outplayed the US. Strategy was just like the 17s, pound it forward to an athletic forward to save the day with a warrior-girl goal.

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, November 18, 2016 at 1:20 a.m.

    This is the second time I have seen someone use warrior as an adjective in a discussion of soccer. Are you using warrior as a pejorative term? If you are, I am offended. You should choose a different word rather than twist a word of high praise. See any dictionary.

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, November 18, 2016 at 1:25 a.m.

    Seems like you are also arguing against the identification and selection of more players like the 2015 FIFA Woman's Player of the Year. She is a warrior.

  8. Bob Ashpole replied, November 18, 2016 at 1:27 a.m.

    To be clear, so is Meghan Klingenberg. It has everything to do with effort and courage and nothing to do with size.

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