U-20 Women's World Cup: USA faces Mexico in first round of qualifying

The U.S. U-20 women’s quest to remain the only U.S. youth national team to qualify for every World Cup at its level begins in Trinidad & Tobago at 2018 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship (Jan. 18-28) where Coach Jitka Klimkova’s team has been drawn into Group B with Nicaragua, the Caribbean zone champion, and Mexico.

The USA has qualified for all eight previous biennial U-20 Women’s World Cups and lifted the titles in 2002, 2008 and 2012. It finished in fourth place in 2016, after which Klimkova replaced Coach Michelle French.

“We are very excited to know our opponents for the tournament,” Klimkova said. “The Concacaf region is always getting better and knowing our path gives us even more focus for our preparations, which have been going well. We’ve had four camps and played nine international games in the first half of 2017 and we’re inviting 30 players to the training camp in November.

"We want to revisit a of couple players who haven’t been involved with us for a while and we want to see some new players who had great college seasons. We’ll play another three international games during the 2017 Nike International Friendlies in Florida in the beginning of December, and the last piece of our preparations before we go to Trinidad and Tobago will be a camp at the end of December.”

2018 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship
Group B Schedule — USA
Jan. 19
USA vs. Nicaragua
Jan. 21
USA vs. Caribbean champion
Jan. 23
USA vs. Mexico

As defending Concacaf U-20 champion, the USA was seeded atop Group B while host Trinidad & Tobago was seeded atop Group A, which also includes Canada, Costa Rica and the second-place finisher from the Caribbean championship, which takes place Nov. 22-26 in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Each group’s top two finishers advance to the semifinals, whose winners along with the winner of the third-place game earn berths to the 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup in France (Aug. 5-24).

The USA beat Mexico, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the 2016 U-20 World Cup in Papua New Guinea. Nicaragua has never qualified for the U-20 World Cup, nor have any teams from the Caribbean zone.

In addition to the USA and Mexico, Canada represented Concacaf at the 2016 U-20 World Cup, exiting without a point in the first round.

1 comment about "U-20 Women's World Cup: USA faces Mexico in first round of qualifying".
  1. R2 Dad, November 7, 2017 at 9:11 p.m.

    In the event you're thinking that individual coach player selection criteria don't have that much to do with making it into the US WNT U20 pool, and that we've moved beyond that because we have a uniform playing style/formation/criteria that would lead to continuity, buildilng on skills, familiarity, etc etc--we still don't. If you compare last year's U20 French roster with this summer's U20 Klimkova roster, only 1 of 8 defenders remains (E. Fox). Is it really all the girl's faults? While it's possible that some of those defenders aged out and will now be playing on the U23 (just checked--they didn't), it appears the USWNT churns through our players just like a crummy, small-town travel team does.

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