U-17 Women's World Cup: USA falls, 3-0, to North Koreans

A 3-0 loss to defending champion North Korea means the USA will have to beat Germany on Wednesday to ensure passage to the knockout stage of the U-17 Women's World Cup. A tie against the Germans could also be enough for Coach Mark Carr's team if North Korea and Cameroon also tie, and the USA scores two more goals against Germany than the Koreans do against Cameroon.

Dismal corner kick defending. The Americans managed to win its opener, 3-0, against an rough, high-fouling Cameroon team. But they never found a rhythm against the swift-passing Koreans. Too many U.S. buildups ended with a poorly hit pass and U.S. strikers rarely saw the ball as North Korean goalkeeper Yu Son Gum needed to make only two (easy) saves. The slight edge the USA had in possession was thanks to passing that occurred far from the Korean goal.

All three Korean goals came after corner kicks, of which the Koreans had five. The second came directly from the kick. Kim Yun Ok beat Trinity Byars to a near post header. Goalkeeper Angelina Anderson's dive came up short and Smith Hunter, who was guarding the near post, flinched instead of getting into the ball's path. The other two came after penalty area scrambles. Ri Kum Hyang made it 1-0 with a polished 12-yard strike after failed U.S. clearances. On the third goal, the U.S. defenders allowed Pak Hye Gyong's corner kick to land in front of Kim Kyong Yong, who struck emphatically into the lower right corner from 13 yards.

A big save. Kim Yun Ok skipped over a slide-tackle by Sophia Jones late in the game for a one-on-one with Anderson, who managed block the shot with her right arm and prevent a higher defeat.

The biggest loss. The 3-0 loss marked the largest margin of defeat for USA in the history of the biennial U-17 World Cup that launched in 2008. Not since the inaugural tournament, when the Kazbek Tambi-coached U.S. team finished runner-up, has the USA managed to reach the knockout stage. But not until Saturday has the USA lost a game by more than a single goal at a U-17 World Cup.

Next up. Germany opened with a 4-1 win over North Korea but fell, 1-0, to Cameroon. The USA faces Germany on Wednesday in Montevideo at 3 p.m. ET (FS2 and telemundodeportes.com).

Pts Team W-L-T GF-GA GD
3 Germany 1-1-0 4-2 +2
3 North Korea 1-1-0 4-4 0
3 United States 1-1-0 3-3 0
3 Cameroon 1-1-0 1-3 -2

Nov. 17 in Colonia Del Sacramento, Uruguay
USA 0 North Korea 3. Goals: Ri Kum Hyang 25, Kim Yun Ok (An Kuk Hyang) 32 Kim Kyong Yong 52.
USA -- Anderson; Morris, Hunter, Byars, Doms (Fishel, 74), Bebar, Staude, Linnehan (Rodman, 46), Fontes (Canniff, 62), Agresti, Jones.
North Korea -- Yu Son Gum; Ri Sin Ok, Ri Kum Hyang, Ri Su Jong, Ri Su Gyong, Choe Kum Ok (Yun Ji Hwa, 55), Ko Kyong Hui (O Si Nae, 73), Kim Yun Ok (Kim Ryu Song, 78), An Kuk Hyang, Kim Kyong Yong, Pak Hye Gyong.
Yellow cards: North Korea -- Pak Hye Gyong 71.
Referee: Katalin Kulcsar (Hungary)

USA/North Korea
Shots: 5/22
Shots on Goal: 2/9
Saves: 6/2
Corner Kicks: 1/5
Fouls: 4/10
Offside: 0/1
Possession: 53%/47%

7 comments about "U-17 Women's World Cup: USA falls, 3-0, to North Koreans".
  1. Scott Chaney, November 18, 2018 at 6:35 a.m.

    I was real disappointed in the team’s play. I was shocked how poorly the team as a whole played as they could barely put simple passes together much less string two or three together. Either change the coaches or find new (better) players as something has to give. I know they are young, but I saw no future difference makers on this squad. It was just bad soccer and very hard to watch. 

  2. Ginger Peeler, November 18, 2018 at 7:28 a.m.

    Agreed. It was very hard to watch. Very poor passing, inability to hold and control the ball, failure to anticipate passes.  It Is difficult to believe that this is a United States national team. Korea controlled the game ... we never even showed up for it!

  3. Wallace Wade, November 18, 2018 at 10:21 a.m.

    Further proof that our Federation “Leadership” is taking us backwards. We had a chance for change and instead we elected to suffer going forward. 

  4. Leonik Ahumada, November 18, 2018 at 11:03 a.m.

    We have talent but we need stronger fundamentals. If the players are watched individually their body shape is poor, receiving is awkward, passes are not accurate or with proper weight, defensively the 2/3 allow the opponent too much time for service before confrontation and the forwards the runs are straight. As a team the midfield needs improvement in using spaces and anticipating passes to connect the lines. There was no connection in the attacking third except for the occasional direct pass to a straight sprinting forward. I don’t know if it is innovation ahead of its time or something else but the start of play with nearly all players lined up at midfield and sprinting after a long lofted ball (most often directly to an opponent) left me wondering whether the concept of possession is being reinforced to the players.

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, November 18, 2018 at 9:39 p.m.

    You have a strange definition of talent. The only way a "talented" athlete could have poor fundamentals is if ALL his or her coaches were incompetent. The scientific meaning of talent is an athlete that improves faster than his or her peers. I find it difficult to call an athlete "talented" when they lack the fundamentals that I expect merely "good" adult amateur players to have. 

    But maybe I am living in the past because I won't tolerate incompetence. By the way, I am not criticizing the national team coaches. They are not the ones who are supposed to develop players. They only select and identify what other coaches develop. 

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, November 18, 2018 at 9:48 p.m.

    Let me explain that differently. Selecting youth players with poor fundamentals, after the fundamental phase of development is over, insures the selection of the less talented players.

  7. beautiful game, November 18, 2018 at 12:03 p.m.

    Saw last 30-minutes of the game...player efficacy was non-existent and the TV video presentation was pathetically terrible.

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