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US Soccer

USA Loses 2-1 to Korea DPR in Valiant Semifinal Effort at 2016 U-20 Women's World Cup

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Nov. 29, 2016) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team battled with every ounce of energy they had through 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime before falling 2-1 to a talented Korea DPR side in the first semifinal of the 2016 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

“I think you saw why Korea DPR made the semifinal and why the growth of the game in their country has propelled them to so much success,” said U.S. head coach Michelle French. “I thought the first 90 minutes we did well enough to be in the game. It’s an extremely disappointing feeling for those players right now who left every bit of energy and every piece of their heart out on the field today.”

The USA will now face the loser of the France-Japan semifinal in the third-place match on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the National Football Stadium (1 a.m. ET on FS1 and telemundo.com).

“Now we’re at a point where we have to turn around and refocus because we have an opportunity to earn a medal,” said French. “Our players need to realize that. Their job isn’t done and they’re going to have every opportunity against whoever our opponent is [in the third place match] to come out and show why we deserve to be in the final four.”

The U.S. team played an excellent first 30 minutes, putting together some quality possession coupled with some excellent defense pressure that created danger in the Korea DPR defensive third. U.S. captain Mallory Pugh had two good looks at goal, albeit from a tight angle, and cut the first one just past the left post while Korea DPR goalkeeper Kim Myong Sun made a kick save on the second.

The Koreans got the first goal in the 51st minute, which came from the penalty spot after U.S. midfielder Katie Cousins was whistled for a handball while blocking a shot. Jon So Yon converted her spot kick into the lower right corner as U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy jumped the other way.

As the game wore on, the technically savvy and organized Korea DPR team had the lion’s share of the possession and shots, but the Americans kept fighting, and as they’d done all tournament, got a goal when they needed one.

French sent on attackers Ally Watt, Kelcie Hedge and Jessie Scarpa between the 66th and 78th minutes, but it was a defender who would get the tying score.

As the game entered the 89th minute, Scarpa cut back on her defender from the left wing and sent a cross into the penalty area for Pugh. She took a hard touch and it bounced off a defender, then off Pugh, before a Korea defender made a poor clearance. Natalie Jacobs came flying through to hit an athletic left-footed, first-time volley that looped into the right side of the net to tie the game.

Due to the cooling break and several injuries in the stifling heat, seven minutes of stoppage time were added to the end of the match that saw some wild end-to-end play. The USA was forced to play the last four minutes of stoppage time with 10 players after Watt had to go out injured and the Americans had already made their three allowed substitutes in regulation. Watt went down hard in the 81st minute as she was violently decked from behind by Korean defender. She tried to continue, but could not, and the USA lost its fastest player for the overtime period.

After the USA dodged a few quality scoring chances from Korea DPR in second half stoppage time, French was able to utilize the new rule allowing for a fourth sub in overtime and sent on Courtney Peterson for Watt.

Korea DPR wasted no time going ahead, however, creating a very nice goal less than a minute into the first overtime. The USA tried to push for a second equalizer and battled with tremendous heart until to the end, but a clearly fatigued U.S. team could not find the net again.

“I said it all tournament, I couldn’t be more proud,” said French. “Again you find a way to get the goal at the end. We never gave up, I think in the end, the 4 o’clock games that we had (in the heat) and the possession that Korea DPR had, it just started to add up and you could see our players start to fatigue a little bit. That’s 100 percent to be expected, so great game for Korea DPR and best of luck to them in the final.”

U.S. defender Maddie Elliston cleared a ball off the goal line after Murphy made a fantastic point blank save in the 109th minute to keep the USA in the game, but it was not to be.

Murphy had an excellent game in goal, making several fine saves over the course of the 120 minutes while controlling the air her penalty box as well.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
PRK – Jon So Yon (penalty kick), 50th minute:
Korea DPR started the half strong and earned a penalty kick after Katie Cousins was called for a handball while sliding to block a shot in right side of the penalty box. The ball initially hit her leg, but deflected up her body and ricocheted off her arm. Jon So Yon calmly sent her kick into the lower right corner as U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy guessed the other way. USA 0, PRK 1

USA – Natalie Jacobs, 89th minute: With the seconds ticking away in regulation, Jessie Scarpa cut back on her defender from the left flank and sent a cross into the penalty area for Pugh, who took a hard touch to goal in the middle of the penalty area. The ball bounced off a defender, and then Pugh, and then another defender made a poor clearance. Jacobs came flying through to hit an athletic left-footed, first-time volley into the right side of the net to tie the game. USA 1, PRK 1

PRK – Ri Hyang Sim (Sung Hyang Sim), 91st minute: As the first overtime began, Korea DPR wasted little time going ahead, scoring just 48 seconds after the restart on an excellent build up. The play started on a dead ball after the USA was called for offside. Korea DPR played the ball to the left and then up the middle. A series of passes then got the ball into the right side of the penalty area to Ri Hyang Sim whohad an uncontested shot from inside the six-yard box and she stuffed her shot into the near post past charging U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy for the game winner. USA 1, PRK 2 FINAL

Social: Facebook ; Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp); Instagram; Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt)

Additional Notes:

  • The loss was the first in overtime for the USA in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
  • The USA has lost just four matches in regulation time in its history in the tournament, spanning eight competitions. Three of the losses were to Germany and one to China PR during group play in 2008 when the USA had already clinched first place in the group.
  • The USA defeated Korea DPR 2-1 in overtime during the quarterfinals at the 2012 U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Japan and lost to them in penalty kicks in the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup quarterfinals in Canada.
  • The USA has played in the third-place game of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup on two other occasions, defeating Brazil in 2004 and losing in penalty kicks to Brazil in 2008.
  • Natalie Jacobs got her first start of the tournament at right back. Ellie Jean, who had played right back in the four previous games, moved into right midfield and ran with fury until she was taking off in the 71st minute for Kelcie Hedge.
  • The goal for Natalie Jacobs was just her second at the U-20 level in 20 caps.
  • Courtney Petersen played the entire overtime in her first action since the opening match of the tournament against France.
  • The USA has given up five goals in the tournament, four off set plays. Korea DPR’s game-winner was the first goal given up from the run of play.
Read more
U-20 WNT Nov 29, 2016

-U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. Korea DPR U-20 Women’s National Team
Date:
Nov. 29, 2016
Competition:
2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup – Semifinal
Venue:
Sir John Guise Stadium; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Kickoff:
1 a.m. ET
Attendance:
5,037
Weather:
90 degrees; Partly cloudy

Scoring Summary:    1          2          ET1     ET2     F
USA                            0          1          0          0          1
PRK                            0          1          1          0          2

PRK – Jon So Yon (penalty kick)                   51st minute
USA – Natalie Jacobs                                     89
PRK – Ri Hyang Sim (Sung Hyang Sim)       91

Lineups:
USA:
1-Casey Murphy; 19-Natalie Jacobs, 6-Taylor Otto, 3-Kaleigh Riehl, 5-Madeline Elliston; 14-Ellie Jean (17-Kelcie Hedge, 71), 10-Emily Ogle, 20-Katie Cousins (15-Jessie Scarpa, 78), 9-Mallory Pugh (capt.), 16-Emily Fox (11-Ally Watt, 66 (8-Courtney Petersen, 91)), 18-Ashley Sanchez
Subs Not Used: 2-Parker Roberts, 4-Sabrina Flores, 7-Savannah DeMelo, 12-Rose Chandler, 13-Marley Canales, 21-Brooke Heinsohn

Head Coach: Michelle French

PRK: 1-Kim Myong Sun; 3-U Sol Gyong, 5-Choe Sol Gyong (capt.), 12-Jon So Yon, 16-Ri Un Yong; 9-Ri Hyang Sim, 11-Kim Phyong Hwa (15-An Song Ok, 95), 17-Kim Un Hwa (2-Sung Hyang Sim, 66), 19-Ju Hyo Sim; 6-Wi Jong Sim (8-Choe Un Hwa, 75), 20-Kim So Hyang, (7-Ri Kyong Hyang, 75)
Subs Not Used: 4-Chae Kyong Mi, 10-Ri Un Sim, 13-Son Ok Ju, 14-Kim Jong Sim, 18-Rim Yong Hwa, 21-Ok Kum Ju
Head Coach: Hwang Yongbong

Stats Summary: USA / PRK
Shots: 7 / 25
Shots on Goal: 2 / 7
Saves: 5 / 1
Corner Kicks: 9 / 8
Fouls: 15 / 12
Offside: 2 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
PRK – Wi Jong Sim (caution)             69th minute
PRK – Ju Hyo Sim (caution)              105+2
PRK – Choe Un Hwa (caution)          108
PRK – Kim Myong Sun (caution)       119

Officials:
Referee: Katalin Kulcsar (HUN)
Asst. Ref: Katalin Torok (HUN)
Asst. Ref: Svetlana Bilic (SRB)
4th Official: Finau Vulivuli (FIJ)

ussoccer.com Player of the Match: Casey Murphy

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US Soccer

USA Loses 2-1 to Korea DPR in Valiant Semifinal Effort at 2016 U-20 Women's World Cup

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Nov. 29, 2016) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team battled with every ounce of energy they had through 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime before falling 2-1 to a talented Korea DPR side in the first semifinal of the 2016 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

“I think you saw why Korea DPR made the semifinal and why the growth of the game in their country has propelled them to so much success,” said U.S. head coach Michelle French. “I thought the first 90 minutes we did well enough to be in the game. It’s an extremely disappointing feeling for those players right now who left every bit of energy and every piece of their heart out on the field today.”

The USA will now face the loser of the France-Japan semifinal in the third-place match on Saturday, Dec. 3, at the National Football Stadium (1 a.m. ET on FS1 and telemundo.com).

“Now we’re at a point where we have to turn around and refocus because we have an opportunity to earn a medal,” said French. “Our players need to realize that. Their job isn’t done and they’re going to have every opportunity against whoever our opponent is [in the third place match] to come out and show why we deserve to be in the final four.”

The U.S. team played an excellent first 30 minutes, putting together some quality possession coupled with some excellent defense pressure that created danger in the Korea DPR defensive third. U.S. captain Mallory Pugh had two good looks at goal, albeit from a tight angle, and cut the first one just past the left post while Korea DPR goalkeeper Kim Myong Sun made a kick save on the second.

The Koreans got the first goal in the 51st minute, which came from the penalty spot after U.S. midfielder Katie Cousins was whistled for a handball while blocking a shot. Jon So Yon converted her spot kick into the lower right corner as U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy jumped the other way.

As the game wore on, the technically savvy and organized Korea DPR team had the lion’s share of the possession and shots, but the Americans kept fighting, and as they’d done all tournament, got a goal when they needed one.

French sent on attackers Ally Watt, Kelcie Hedge and Jessie Scarpa between the 66th and 78th minutes, but it was a defender who would get the tying score.

As the game entered the 89th minute, Scarpa cut back on her defender from the left wing and sent a cross into the penalty area for Pugh. She took a hard touch and it bounced off a defender, then off Pugh, before a Korea defender made a poor clearance. Natalie Jacobs came flying through to hit an athletic left-footed, first-time volley that looped into the right side of the net to tie the game.

Due to the cooling break and several injuries in the stifling heat, seven minutes of stoppage time were added to the end of the match that saw some wild end-to-end play. The USA was forced to play the last four minutes of stoppage time with 10 players after Watt had to go out injured and the Americans had already made their three allowed substitutes in regulation. Watt went down hard in the 81st minute as she was violently decked from behind by Korean defender. She tried to continue, but could not, and the USA lost its fastest player for the overtime period.

After the USA dodged a few quality scoring chances from Korea DPR in second half stoppage time, French was able to utilize the new rule allowing for a fourth sub in overtime and sent on Courtney Peterson for Watt.

Korea DPR wasted no time going ahead, however, creating a very nice goal less than a minute into the first overtime. The USA tried to push for a second equalizer and battled with tremendous heart until to the end, but a clearly fatigued U.S. team could not find the net again.

“I said it all tournament, I couldn’t be more proud,” said French. “Again you find a way to get the goal at the end. We never gave up, I think in the end, the 4 o’clock games that we had (in the heat) and the possession that Korea DPR had, it just started to add up and you could see our players start to fatigue a little bit. That’s 100 percent to be expected, so great game for Korea DPR and best of luck to them in the final.”

U.S. defender Maddie Elliston cleared a ball off the goal line after Murphy made a fantastic point blank save in the 109th minute to keep the USA in the game, but it was not to be.

Murphy had an excellent game in goal, making several fine saves over the course of the 120 minutes while controlling the air her penalty box as well.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
PRK – Jon So Yon (penalty kick), 50th minute:
Korea DPR started the half strong and earned a penalty kick after Katie Cousins was called for a handball while sliding to block a shot in right side of the penalty box. The ball initially hit her leg, but deflected up her body and ricocheted off her arm. Jon So Yon calmly sent her kick into the lower right corner as U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy guessed the other way. USA 0, PRK 1

USA – Natalie Jacobs, 89th minute: With the seconds ticking away in regulation, Jessie Scarpa cut back on her defender from the left flank and sent a cross into the penalty area for Pugh, who took a hard touch to goal in the middle of the penalty area. The ball bounced off a defender, and then Pugh, and then another defender made a poor clearance. Jacobs came flying through to hit an athletic left-footed, first-time volley into the right side of the net to tie the game. USA 1, PRK 1

PRK – Ri Hyang Sim (Sung Hyang Sim), 91st minute: As the first overtime began, Korea DPR wasted little time going ahead, scoring just 48 seconds after the restart on an excellent build up. The play started on a dead ball after the USA was called for offside. Korea DPR played the ball to the left and then up the middle. A series of passes then got the ball into the right side of the penalty area to Ri Hyang Sim whohad an uncontested shot from inside the six-yard box and she stuffed her shot into the near post past charging U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy for the game winner. USA 1, PRK 2 FINAL

Social: Facebook ; Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp); Instagram; Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt)

Additional Notes:

  • The loss was the first in overtime for the USA in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
  • The USA has lost just four matches in regulation time in its history in the tournament, spanning eight competitions. Three of the losses were to Germany and one to China PR during group play in 2008 when the USA had already clinched first place in the group.
  • The USA defeated Korea DPR 2-1 in overtime during the quarterfinals at the 2012 U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Japan and lost to them in penalty kicks in the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup quarterfinals in Canada.
  • The USA has played in the third-place game of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup on two other occasions, defeating Brazil in 2004 and losing in penalty kicks to Brazil in 2008.
  • Natalie Jacobs got her first start of the tournament at right back. Ellie Jean, who had played right back in the four previous games, moved into right midfield and ran with fury until she was taking off in the 71st minute for Kelcie Hedge.
  • The goal for Natalie Jacobs was just her second at the U-20 level in 20 caps.
  • Courtney Petersen played the entire overtime in her first action since the opening match of the tournament against France.
  • The USA has given up five goals in the tournament, four off set plays. Korea DPR’s game-winner was the first goal given up from the run of play.
Read more
U-20 WNT Nov 29, 2016

USA Set to Face Korea DPR in 2016 U-20 Women's World Cup Semfinal | 1am ET; FS1, NBC Universo

USA AND KOREA DPR MEET IN SEMIFINAL AT 2016 FIFA U-20 WWC: After winning the most difficult group in the 2016 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup by the slimmest of margins and mounting an epic late-game comeback to defeat Mexico in the quarterfinal round, the USA will now face Korea DPR in the first semifinal on Nov. 29 at Sir John Guise Stadium (1 a.m. ET on FS1 and NBC Universo). France, which finished second in the USA’s Group C, defeated 2014 U-20 WWC champions Germany 1-0 in its quarterfinal match and will face Japan, which rolled past Brazil 3-1, in the other semifinal (4:30 a.m. ET on FS1 and telemundo.com). Both semifinals can also be watched on FOX Sports GO and FOXSoccer2Go. Fans can follow all the matches of the U.S. U-20s on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt. For full coverage, visit the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup tournament page on ussoccer.com.

WATCH THE USA U-20 WNT ON FOX SPORTS; FOX PROVIDING FREE WEB STREAM OF 2016 FIFA U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Both semifinals, the third-place match and the championship game will be shown on FS1. All matches are also available for live and on-demand streaming via the FOX Sports GO app, the FOX Soccer 2GO app and online at FOXSportsGO.com and on-demand at FOXSoccer2GO.com . Fans can enter a free promo code to watch the games on the FOXSoccer2Go.com registration page. The promo code is “U20WNT” and is valid for entry on foxsoccer2go.com/buy until December 3 for free access to FOX Soccer 2Go without credit card payment required. In addition, the NBC family of networks will show all 32 matches in Spanish on TelemundoDeportes.com and the En Vivo App or on NBC Universo.

2016 U.S. U-20 WNT FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP SCHEDULE AND RESULTS

Date

Opponent

Result/(ET)

TV/Goal Scorers

Venue

Nov. 14

France

0-0 T

--

PNG Football Stadium;

Port Moresby, PNG

Nov. 17

New Zealand

3-1 W

Sanchez, Pugh, Watt

PNG Football Stadium;

Port Moresby, PNG

Nov. 21

Ghana

1-1 T

Pugh

Sir John Guise Stadium;

Port Moresby, PNG

Nov. 25

Mexico

2-1 W

Watt, Hedge

Sir John Guise Stadium;

Port Moresby, PNG

Nov. 29

Korea DPR

1 a.m.

FS1, NBC Universo, FOX Sports GO, FOXSoccer2GO

Sir John Guise Stadium;

Port Moresby, PNG

2016 KOREA DPR U-20 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP SCHEDULE AND RESULTS

Date

Opponent

Result/ET

TV/Goal Scorers

Venue

Nov. 14

Sweden

2-0 W

Ri Hyang Sim, Kim So Hyang

Sir John Guise Stadium;

Port Moresby, PNG

Nov. 16

Brazil

4-2 W

U Sol Gyong, Ri Hyang Sim,

Own Goal, Jon So Yon

Sir John Guise Stadium

Port Moresby, PNG

Nov. 20

PNG

7-1 W

Ri Un Sim, Kim So Hyang (3),

Ju Hyo Sim, Wi Jong Sim,

Sung Hyang Sim

National Football Stadium;

Port Moresby, PNG

Nov. 24

Spain

3-2 W(aet)

Ju Hyo Sim, Ri Hyang Sim,

Kim Phyong Hwa

National Football Stadium;

Port Moresby, PNG

Nov. 29

USA

1 a.m.

FS1, NBC Universo, FOX SportsGO, FOXSoccer2GO

Sir John Guise Stadium;

Port Moresby, PNG

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION – DETAILED
GOALKEEPERS (3):
Rose Chandler (Penn State; Atlanta, Ga.), Brooke Heinsohn (New England FC; Norfolk, Mass.), Casey Murphy (Rutgers; Bridgewater, N.J.)

DEFENDERS (7): Madeline Elliston (Penn State; Omaha, Neb.), Emily Fox (FC Virginia; Ashburn, Va.), Sabrina Flores (Notre Dame; Livingston, N.J.), Ellie Jean (Penn State; Coventry, Conn.), Natalie Jacobs (Notre Dame; Coto de Caza, Calif.), Taylor Otto (UNC; Apex, N.C.), Kaleigh Riehl (Penn State; Fairfax Station, Va.)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Marley Canales (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Katie Cousins (Tennessee; Forest, Va.), Savannah DeMelo (Beach FC; Bellflower, Calif.), Kelcie Hedge (Washington; Post Falls, Idaho), Emily Ogle (Penn State; Strongsville, Ohio), Courtney Petersen (Virginia; Canton, Mich.), Parker Roberts (Florida; Leawood, Kan.)

FORWARDS (4): Ashley Sanchez (So Cal Blues: Monrovia, Calif.), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Jessie Scarpa (North Carolina; Lakeland, Fla.), Ally Watt (Texas A&M; Colorado Springs, Colo.)

U.S. ROSTER NOTES

  • Four different players have scored the USA’s six goals so far, with two each from Mallory Pugh and Ally Watt and one each from Ashley Sanchez and Kelcie Hedge.
  • Three players have assists: Jessie Scarpa, Sanchez (2) and Katie Cousins.
  • Mallory Pugh has 19 goals in 27 U-20 caps.
  • Seventeen of the 18 field players on the U.S. roster have seen action through the first four games.
  • The quarterfinal victory marked the sixth time in eight tournaments that the USA has made the semifinal of the FIFA U-20/U-19 Women’s World Cup. (The tournament was held as a U-19 event in 2002 and 2004).
  • The only tournaments that saw the USA fail to reach the semis were in Germany in 2010 and in Canada in 2014 when the USA fell in penalty kicks to Nigeria and Korea DPR, respectively.
  • Against Mexico, U.S. head coach Michelle French made both of her substitutes after going a goal down and both players scored. Ally Watt came on for Sabrina Flores in the 73rd minute and scored her second goal of the tournament off the bench. She also scored against New Zealand just a few minutes after entering the game and now has seven U-20 international goals.
  • Watt has come off the bench in all four matches so far, playing 52 total minutes.
  • Kelcie Hedge saw her first action of the World Cup when she replaced Jessie Scarpa in the 68th minute and got the game-winner, her first goal of the World Cup and fifth at the U-20 level.
  • The USA has given up three goals in the tournament, two off set plays and one off a wind-aided 40-yard shot against Ghana.
  • With the game’s opening goal against New Zealand during group play, Ashley Sanchez became the first U.S. Youth Women’s National Team player to score in both a FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cup in the same year. She scored against Paraguay and twice against Japan in group play at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup held in Jordan this past October.
  • Kristie Mewis is the only other U.S. player to score in both a U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cup, but she did it two years apart. Mewis’ two goals in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup came in 2008 in New Zealand and her goal in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup came in Germany in 2010.
  • Sanchez’s goal vs. New Zealand was her fifth at the U-20 level.
  • Six players have played all 360 minutes: Maddie Elliston, Ellie Jean, Casey Murphy, Emily Ogle, Taylor Otto and Kaleigh Riehl. Mallory Pugh and Ashley Sanchez have played almost the whole three games at 359 and 358 minutes, respectively.
  • All four of the USA’s starting defenders have played every minute of all four matches.
  • The USA and France have allowed three goals in the tournament while its fellow semifinalist Japan and France have allowed just two and North Korea has allowed five.
  • The USA has scored six goals, North Korea has scored 16 (seven against host Papua New Guinea), France has scored five and Japan has scored 14.
  • Midfielder Katie Cousins did not play in the first match or the quarterfinal, but played all 180 minutes of the final two group games and earned Player of the Match honors vs. Ghana.
  • The USA entered the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup having compiled a record of 15-4-3 over this two-year cycle in international matches. Two of the four losses were to youth WNT power Japan.
  • Team captain Mallory Pugh, in her second U-20 WNT cycle, is the most capped player on the roster with 27 U-20 international matches and the top scorer with 19 goals, but 18 players on the roster have 13 or more U-20 caps.
  • Pugh was the youngest player on the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup Team, where she started all four games, and is age-eligible to play in the 2018 tournament as well.
  • Pugh currently has 17 caps and four goals for the full WNT, which includes her goal against Colombia in the 2016 Olympics that made her the youngest American soccer player to score in an Olympic Games.
  • Pugh led the team with seven goals and four assists in CONCACAF U-20 qualifying, where she won the Golden Boot as top scorer and the Golden Ball as the best player.
  • Thirteen players on the roster have scored international goals, including Ally Watt (7), Jessie Scarpa (6), Ashley Sanchez (5), Kelsey Hedge (5), Marley Canales (4) and Emily Fox (3).
  • Of the 20 players who helped the USA win the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship and qualify for the World Cup last December (a tournament that was held during the college season, making several players unavailable), French chose 13 for the World Cup roster. Those players are: Canales, Chandler, DeMelo, Flores, Fox, Hedge, Heinsohn, Jacobs, Otto, Pugh, Roberts, Sanchez and Scarpa.
  • The age cut-off date for this Women’s World Cup is players born on or after Jan. 1, 1996. Eight of the 21 players selected by French were born in 1996, eight were born in 1997, four in 1998 and one in 1999. The four ‘98s – DeMelo, Heinsohn, Fox and Pugh, as well as Sanchez, are age-eligible for the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in France.
  • Sanchez, who captained the USA at the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan while scoring three goals, is the youngest player on the team and the only one born in 1999. Sanchez had three goals with five assists at the CONCACAF U-20 qualifying tournament and scored the game-winning goal in the championship game win against Canada.
  • Fourteen different states are represented, led by California with four players and Virginia with three. New Jersey and Colorado have two each.
  • Nine different colleges are represented on the roster, led by Penn State with five players. Notre Dame and North Carolina each have two players.
  • The roster includes five players who helped Penn State win the NCAA Championship in 2015 in defenders Kaleigh Riehl, Madeline Elliston and Ellie Jean, midfielder Emily Ogle, and Rose Chandler, who was a back-up ‘keeper.
  • Just five players on the roster have yet to start college with the rest having played at least one season so far (aside from Taylor Otto, who has started college but has yet to play a college match). The players who have yet to start college are UCLA commits Mallory Pugh and Ashley Sanchez, goalkeeper Brooke Heinsohn, who is headed to Duke, midfielder Savannah DeMelo (USC) and defender Emily Fox (UNC).
  • Besides Pugh, two other players were on the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup roster in defender Kaleigh Riehl and goalkeeper Rose Chandler, but neither played in the tournament.
  • Chandler earned the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper during the qualifying tournament and Riehl has been a steady leader of the backline during 2016.
  • Goalkeepers Casey Murphy and Brooke Heinsohn, who are both 6-foot-1, are the tallest GKs to represent the USA in a Women’s World Cup.
  • Murphy has played the most games in goal for the USA this year with 12, starting 11. Chandler has played six times this year, starting four.
  • Nine members of the U.S. team that won the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup also won a U-20 Women’s World Cup. They are Lori Chalupny, Ashlyn Harris and Heather O’Reilly (2002), Meghan Klingenberg, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan and Alyssa Naeher (2008), and Julie Johnston and Morgan Brian (2012). Current U.S. WNT players Samantha Mewis, Kealia Ohai and Crystal Dunn also won a U-20 WWC in 2012.

U.S. U-20 WNT – USA vs. PRK Pre-Game Quotes

U.S. head coach MICHELLE FRENCH
On bringing a young team into the World Cup:

“Coming into this World Cup we knew we had a fairly inexperience group on the world stage. As best we could, we tried to give them an explanation and some ideas of what this world event was going to look like. With each game we had, they grew a little bit more in their belief in what they could do here, and in the success they felt like they could have on the field. At the end of the day, there was a massive internal belief that this group could be successful.”

On the growth of the team during the tournament:
“It’s been a long cycle and load road for a lot of these players. The last six months has been a time when they’ve had to have the utmost commitment to this group and to what they are doing. Because of that, they came into this tournament feeling like they could be successful and I think you can see that with the growth of each game that we’ve played and in their ability to reach a semifinal of the World Cup.”

On facing Korea DPR in the World Cup semifinal:

“They are another completely different team from the ones we’ve faced. They are very disciplined and organized defensively. They are really good in wide areas and lethal on set plays, so we have a lot of areas that we need to be tight in order to be successful. On the attacking side, it’s the same thing we’ve wanted to do in all the games, just be aggressive and go after their players and their organized shape.”

On Korea DPR:
“We know the success that they’ve had and how much better they’ve gotten. Look at the success of their U-17s, and he’s brought that to the U-20s.”

On the dual roles of the U.S. U-20 WNT coaching staff:
“Our responsibility with the youth teams is to be successful on the world’s stage as well as develop players that can compete for roster spots on our full team. In this cycle, we’ve really focused on doing everything we can so that if any player from this group gets a call-up, they are prepared to jump into the standards and expectations that the women’s national team has.”

On the value for young players to get to play in a World Cup semifinal:
“Going into a World Cup semifinal and playing another different type of opponent is going to give them another snapshot of what it’s like to play in big moment in their soccer careers. They’ve done well in college and club, but to be competing for a world championship and right now be one of the top four teams in the world, is pretty incredible for them. The preparation they will put into this game is going to carry them forward. You can’t simulate this in training and so this a piece of experience that this select 21 players is going to have so if they get an opportunity with the full team, they’ll have it in their back pocket.

U.S. midfielder KELCIE HEDGE
On scoring the winning goal off the bench in the quarterfinal in her first action of the tournament:

“I was just waiting for my opportunity. When they called my name, I was just super excited. Everyone was very supportive and cheering me on. I just had to go in there with confidence and try to make an impact and I couldn’t have done it without my team. It was a very memorable moment that’s for sure. It’s indescribable. I was very excited and just jumped into my team’s arms.”

U.S. defender TAYLOR OTTO
On the positive aspects of the variety of teams the USA has faced so far in the World Cup:

“The teams we’ve played with different styles has really helped us as a team. In our group stage, we played three complete different teams and it’s gotten us ready for anything that’s thrown at us in the semifinal.”

On getting to play in a World Cup semifinal:
“This is something we are all cherishing and that we’ve dreamed of since we were little. This group of girls, I would wouldn’t want to be here with anyone else. The amount of work we’ve put in before and during this tournament for each other and for America, it’s a great honor for us to wear the crest and we want to go out there and do everything we can to win the game.”

On the team unity:
“No matter what our role is on this team, we all fight for each other and cheer for each other. When we are down in matches, we aren’t worried. We have a belief in each other that we are going to get it done.”

On the match against Korea DRP:
“I expect the game to be extremely technical. I think it will be a great soccer game. We’re obviously are going to have to have a lot of grit, it’s going to be a physical game, and we’re going to have to be mentally strong throughout.”

BY THE NUMBERS
1.14 Goals allowed per international match by the U.S. U-20s this year
2.21 Goals scored per international match by the U.S. U-20s this year
7 Goals scored by Mallory Pugh in CONCACAF qualifying to lead the team
6 Semifinal rounds that the USA has qualified for at the U-20 WWC
8 U-19/U-20 Women’s World Cups for which the USA has qualified
18 U.S. players that have seen action in the 2016 FIFA U-20 WWC
19 U-20 International goals for Mallory Pugh
27 Career U-20 caps for Mallory Pugh, the most on this Women’s World Cup roster
31 Players to see action in a U.S. U-20 international match this year
31 Goals scored by the USA in 14 international matches this year
1170 Minutes played in international matches this year by Kaleigh Riehl, most on the team

IN FOCUS: KOREA DPR
DPR Korea Football Association
Head Coach: Hwang Yongbong
Best FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Finish (Sixth Appearance): Champions (2006)

USA VS. KOREA DPR SERIES

  • The USA has history of important matches vs. Korea DPR in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, having met three times, all in knockout games.
  • In 2008, the USA and North Korea met in the championship match with the USA winning 2-1 on goals from Sydney Leroux (23rd minute) Alex Morgan (42nd). North Korea scored in second half stoppage time, the only goal given up by current U.S. WNT goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher during that tournament.
  • In the 2012 quarterfinals in Japan, the USA met a North Korea side that featured many members of its 2012 Olympic Team, and came out with an epic 2-1 victory in overtime as current Houston Dash striker Chioma Ubogagu bagged the game-winner in the 98th minute. Current Chicago Red Stars midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo scored the 52nd minute on a brilliant shot from distance, but Kim Su Gyong momentarily tied the game in the 75 th.
  • In 2014 in Canada, the teams met again in the quarterfinals and this time the Koreans came out on top, albeit in penalty kicks. Makenzy Doniak scored in just the sixth minute, but Jon So Yon tied it on a penalty kick in the 54th minute. After a scoreless overtime, the USA missed its first three penalty kicks and lost the shoot out, 3-1.
  • The full U.S. Women’s National Team faced North Korea in four consecutive Women’s World Cup tournaments, winning 3-0 in 1999 and 2003, drawing 2-2 in 2007, and winning 2-0 in 2011. All the matches were in group play. North Korea was suspended from the 2015 Women’s World Cup for several players testing positive for performance enhancing drugs at the 2011 WWC in Germany.

KOREA DPR U-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ROSTER:
GOALKEEPERS (3):
1-Kim Myong Sun (Sobaeksu SC), 21-Ok Kum Ju (Naegoyhyang SC), 18-Rim Yong Hwa (Sobaeksu SC)

DEFENDERS (7): 3-U Sol Gyong (Sobaeksu SC), 4-Chae Kyong Mi (Pyongyang City SC), 5-Choe Sol Gyong (Rimyongsu SC), 12-Jon So Yon (April 25 SC), 13-Son Ok Ju (Ryomyong SC), 14-Kim Jong Sim (Sobaeksu SC), 16-Ri Un Yong (Sobaeksu SC)

MIDFIELDERS (5): 8-Choe Un Hwa (Ponghwasan SC), 9-Ri Hyang Sim (Amrokgang SC), 15-An Song Ok (April 25 SC), 17-Kim Un Hwa (April 25 SC), 19-Ju Hyo Sim (April 25 SC)

FORWARDS (6): 2-Sung Hyang Sim (Pyongyang City SC), 6-Wi Jong Sim (Kalmaegi SC), 7-Ri Kyong Hyang (April 25 SC), 10-Ri Un Sim (April 25 SC), 11-Kim Phyong Hwa (Sobaeksu SC), 20-Kim So Hyang (Sobaeksu SC)

KOREA DPR NOTES:

  • Korea DPR rolled through Group A, scoring 13 goals while allowing three, although seven came against host Papua New Guinea.
  • Korea DPR defeated Sweden 2-0 and Brazil 4-2 to basically lock up the group in advance of its match against PNG. The Koreans rested quite a few starters against PNG, and amazingly found themselves tied 1-1, after the hosts scored their only goal of the tournament in the 16th minute. Just after the 20-minute mark, head coach Hwang Yongbong put on two of his top players and the Koreans predictably pulled away, scoring in the 37th minute and then two goals in stoppage time of the first half on the way to a 7-1 win.
  • Spain gave Korea DPR all they could handle in the quarterfinal in a match that could have easily gone the other way. The Koreans took a 2-0 lead after 30 minutes and looked to be cruising to the semifinal, but Spain roared back with goals in the 38th and 63rd minutes and the match went to overtime. It took a 108th minute strike from distance by Kim Phyong Hwa to win the match.
  • Korea DPR has been one of the most successful teams in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. Despite missing out on the inaugural tournament in 2002 and the next edition in 2004, the North Koreans win in Russia 2006 in their first appearance, crushing China PR 5-0 in a driving rain storm.
  • North Korea continued its impressive form at Chile 2008, going all the way through to the final before losing 2-1 to the USA. They also progressed beyond the group phase in the next two World Cups, where they lost out to the eventual champions on both occasions. Most recently at Canada 2014, Korea DPR returned to the semifinal (after defeating the USA in penalties in the quarterfinals), but got routed 6-2 by a powerful Nigeria side and then lost the third-place game to an outstanding France team by a 3-2 score.
  • During Asian qualifying, Korea DPR proved difficult to break down although their scoring record remained modest against the traditional continental powerhouses. Korea DPR won their group with a perfect record and then earned a berth to Papua New Guinea with a strong 2-0 win over host China PR in the semifinal, before being edged in the championship game on penalties by Japan after a 0-0 draw through regulation and overtime.
  • Despite losing the final on penalties, Korea DPR went through their five-match qualifying tournament without conceding a single goal.
  • Six players on the World Cup roster play for the April 25 club. April 25 is Military Foundation Day in North Korea and the club belongs to the Korean People's Army. Seven players play for Sobaeksu SC, meaning 14 players of the 21 player roster come from two clubs.
  • North Korea is looking for a unique double after winning the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan a few months ago, defeating Japan in the championship game on penalty kicks. Korea DPR also won the U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2008.
  • North Korea is the only team to have won a FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup besides the USA and Germany, who have won three each.
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U-20 WNT Nov 28, 2016

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2016 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup

U-20 WNT November 13, 2016 - December 3, 2016
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