GUATEMALA CITY (Jan. 23, 2010) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team defeated Trinidad and Tobago 4-0 at Estadio Cementos Progreso to advance to the semifinals of the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship. Morgan Marlborough opened the scoring for the U.S. in just the fifth minute, followed by a Kristie Mewis goal in the 23rd and two more from Sydney Leroux before halftime.
“I thought we scored some nice goals, especially the last one,” said U.S. head coach Jill Ellis. “It was just a world class goal the way it was put together, but I’m also pleased that we didn’t concede any. These games are about building confidence, so finding the back of the net is good for these young players. There are still some things we need to learn about how to break down teams, but there are definitely some positives we can take from this game.”
The victory was the second straight by shutout for the U.S. women, giving them six points in Group B while clinching a berth to the semifinals, along with Mexico, who also won its first two games. The two teams will face each other at 5:30 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 25, to determine first place in the group. The USA-Mexico clash will be streamed live on CONCACAF.com, and fans can also follow along via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
The USA, which has a far superior goal difference to Mexico, needs a win or a tie against its southern neighbor to finish first in the group and earn a semifinal match-up against the second place team from Group A. Canada is currently in control of Group A after winning its first two matches. Costa Rica and Guatemala are battling for second place.
The winner of the two semifinals will book places to the 2010 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, along with the winner of the third-place match.
Trinidad & Tobago came out with a bit more bite and aggressiveness than the Jamaicans, the USA’s first opponent of the tournament who were dispatched 6-0 on Jan. 21, but like in the first game, the U.S. attack proved too potent.
The USA got on the board in just the fifth minute, courtesy of a delicious lob shot from the six-foot Marlborough, who was playing in her first full international match for the USA at any age level. The goal came on virtually her first touch of the game after she ran onto a long chipped pass from Rachel Quon down the right side. The ball sailed over the Trinidadian defense and their goalkeeper Kimika Forbes made the ill-advised decision to rush out and challenge. From just outside the right elbow of the penalty area, Malborough struck the bouncing ball with her laces and lifted it perfectly over the leaping Forbes, who could only watch the ball fall into the open net.
Kristie Mewis added her name to the score sheet in the 22nd minute and once again Quon was a part of the build up. The USA’s right back took a free kick from the left, driving the ball into the penalty box. Under pressure from Mewis’ younger sister Samantha, a Trinidadian defender let the ball bounce off her chest and the rebound flew directly to the elder Mewis, who was stationed at the left corner of the goal box. The 2009 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year settled the ball before sizzling a left-footed shot into the right side netting from seven yards out.
Kristie Mewis’ powerful left foot caused danger all game long, hitting the cross bar once late in the game and forcing Forbes to acrobatically tip a shot away in the 55th minute. On the ensuring corner kick from the left side, Christine Nairn drove her cross to the near post, where it was flicked on by a T&T defender. The ball fell perfectly to Leroux, who stretched to power a far post header from seven yards into the left side of the net.
The final U.S. goal came in the first minute of first half stoppage time when Marlborough received the ball in the middle of the field, took a dribble towards goal and beat three defenders with a perfectly slipped pass to the sprinting Leroux inside the penalty area. Making a diagonal run to the right, Leroux cut her first-time shot back to the left, rolling it just inside the far post. It was her team-leading fourth goal in two games at this tournament and 16th international goal of her U-20 career.
The United States spent most of the second half inside T&T’s defensive third, but a handful of heroic stops from Forbes kept the score down. The USA has now scored 10 goals in two games while allowing zero, picking up two shutouts for goalkeeper Bianca Henninger.
Ellis, who made four changes to the lineup from the first match of the qualifying tournament, made all three of her allowed substitutes in the second half. In the 57th minute, Teresa Noyola came on to give a well-deserved rest to Leroux, who left the field to an ovation from the fans. Amber Brooks joined Noyola on the field three minutes later, replacing Nairn, and Elizabeth Eddy got her first minutes of the tournament when she replaced Vicki DiMartino in the 68th. Brooks almost got her first U-20 goal in 72nd minute when she broke through in the left side of the penalty area, but was denied by one of Forbes’ fine saves.
The USA has a history with Mexico at CONCACAF youth qualifying tournaments. In 2004 and 2006, the USA defeated Mexico in the semifinals of this tournament to earn berths to the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia, respectively. In 2008, the USA defeated Mexico in its final group game to earn first place in the group and a spot in the semifinals, where it defeated Costa Rica for its berth to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile.
U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date: January 23, 2010
Competition: 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship
Venue: Estadio Cementos Progreso; Guatemala City, Guatemala
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. CT (5:30 p.m. ET)
Weather: 75 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 4 0 4
TRI 0 0 0
USA – Morgan Marlborough (Rachel Quon) 5th minute
USA – Kristie Mewis 23
USA – Sydney Leroux 37
USA – Sydney Leroux (Morgan Marlborough) 45+1
USA: 1-Bianca Henninger; 6-Rachel Quon, 4-Crystal Dunn, 11-Toni Pressley, 3-Vicki DiMartino (21-Elizabeth Eddy, 68); 10-Casey Short, 8-Samantha Mewis, 17-Christine Nairn (5-Amber Brooks, 60), 15-Kristie Mewis; 14-Morgan Marlborough, 19-Sydney Leroux (9-Teresa Noyola, 57)
Subs not used: 24-Taylor Vancil, 7-Tiffany McCarty, 12-Zakiya Bywaters, 13-Jenna Richmond
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
TRI: 1-Kimika Forbes, 2-Camille Borneo, 6-Tiana Bateau, 7-Taylor Mims, 8-Afiyah Matthias, 10-Mariah Shade (capt.) (9-Candace Seaton, 69), 12-Kayla Taylor, 13-Jo-Marie Lewis (15-Natasha St. Louis, 56), 18-Jennel Kisoon (3-Victoria Swift, 78), 17-Cassey McKenzie, 19-Arin King
Subs not used: 21-Keri Myers, 5-Renel Dennis, 11-Natasha Prentice, 16-Sharice Arthur
Head Coach: Jamaal Shabazz
Stats Summary: USA / TRI
Shots: 17 / 2
Shots on Goal: 12 / 2
Saves: 1 / 8
Corner Kicks: 6 / 0
Fouls: 6 / 11
Offside: 3 / 1
TRI – Afiya Matthias (caution) 70th minute
Referee: Arlene Troya Tejada (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jackeline Saez (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lesbia Tzul (GUA)
Fourth Official: Erika Vargas (CRC)
ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: