March 1, 2012
TITLE QUEST BEGINS
U.S. U-20 Women open against Guatemala
The U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team is set to face off against Guatemala in the opening match of the 2012 CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship.
The U.S. arrived in Panama on Sunday night and will open Group B play on Friday, March 2, at 5 p.m. ET. The USA will then face Cuba at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 4, and wrap up group play against host Panama at 7:30 p.m. ET on March 6. All matches will be streamed live on CONCACAF.com, and fans can also on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
The U.S. squad is headed by international veterans Crystal Dunn, Maya Hayes and Sam Mewis whoe are the three carryovers from the U.S. team that participated in the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship. Dunn, Hayes and Mewis also played together at the 2008 CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship in Trinidad & Tobago, along with Morgan Brian.
Six of the players were on the team that outscored opponents 32-0 in the group phase of the 2012 CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship but did not qualify for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup after falling in penalty kicks in the semifinal.
The match will be the first for the U.S. against Guatemala at the U-20 level.
The U.S. U-20 Women are looking for their third CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship title. It would be the second straight tournament victory for the U.S., which won the previous edition in 2010 with a 1-0 win against Mexico in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The 2002 and 2004 tournaments were played as U-19 events until FIFA changed the age level to U-20 to align with the age groups on the men's side. In 2002, the event was played with two groups of four and the winner of each group qualified for the FIFA U-19 Women's World Cup without crossing over to determine a tournament winner. Canada won the tournament in 2004 and 2008, defeating the USA in the championship game both times.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): Bryane Heaberlin (North Carolina; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Abby Smith (Dallas Texans; Dallas, Texas)
DEFENDERS (6): Stephanie Amack (Mustang Blast; Pleasanton, Calif.), Olivia Brannon (Virginia; Troy, Mich.) Crystal Dunn (North Carolina; Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Kassey Kallman (Florida State; Woodbury, Minn.), Mollie Pathman (Duke; Durham, N.C.), Cari Roccaro (Albertson Fury; East Islip, N.Y.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Virginia; St. Simons Island, Ga.), Vanessa DiBernardo (Illinois; Naperville, Ill.), Julie Johnston (Santa Clara; Mesa, Ariz.), Sarah Killion (UCLA; Fort Wayne, Ind.), Mandy Laddish (Notre Dame; Lee's Summit, Mo.), Sam Mewis (UCLA; Hanson, Mass.)
FORWARDS (6): Micaela Capelle (Portland; Gresham, Ore.), Maya Hayes (Penn State; West Orange, N.J.), Lindsey Horan (Colorado Rush; Golden, Colo.), Kealia Ohai (North Carolina; Draper, Utah), Katie Stengel (Wake Forest; Melbourne, Fla.), Chi Ubogagu (Stanford; Coppell, Texas)