U.S. U-19 Women defeat Canada, 3-0, in final tune-up; Next up is CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in T&T
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Sunday, April 14, 2002) - The U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team got two goals from Megan Kakadelas (Carlsbad, Calif./USC) and one from Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J./PDA Splash) to register a solid 3-0 victory over the Canadian Under-19 Women today in the last match before the team participates in CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2002 FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship.
U.S. head coach Tracey Leone will name her final 18-player roster this week that will travel to Trinidad & Tobago for the May 7-11 qualifying tournament to determine the final two spot for the CONCACAF region. As host of the U-19 World Championship, Canada gets an automatic berth to the tournament, which will be held in three Canadian cities from Aug. 17 - Sept. 1, 2002.
"We are really pleased with our team as Canada was motivated and prepared," said Leone, whose team also beat Jamaica, 12-0, last Friday. "It's a great accomplishment to get a shutout against a fine attacking team like Canada. We didn't allow a goal in either game and scored 15. We like those stats. It was a great last event to end on before heading to CONCACAF qualifiers."
Canada played without its star striker Christine Sinclair, who also stars for the University of Portland and the senior Canadian National Team, but still pushed the USA with some aggressive play and hard tackling.
The USA opened the scoring in the 17th minute through O'Reilly, who played most of the match with a bloody nose after taking an elbow to the face from a Canadian defender. O'Reilly shook off the injury to score a brilliant goal after she ran down a pass from Kelly Wilson (Odessa, Tex./Univ. of Texas) in the left side of the penalty area, then pushed the ball by the charging goalkeeper. The touch decreased her shooting angle markedly, but she still managed to drive the ball with her left foot into the upper right corner.
"The team is really feeling good right now and we are all getting even more focused now that the roster is close to being finalized," said O'Reilly, who picked up her first four senior caps with the full U.S. Women's National Team at the Algarve Cup last March. "We came into this event so excited to play and you can feel the focus on this team right now. We can't wait to get to Tobago."
Kakadelas came off the bench into the 52nd minute to tally twice in her 38 minutes of action. The first came in the 62nd minute when she took advantage of a free ball inside the Canadian penalty area, slamming her shot through traffic into the net from 12 yards out.
Midfielder Lori Chalupny (Chesterfield, Mo./JB Marine) created the third goal with a cross from the right side. The ball flashed through the middle and was deflected off the foot of Lindsey Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich./Michigan Hawks) before it bounced to Kakadelas, who finished first time from eight yards out.
"We feel good about our performance and it's good to have a solid result against a team that will be in the World Cup," said Kakadelas. "If we qualify, Canada is a team that we could meet if we advance out of group play."
U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris (Satellite Beach, Fla./Seminole Ice) picked up her second straight shutout, making three saves.
The USA will travel to T & T on April 30 and begin Group B play in the qualifying tournament on May 7 against Suriname. The USA faces Haiti on May 9 and Costa Rica on May 11. All Group B matches will be at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet on the island of Tobago. The two group winners advance to Canada.
The Under-19s recently announced a major initiative to use the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship as a platform to help raise awareness for the prevention of skin cancer. As a young team, playing outdoors every day, the team has partnered with The Skin Foundation to spread the word through clinics, appearances at schools and interaction with the media. The U.S. U-19 Women have made it a team goal to inform the public that almost all skin cancers are preventable and curable when detected and treated early.
U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team Game Report
Participants: U. S. U-19 National Team vs. Canadian U-19 National Team
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Sunrise Hilton Hotel - Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Date: April 14, 2002 - Kickoff 10:00 a.m. ET
Weather: Light showers, humid - 80 degrees
USA - Ashlyn Harris, Jessica Ballweg, Jill Oakes, Kendall Fletcher (Amy Steadman, 46), Leslie Osborne, Annie Schefter (Rachel Buehler, 57), Lori Chalupny, Manya Makoski (Sarah Huffman, 20), Kelly Wilson (Megan Kakadelas, 52), Lindsey Tarpley, Heather O'Reilly.
CAN - N/A.
CAN - #10 (caution) 72 minute.USA - Alison Graham (caution) 90.