July 29, 2002
CHICAGO - U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team head coach Tracey Leone has named three Santa Clara University women's soccer players among the 18 on her roster who will represent the United States at the 2002 FIFA Under-19 World Championship. Sophomores Jessica Ballweg, Megan Kakadelas and Leslie Osborne will represent the Broncos when the tournament gets underway in Canada on August 17.
Leone watched 57 players in game competition over the past two years and has pared that number down to the 18 players who will make history by participating in the first-ever FIFA World Championship for youth women. Leone chose 15 of the 18 players who helped the USA earn a berth in Canada at the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in Tobago in early May, adding defenders Keeley Dowling and Amy Steadman, both of whom missed the qualifying tournament with injuries, and forward Angie Wozuk, who made a late run to earn her roster spot.
"It was a very difficult roster to pick as we had more than 18 players who we knew could help us succeed in Canada," said Leone. "We are extremely confident in the players that we selected and very excited to move forward as a team to this goal we've been working towards for two years."
The U.S. Under-19s finished up a two-week training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in San Diego, Calif., with wins over Mexico's U-19s on July 24 and 26 by 3-1 and 2-1 scores respectively. In the match on July 26, the U.S. got a goal and an assist from Kakadelas on her 19th birthday and a goal from Kelly Wilson, assisted by team captain Lindsay Tarpley, who will head into the World Championship as the USA's most capped player on the U19 level with 20 full international matches. Ballweg is one step behind her with 19 U19 caps.
The U.S. team will now have a short break before regrouping in Portland, Ore., for training from Aug. 9-11 at the NIKE World Headquarters before heading up to Victoria, B.C., to begin final preparations for the World Championship. The USA's first match is also the first match of the tournament, taking on England on Aug. 17 at 1 p.m. PT at Centennial Stadium in Victoria, B.C.
The U.S. team will no doubt be one of the most exciting attacking sides in Canada, bringing a dynamic offense that has produced 70 goals in 12 international matches this year. The USA will be led by the new "Triple-Edged Sword" in Tarpley, Wilson and Heather O'Reilly, a trio of forwards who have combined for 54 goals in their U19 international careers.
"All the groups are extremely challenging and we know we will be in for three wars in the first round to qualify for the quarterfinals," said Leone. "We are looking forward to that challenge and to the excitement of participating in such an historic event."
The 18-player roster features six players who will be sophomores for their colleges next fall, eight incoming college freshmen, three players who will be high school seniors and one player who will be a high school junior. The rising college freshmen and sophomores will miss their pre-seasons and then jump right into their collegiate seasons after the World Championship.
In preparation for the World Championship, the U.S. U19s played 37 official matches over the past two years, including 17 full internationals, and countless other scrimmages. The USA went 15-1-1 in those international matches, outscoring their opponents 93-18.
2002 FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championships
Pool Play Schedule
Date Teams Venue Kickoff Times (Pacific)
Aug. 17 USA vs. England Centennial Stadium 1:00 p.m.
Aug. 17 C. Taipei vs. Australia Centennial Stadium 3:15 p.m.
Aug. 17 Germany vs. France Swangard Stadium 5:00 p.m.
Aug. 17 Mexico vs. Brazil Swangard Stadium 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 18 Canada vs. Denmark Commonwealth Stadium 3:00 p.m.
Aug. 18 Nigeria vs. Japan Commonwealth Stadium 5:15 p.m.
Aug. 19 England vs. C. Taipei Centennial Stadium 5:00 p.m.
Aug. 19 Australia vs. USA Centennial Stadium 7:15 p.m.
Aug. 19 France vs. Mexico Swangard Stadium 5:00 p.m.
Aug. 19 Brazil vs. Germany Swangard Stadium 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 20 Denmark vs. Nigeria Commonwealth Stadium 4:45 p.m.
Aug. 20 Japan vs. Canada Commonwealth Stadium 7:00 p.m.
Aug. 21 England vs. Australia Centennial Stadium 5:00 p.m.
Aug. 21 C. Taipei vs. USA Centennial Stadium 7:15 p.m.
Aug. 21 France vs. Brazil Swangard Stadium 5:00 p.m.
Aug. 21 Mexico vs. Germany Swangard Stadium 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 22 Denmark vs. Japan Commonwealth Stadium 4:45 p.m.
Aug. 22 Nigeria vs. Canada Commonwealth Stadium 7:00 p.m.