USWNT U-20s roll past Jamaica in group play

Jeff Kassouf January 11, 2014 31

Florida freshman Savannah Jordan scored for the U.S. U-20s in a 3-0 win over Jamaica. (Copyright: Steve Bruno for The Equalizer)

The U.S. U-20 women’s national team cruised to victory on Saturday, beating Jamaica 3-0 in their second group stage match of the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championships, which doubles as World Cup qualifying. With the win, the U.S. clinches a spot in the semifinals.

Savannah Jordan opened the scoring in the 31st minute on a half-volley from 6 yards out and the U.S. found a second goal 10 minutes later. Two minutes after being raked down in the box to no whistle, Lindsey Horan — who scored a hat trick on Thursday — was brought down once again and this time earned a penalty. Andi Sullivan stepped up and finished it to double the United States’ lead before the half.

McKenzie Meehan iced the game in the 82nd minute when she tapped-in a pass from from second half substitute Margaret Purce.

The U.S. women end their group stage campaign on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. ET against Guatemala. The semifinals are on Friday and the placement matches on Sunday, with the top three teams joining hosts Canada at this summer’s U-20 Women’s World Cup.

“We just want to keep improving,” Sullivan said post-match. “The tournament isn’t over yet and we have big goals to come. We want to get to the final, so one goal at a time.”

  • Ben

    Looks like I have figured out the USWNT U-20 coaching philosophy:
    1) If you feel any pressure, real or imagine, pass the ball backward all the way back to the goalie if necessary.
    2) One touch soccer is banned. You run with the ball a few yards then attempt a 30-40 yards pass.
    3) Moving the ball forward through the midfielders is a waste of time. It’s much faster to just punt the ball to the strikers.
    4) We win by outrunning and out jumping the opponent. None of this strategy business.
    5) If the game plan is not working, keep at it until the end. Changing and adjusting strategy is for people with no confidence.

    The USWNT U-20 team lost to the Japanese team twice at the end of last year. It’s not a coincidence. That was some ugly soccer. The team looks undisciplined and unorganized. Not sure what the coaching staff is doing.

    • ruby4

      I just read all of that in a chicken little voice. *The sky is falling! The sky is falling!*

    • newsouth

      sometimes you need to be the best talent on the pitch instead of the brand names but it seems that disease is even affecting the u20s.

    • wosofan

      Normally, I’d be the first to criticize a poor USA performance, at any level. But here, I have to strongly disagree with your take. First, the Jamaican team was strong, fast, and physical, and the ref did not control the game at all (it was very rough). Second, the field is a postage stamp in size, and the surface is obviously not fast or smooth. The grass is cut quite high. Given those circumstances, I thought the team played okay. The team actually connected quite a few passes out of the back, but certainly more so during the second half. (Removing Andrews for Amack improved the ball movement). Granted, several players were guilty of lingering too long on the ball (Horan, among them), but there was a genuine effort to move the ball. They did much better in the second half, especially Lavelle and Amack.

      Lastly, how can you complain about the 1st or 3rd USA goals? On the first, Andrews chipped the Jamaican back line, picking out Jordan, who was making a run. Jordan then took only two touches to score, with a great volleyed finish. The third goal involved a change-of-pace dribble to the endline, a nice outside foot pass, and a one-time sliding poke past the keeper/defenders. Both nice goals.

      • Davis

        I agree with you. I thought they actually connected through the midfield fairly well for the most part. I didn’t see an excessive amount of direct play. Their problem was they took too many touches and didn’t look to pass quickly enough, which is definitely going to be a problem when Jamaica has about eight girls playing defense.

      • Ben

        The Jamaican team was physical, strong, but not fast. You’re thinking of the Jamaican men. If the Jamaican strikers had any speed, they would have scored a few goals today instead of getting run down by the US defenders. The spacing of the players was terrible for the entire game. They were either too far apart or taking up the same space and almost run into each other a few times. This is supposed to the the US all star team, the dream team of under 20 women soccer. If you are happy with 3 goals against Jamaica, then you can just send any of the final 8 NCAA playoff teams.

    • TN

      The passing back, when there’s absolutely no danger of losing the ball, infuriates me. And Andrews wasn’t good again, I think she needs to work on her skills.

      I completely agree with the coaching, it was terrible, nobody was horribly bad, but as a unit, they were disorganized.

      • kevin

        Spain does that all the time.

  • gerd karl

    usa – jamaica 3-0, the us u-20 team win against jamaica
    shame us u-20 team, you must win 9-0
    bravo jamaica, fought exellently.

  • gerd karl

    the us u-20 team play against costa rica, jamaica and caymen island
    sorry for costa rica, jamaica and caymen island, she fight exellently.
    but so easy and simply to get otherwise NOT be a world cup.

    • Steglitz49

      The US ladies play in this group because the men play in it. The men play in it because it makes them (almost) certain to qualify for the world cup.

      Also, at the U-20 level only a couple of teams can match the US, Germany being one of them. This is owed to the admirable NCAA system (thank you Mr Teddy Bear) and Title IX, which mean that US girls get a wonderful opportunity to play soccer at the highest level. It is a pity that the EU does not have something like that but then the EU never spends time on anything sensible and worthwhile.

      • gerd karl

        germany has the b-juniorinnen bundesliga, 13-16 young ladies playing there football.

        • xman22702

          Nobody wants to hear your annoying comments on Germany!

          • gerd karl

            so many americans want what know about the german female football.

          • xman22702

            We’ll ask if we want to know, thank you very much!

          • gerd karl

            nobody wants to hear your annoying comments on seattle reign fc, the joke club of the nwsl

          • xman22702

            A joke club with Solo, Little, Rapinoe, and Leroux. Okay, sure.

      • Guenther Netzer-Kant

        What has the EU to do with the NCAA system?
        And by the way. Are you talking about the EU as union or are you talking about European countries?

        There is a NCAA model and there is the club model. Both can work fine.

        Difference
        may be that in US by far more girls play football (soccer). This has to
        do with tradition and acceptance of girls/woman football (soccer) in
        the US versus countries with a strong and long men’s football (soccer)
        tradition.

        (I would bet that girls/woman who would play American
        football resp. “egg throwing/running with an egg” would need to fight
        for acceptance in the US as well).

        That all has nothing to do with NCAA and the EU

        G. Netzer-Kant (couldn’t sign in)

    • kernel_thai

      What u meant to say was US U-20 team, current holders of the world cup….

      • gerd karl

        chelsea syndrome, bad play and win.

  • wosofan

    Great Concacaf environment for our young women to play in. It had it all — rough play, poor officiating, humidity, and a loud crowd that really wanted the USA to lose. Really good learning experience. I thought the team showed some nice intensity and grit. Lots of hustle.

    • VaFan51

      I know I am biased, but I thought the center ref nearly lost control of the U.S.-Jamaica match. The way Jamaican players on defense would dive into an opposing player’s feet and legs was dangerous to begin with, and the officials let it go. Horan was lucky to survive the “challenge” (to her legs, not to the ball) just outside the goal in the first half.
      Again, I admit to bias…
      I think losing Doniak is a huge blow. She is such an excellent passer and creator, in addition to scoring. That front three — Horan, Jordan, Doniak — looked excellent, a complementary set of talents.

      • Steglitz49

        “the center ref” is usually simply called the referee. The other two are called either the assistant referees or linesmen or touch-judges.

        One of the big improvement FIFA made to the game was to require that the touch judges were actual touch judges. For many years the various countries used to nominate referees that then were given the job to run the line, which they did ineptly. Incorrect off-side decisions are still made but they are really quite rare these days but, sadly, errors are more common in ladies matches than men’s.

  • TN

    From the other match and this match, I think I know the standouts, I like from what I’ve seen from: 6-Dozniak, 19-Sullivan, 9-Horan (better than her first appearance for the senior team), 13-Jordan, 17-Lavelle, and 13-Green. I thought 11-Meehan and 15-Purce were also good but not as fiesty as the others.

    • martiunka

      Sadly 6-Doniak is out of the tournament with a broken arm. I thought she played quite well in the first game.

      • TN

        I knew it when I saw she held her hand in the match with Costa Rica, and then not see her in the starting lineup, what a shame, girl was super exciting to watch.

  • john

    I’m going to go half full, half empty on the play so far. There are several players on the qualifiers squad who were not in the side previously which has to be affecting cohesion. I’ll worry more if it doesn’t improve going forward. Conversely these we’d have to try to lose games are hard to get up for and their qualifier status pushes the US. If one looks critically at the 12 goals so far many are the product of poor defending and/or keeping vs. any great play by the US. This continues to be an issue in the semis and finals when the US has struggled against the better CONCSCAF sides to build a goal. Coach French underscores how she got the job every time she speaks. She parrots every catchpharse of the coaching schools and throws in a “personalities” now and then to remind of what era she played in. She’s coaching to the system she played in. I don’t understand the comments about US playing in CONCACAF. FIFA organized the associations geographically. The only exceptions in my lifetime are Israel for security reasons and Australia, which is still geographically sensible. US by far makes the biggest effort of any women’s side to schedule challenging games.

    • Boston Red

      CONCACAF did get Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname rather than let them be lambs for the men’s lions of CONMEBOL. :)

      • Lorehead

        But one of those C’s is for Caribbean.

        • Boston Red

          But the discussion was nations that don’t meet the standard geography. All 3 of those countries are on the mainland of South America so they do stand out.

          • Lorehead

            And technically, French Guiana isn’t even a country, but an overseas department of France. Which does make it more similar to Martinique.