The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) Girls 1993 improved their game in the second round of games in San Jose, Costa Rica, as part of the Torneo Femenino Internacional.
After their first international game yesterday, all teams have adjusted their style of play and improved in their second games. Chile has continued to challenge the US Youth Soccer ODP Girls 1993 Regional Teams with speed and technical plays. Honduras adjusted their defense to keep a wall between the attackers and the goal.
"You look at the teams from last year, both Chile and Costa Rica improved greatly," said Garry Moore, US Youth Soccer ODP Girls Committee Chairman. "This tournament improves our teams and improves the level of competition. CONCACAF and FIFA's participation in the event solidifies its importance. There is a good possibility that the event will be expanded next year with more teams from South America and also including Europe."
After the games, all teams participated in Cultural Night. It is an opportunity for teams to unite and share their unique cultures. Host Costa Rica shared several dances and samples of food. Many players from other teams shared in the dancing. Honduras also danced and shared information about their country and customs. Trinidad and Tobago sang a song and shared a game. Chile sang a song and provided a background on their country. Also, at the end of the evening Costa Rica surprised the teams with a band and more dancing.
All teams enjoyed the dancing and socializing. "It was a good way for the girls to get acquainted. We will see it at the closing ceremonies as well. They make friends quickly even without speaking the same language. It shows that the event goes beyond soccer. When you see them dancing, you realize how kids are all the same and they share the common bond of soccer," said Moore.
Region I competed strongly against a well-practiced and well-coordinated Chilean Under-20 National Team. Chile is preparing to host the Under-20 World Cup this year. Region I learned from the different type and different level of soccer. This was the fastest game that most players have ever played. The Region I players matched the speed and had several good opportunities in the last 10 minutes, but were unable to finish. Chile won 1:0.
Region II improved their game and connected better as a team today against Trinidad and Tobago. Region II won 10:0. Lisa Vogel scored in the 8th off a cross from Shea Groom and then scored just three minutes later from an assist from Olivia Schultz. Region II finished the first half 6:0 with goals by Lisa Vogel (8:00) (11:00), Kaysie Clark (19:00) (39:00), Olivia Brannon (30:00), Shea Groom (35:00). In the second half, Ashley Meier scored off an assist from Olivia Schultz on a breakaway (60:00). Region II continued their momentum and Molly Rappold scored on a breakaway with an assist from Ashley Meier in the 66th. A minute later Molly returned the favor and assisted in a goal for Meier. Oliva Schultz rounded out the game to an even 10:0 with a second goal in the 72nd.
Region III played a reorganized Honduras squad. Honduras adjusted their playing style since yesterday's game against Region IV. Playing a 4-4-2, Honduras created two lines of defense that Region IV had to create new ways to penetrate. The first half was a chess match and Region III needed to be patient and look for ways to break the defense and throw Honduras off balance. The first half ended 0:0. In the 88th, Abby Lutzenkirchen found the back of the net to win the match 1:0.
Region IV played the Costa Rican home team today after an afternoon thunderstorm cleared. The rain didn't keep the fans away and they were not disappointed by the level of play. Lo'eau Labonta scored in the 67th minute of play after Region IV was down a player. The players were able to tactically adjust to playing with a man down and not having additional subs for the last quarter of play. It was a good learning experience. Region IV beat Costa Rica 1:0.
"Costa Rica has come such a far ways since last year," said Tara Erickson, US Youth Soccer Region IV Regional Coach. ""They brought a whole new game to the table. Our girls have earned confidence from today's win and our trip to the jungle will allow them more time together to bond and further improve the chemistry of our team.""
April 6, 2008 | Torneo Femenino Internacional
Region I vs. Chile, 0:1
Region II vs. Trinidad and Tobago, 10:0
Goal Scorers: Lisa Vogel (8:00) (11:00), Kaysie Clark (19:00) (39:00), Olivia Brannon (30:00) (72:00), Shea Groom (35:00), Ashley Meier (60:00) (67:00), Molly Rappold (66:00)
Region III vs. Honduras, 1:0
Goal Scorers: Abigail Lutzenkirchen (88:00)
Region IV vs. Costa Rica, 1:0
Goal Scorers: Lo'eau Labonta (67:00)
Tomorrow, the US Youth Soccer Regions travel to San Carlos for training and sightseeing. On Tuesday, April 8, the teams will go on a canopy tour and to a hot spring for swimming and dinner. They return to San Jose on Wednesday, April 9.
The international teams will stay in San Jose to compete in a separate tournament for the three day period that the US Youth Soccer teams are out of town. Games continue in the Torneo Femenino Internacional on Thursday, April 9.
US Youth Soccer ODP, designed to identify and develop a pool of players from which U.S. National Teams may be selected, is the original ODP program. US Youth Soccer ODP is the only elite player development program that can claim members of Major League Soccer and the former Women's United Soccer Association, as well as a majority of current and past national and youth team members, as alumni. And, with programs in all 55 State Associations as well as regional and national championships and participation in international tournaments, US Youth Soccer ODP continues to lead the way in elite player identification and development.
For the complete schedule and more information about US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program, go to www.USYouthSoccer.org
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