The U.S. Under-20 Women defeated Costa Rica 2-1 yesterday to move on to Saturday's CONCACAF Championship match while also securing a place in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup
to be held July 13 – Aug. 1 in Germany. The U.S. team is led by 18 former US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP
) members, including Region I player Kristie Mewis and Region IV player Teresa Noyola, who both scored against Costa Rica to propel the U.S. into next summer's World Cup where they will defend their 2008 championship.
The championship match for the North and Central American region will be held Saturday, Jan. 30 at 5:30 PM ET against archrival Mexico; the U.S. defeated Mexico 2-1 in group play. CONCACAF.com
will be streaming the championship and third place games live online.
Complete coverage of the game from CONCACAF.com
- The United States will return to the Under-20 Women's World Cup to defend its title, qualifying with a 2-1 victory over Costa Rica on Thursday in the semifinals of the CONCACAF championship.
Kristie Mewis and Teresa Noyola scored second-half goals to send the United States to the World Cup for the fifth consecutive time, finally solving a defensive Costa Rica which lost central defender Marianne Ugalde midway through the first half after a collision with goalkeeper Priscilla Tapia.
Mewis put the United States ahead in the 60th and Noyola added the insurance 11 minutes later to seal the victory.
The United States will face Mexico in a rematch of Monday's Group A finale won by the Americans 2-1, while Costa Rica will play Canada in the third place game for the last of CONCACAF's three berths in the World Cup in Germany in July.
It was the second straight time the United States has beaten Costa Rica in the semifinals, having won 4-0 two years ago in Mexico.
Costa Rica had the better of play for the first 10 minutes, including Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno's free kick from 30 meters that skipped off the top side of the crossbar in the fourth minute. But except for Katherine Alvarado's free kick that smacked the left post in the 45th, the Ticas were defensive for most of the match.
The United States began to build possession and forced Tapia to tip a Jenna Richmond header on the right post in the 31st.
Rachel Quon sent a right-footed, bending ball toward the near post, where Mewis ran on to it, beat defender Paolo Alvarado and goalkeeper Priscilla Tapia and deflected it into the net from the top of the goal box.
After Daniela Cruz was yellow carded for tripping Sydney Leroux as the U.S. captain ran laterally across the top of the box, Noyola scored her second by hitting a 23-meter free kick over a five-player wall and just inside the left post.
Costa Rica pulled within a goal in the 77th with the help of some fortuitous bounces. Ana Aguilar crossed a ball from the right that deflected off U.S. defender Toni Pressley and then Crystal Dunn before Vasquez Cedeno volleyed the bounding ball with her right from eight meters past U.S. keeper Bianca Henninger.
It was only the second goal allowed in four games by the United States, but the second in as many games having allowed a second-half injury time strike by Mexico in its final group match.