June 27, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – The United States and Canada Under-20 Women’s National Teams earned a spot at the 2008 FIFA U-20 World Cup to be held November 20 – December 7 in Chile. Both Youth National Teams secured two of the region’s three berths to the World Cup following semifinal victories by each country during the CONCACAF qualifying tournament at Estadio Cuauhtemoc in Puebla, Mexico.
Four Seminole student-athletes, three from the United States and one from Canada, are included in the 2008 player pool for their respective countries and will have the opportunity to compete in the World Cup if they are selected to final roster. Sophomore Amanda DaCosta, Junior Becky Edwards and Freshman Ella Stephan are in the pool for the United States, while Sophomore Erin McNulty is in the pool for Canada.
The U.S. defeated Costa Rica 4-0 in the semifinals of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament to earn a spot in the oldest FIFA youth world championships for women. The victory marked the fourth time the USA has qualified for a youth world championship earning a berth to all three previous tournaments that have been contested: Canada in 2002 (U-19s), Thailand in 2004 (U-19s) and Russia in 2006 (U-20s).
The win moved USA’s record to 4-0 in Mexico as the Red, White and Blue have posted victories over Trinidad & Tobago (4-0), Cuba (9-0) and Mexico (3-0).
Edwards, playing for the U.S. in Mexico, has had a solid tournament with four points on a goal and two assists. The Downingtown, Pa., native registered three points against Cuba tallying a goal (72nd) and an assist. She picked up her second assist of the tournament in the semifinal match against Costa Rica assisting on a goal by Ingrid Wells in the 15th minute of action to give the US a 2-0 lead. Edwards as started all four matches for the U.S.
Canada topped Mexico in the semifinals securing its spot in the youth World Cup after defeating the host country 2-1. Like the USA, the Canadians have also posted an unblemished record at 4-0. Canada opened the tournament with a win over Nicaragua (2-0) and followed that with wins over Jamaica (3-1) and Costa Rica (4-0).
McNulty has started all four matches while playing every minute in goal for Canada. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native led Canada to a pair of shutout victories against Nicaragua and Costa Rica. She has allowed just two goals in 360 minutes of action.
The United States and Canada will face-off in the championship match of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament on Saturday, June 28, at 2:30 p.m. CST. Fans can follow the game live on ussoccer.com’s match tracker. Mexico and Costa Rica will fight for a trip to Chile in Saturday afternoon’s third-place match, which kicks off at 12 p.m. CST.
Eleven nations have already qualified for the FIFA U-20 World Cup prior to the CONCACAF qualifier in Mexico. They are host Chile; Japan, China and North Korea from Asia; France, Germany, Norway and England from Europe; New Zealand from Oceania; and Brazil and Argentina from South America.