This Sunday, the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team won the 2008 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Santiago, Chile by besting the defending champs from Korea DPR (who has become one of our biggest women’s soccer rivals) by a score of 2-1. The U.S. was dominant and the score is somewhat misleading because it makes the game look much closer than it actually was (Korea DPR notched an extra time goal).
Sydney Leroux was simply brilliant throughout the tournament and she notched the first goal in the Final on route to claiming the Golden Shoe for the 2008 tournament. Remarkably, this wasn’t Leroux’s first U-20 World Cup, she also was the youngest player to ever take the pitch in the tournament in 2004 when she was only 14. Her offensive display was so impressive, it appears it won’t be long before she is challenging Natasha Kai and Abby Wambach for playing time with the regular Nats.
Alex Morgan (who scored the second goal) and Lauren Fowlkes (who played some amazing defense) both had great games, and, like Leroux and Becky Edwards, will likely be fixtures on the team in future years. Both are very nice to look at as well (that’s Morgan in the picture above) and will probably be yet another reason why we should all watch the WPS in a couple years (but, let’s go ahead and watch it when it starts soon).
While the Men’s National teams continue to struggle against the world’s best competition, the Women’s teams continue their streak of dominance and great results. The U-20 showed why our girls’ teams are so successful: they play impenetrable defense (the new World Cup champs only gave up three goals the whole tournament). Until the men can stop their opponents from scoring, the women will continue to set the bar for success in American soccer.