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USA U20 WNT advances to Concacaf semis

Article Written by J.R. Eskilson
Published: March 4, 2020

The U.S. U20 Women’s National Team picked up another victory at the 2020 Concacaf Championship on Wednesday. USA beat Canada 4-0 behind a pair of goals from UCLA star Mia Fishel. Brianna Pinto and Kennedy Wesley also scored for USA. Claudia Dickey recorded the shutout in goal with only one save. 

Following the quarterfinal win over Canada, USA is still a victory away from a spot at the 2020 U20 World Cup. With Costa Rica and Panama serving as hosts for the event, Concacaf was only awarded two qualifying spots to the tournament. The two winning teams from the semifinal will earn that spot at the U20 World Cup, which is scheduled for August. 

The match-up against Canada was unique, as two powerhouses of the region have only met in the championship game in previous editions of the U20 tournament. Wednesday’s quarterfinal meeting was a result of Canada struggling throughout the competition. Canada finished behind Jamaica in Group E after picking up a 1-1-1 record. Canada responded well in the knock-out round with a 6-0 win over Cuba, but they were seriously outmatched against USA on Wednesday. 

As much as Canada has struggled during the Concacaf Championship, USA has soared. USA finished group play with a perfect 3-0 record and a plus 24 goal differential with no goals conceded. USA claimed a 6-0 win over St. Lucia in the Round of 16, and followed that up with another impressive display over 90 minutes in the win over Canada that saw the underdogs manage only two shots on goal. 

USA advances to the semifinal on March 6 against Dominican Republic, which is a rematch from group play that USA won 4-0. 

With so many games in a tight window, the only concern could be fatigue during that spell. USA received a boost on Wednesday as recent NWSL No. 1 overall draft pick Sophia Smith played in her second game at the event as a second half substitute in the win over Canada. 

Smith’s fitness could be a secret weapon on Friday when USA takes on Dominican Republic, the host of the event, for a spot in the championship, which is scheduled for Sunday. 

USA XI vs Canada: Claudia Dickey; Emily Mason, Naomi Girma, Kennedy Wesley, Shae Holmes; Jenna Nighswonger, Katelyn Duong (Sophia Smith), Brianna Pinto; Trinity Rodman, Mia Fishel (Sierra Enge), Alexa Spaanstra (Rebecca Jarrett)

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