SALON-DE-PROVENC, France (June 10, 2018) — The U-20 Women’s National Team defeated 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup hosts France, 3-1, to sweep all three games at the Tournoi Maurice Revello Sud Ladies Cup and lift the first-place trophy.
Forward Sophia Smith scored the game’s first goal in the 59th minute, but France tied it in the 65th with the only goal allowed by the USA over the three games. The USA pulled away through goals from second-half substitutes Penelope Hocking and Erin Gilroy in the 69th and 88th minutes, respectively.
Germany beat Haiti, 4-1, in the other match of the day. The USA beat Germany, 3-0, and Haiti, 7-0, in its first two games.
All four teams in the round-robin tournament have qualified for the 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, making this competition a valuable dress rehearsal for group play at the World Cup, which will be held in four venues in the Brittany region of France from Aug. 5-24.
Smith, the 2017 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year, once again opened the scoring, this time with her 19th U-20 goal. She has now scored in seven consecutive U-20 internationals and finished the tournament with four goals.
Smith is also now tied with current WNT forward with Mallory Pugh for fourth all-time in U-20 international goals for the USA behind Sydney Leroux (29), Kelley O’Hara (24), Lindsey Horan (24).
Smith goal came after she won a 50/50 ball in France’s defensive third, drew the goalkeeper out and then lifted the ball over the ‘keeper. It bounced into the net to give the USA the lead with 31 minutes left.
Hocking and Gilroy scored their first U-20 goals off the bench in June 7 against Haiti, and both scored again as subs in this one.
Gilroy, in just her second U-20 cap, broke away from back line and played a pass to Smith in the middle. She played a quick wall pass around a France defender back to Gilroy who scored what would be the game-winner.
Hocking came into the game in the 84th minute for Smith and struck just four minutes later after the France goalkeeper hit a clear that struck her down defender. Hocking collected the deflection and clinched the match.
All the games were played at the Stade D’honneur D’athletisme in Salon-de-Provence, which is about 30 miles north of Marseille.
The USA was drawn into Group C at the upcoming World Cup and opens the tournament on Monday, Aug. 6 against Japan (1:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. local), faces Paraguay on Thursday, Aug. 9 (1:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. local) and finishes the group against Spain on Monday, Aug. 13 (7:30 a.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. local). The USA will play its first two group games at Stade Guy-Piriou in Concarneau and its third group game at Stade du Clos Gastel in Dinan/Léhon.
The 16-team field for the tournament is a strong one, featuring Mexico, the USA, Haiti, host France, England, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Ghana, Nigeria, Brazil, Paraguay, China PR, Japan, Korea PRK and New Zealand. The USA has won the tournament three times (2002, 2008, 2012), as has Germany (2004, 2010, 2014), while Korea DPR has won it twice, in 2006 and most recently in 2016.
– U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team vs. FRA U-20 WNT
Date: June 10, 2018
Competition: Tournoi Maurice Revello Sud Ladies Cup
Venue: Stade D’honneur D’athletisme; Salon-de-Provenc, France
Weather: 65 degrees, wet
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 3 3
FRA 0 1 1
USA – Sophia Smith 59th minute
FRA – Kelly Gago 65
USA – Erin Gilroy (Sophia Smith) 69
USA – Penelope Hocking 88
USA: 1-Laurel Ivory; 2-Kiara Pickett, 23-Naomi Girma, 14-Samantha Hiatt (capt.), 3-Isabel Rodriguez, 7-Savannah DeMelo (13-Tara McKeown, 64), 9-Sophia Smith (19-Penelope Hocking, 84), 10-Viviana Villacorta, 18-Jaelin Howell, 17-Abigail Kim (6-Erin Gilroy, 46), 20-Ashley Sanchez (8-Brianna Pinto, 72)
Subs Not Used: Hillary Beall, Taryn Torres, Natalie Winters, Zoe Morse, Delanie Sheehan, Alexa Spaanstra
Head Coach: Jitka Klimkova
FRA: 1-Mylene Chavas; 3-Selma Bacha, 4-Julie Thibaud, 5-Julie Piga, 6-Sana Daoudi (12-Lena Goestch, 63), 7-Emelyne Laurent (19-Marion Rey, 84), 8-Christy Gavory (15-Lea Khelifi, 55), 10-Annahita Zamanian (capt.), 11-Amelie Delabre, 13-Elisa De Almeida, 20-Kelly Gago
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 12 / 6
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 0 / 3
Fouls: 11 / 6
Offside: 5 / 0
USA – Naomi Girma (caution) 69th minute
USA – Savannah DeMelo (caution) 77
Referee: Berline Geffrard (HAI)
Assistant Referee: Falone Dieurisma (HAI)
Assistant Referee: Anne-Marie Joseph (HAI)
Fourth Official: Katja Koraleva