U-17 USWNT: USA 7, Panama 0. U-17 WWC Ticket Punched. (CONCACAF WU-17)

The United States Under-17 Women’s National Team will be back at the Under-17 Women’s World Cup due to its 7:0 victory over Panama in the first semifinal match of the 2012 CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship. Summer Green had her third hat trick to lead all-scorers with 12 goals. With the win, the USA will play Canada in the final, on Saturday, May 12th at 6:30 pm EDT.

In the end, the USA won easily, but struggled to extend its 1:0 lead for thirty minutes in the first half before Summer Green put away two goals in under two minutes to bring the USA’s lead up to 3:0 at the break.

Panama’s physicality took a toll on some of the USA’s player. Most notably, Morgan Andrews whose several trips to the pitch were moments of concern for US fan. In one play, her knee got clipped by a Panamanian defender’s cleats, requiring Andrews to be bandaged up on the sideline.

Panama’s ‘keeper, Karen Chavarria, who was her side’s shortest player, made several key saves, thanks in part due to DarianJenkins and Summer Green being too direct with a couple of their attacks in on goal.

The USA’s defense had its most solid performance of the tournament, so far. Only two shots were allowed with none on goal. US goalkeeper Jane Campbell had light work as none of Panama’s crosses into the box were that dangerous.

Also, the USA had two good scoring opportunities in the first fifteen minutes that were snuffed out due to questionable offside calls.

Highlights (CONCACAF):

Highlights (US Soccer):

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Starting Line-Up: Montoya made a few changes, with Toni Payne and Darian Jenkins getting their first starts of the tournament. Payne played as one of the two attacking midfielders, along side Morgan Stanton. Sarah Robinson was not rostered for this match, presumably as a precaution due to the possible rib injury she incurred in the Mexico match.

Cambell (GK)
Basinger (RB) — Bauer (CB) — Freeman (CB) — G.Miranda
Andrews (HM)
Stanton (AM) — Payne(AM)
Bruder (RF) — Green (CF) — Jenkins (LF)

Fig. 1: The USA’s Starting Line-Up

On the Bench: Andi Sullivan, Joanna Boyles, Lizzy Raben, Midge Purce, Amber Munerlyn, Morgan Reid, Cassie Miller.

Which meant that Sarah Robinson and Lauren Kaskie were not rostered.

Substitutions: In the 59th minute, after Summer Green earned her hat trick, she was subbed off for Andi Sullivan. Seven minutes later, Joanna Boyles entered for Morgan Andrews, who suffered a few rough challenges during the match. Boyles played as an attacking mid, while Morgan Stanton moved back to the holding midfielder spot. Finally, in the 78th minute, Lizzy Raben saw her first minutes of the tournament as she was subbed on for Gabbi Miranda. Brittany Basinger switched to her more natural position of left fullback, with Raben taking the right side.

So, the final formation:

Fig 2: The USA’s Final Formation
(Substitutes are in red)

Jenkins and Bruder switched flanks several times during the match.

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The USA was able to penetrate Panama’s penalty box with ease: 22 of the USA’s 32 shots were inside that box, including 7 that were from inside the six-yard box.

Fig. 3:
Map of Shots and Goals Scored
(Numbers refer to the order in which scored)

The two farthest shots on goal were a late free kick by Boyles and a “what the heck” shot in the waning seconds of injury time by Boyles.

1. Toni Payne (9′, Summer Green): The play began with a Basinger throw-in to Bruder who tapped the ball back to Basinger. Basinger sent the ball back to Freeman who is at the halfway line. Freeman passes across to Miranda, who settles the ball and runs up for a long diagonal cross into the box, ahead of Green. Green gets onto the ball and looks to be in on goal, but a bad first touch forces her to scramble and slide-kick a cross to in front of the goal. Payne is right there to tap in the first goal. — 1:0 USA.

2. Summer Green (44′, Morgan Stanton): Bauer knocks the ball away from a Panamanian player. Stanton collects the ball, dribbles, and sends up a pass to Green, who is out on the right flank. Green taps it ahead of her (perhaps a bit too hard), then launched a lofted shot to the far corner, which finds the inside netting. — 2:0 USA.

3. Summer Green (45+1′, Toni Payne): On a Panamanian throw-in about halfway inside the USA’s half, on the right flank, Basinger runs around her mark and wins the throw-in. She sends a pass ten yards up to Green, who sends it back to her. The ball bobbles between Jenkins and Basinger. Jenkins settles and sends a pass over to Bauer, who dribbles some and crosses over to Freeman. Freeman launches a long diagonal cross up to Bruder, who collects it on the left touch line. Bruder dribbles down the flank and turns laterally into goal, heading into the box, where she crosses to Payne who is in front of goal, with Green to her right and two defenders in front of them. Both USA attackers retreat to gain space. Payne passes to Green, who sends a gentle post to the far post, where it ricochets to the back of the net. — 3:0 USA.

4. Morgan Andrews (50′, free kick): The free kick was earned by Jenkins, who was cynically tripped just outside the box. From about 22 yards out, after conferring with Green, Andrews steps up and unleashes a low line drive that is right above the Panamanian ‘keeper, who gets her hands on the ball, but is unable to stop the 55+ MPH free kick.  — 4:0 USA.

5. Summer Green (54′, Darian Jenkins): Andrews takes a quick free kick and sends a diagonal cross to Jenkins who is on the right flank. Jenkins dribbles into the box and near the end line, sends a cross to the middle of the six-yard box where Green slide-kicks a shot. — 5:0 USA.

6. Darian Jenkins (66′, Maddie Bauer): A Panamanian defender dispossessed Boyles, who had just came on for Andrews. The dispossession clearance trickled back to Freeman, who passes over to Bauer. Bauer dribbles up the field about twenty yards and feeds Jenkins, who is wide open on the right flank. Jenkins speeds onto the ball and heads in on goal. Once in the box, she cuts between two defenders, almost getting tripped by one, stops and cracks a left-footed shot to the near post from beyond the right corner of the six yard box. — 6:0 USA.

7. Emily Bruder (77′, Andi Sullivan): Freeman heads a 50/50 ball up to Sullivan who chests and settles it. She turns, dribbles some, and sends a cross diagonally up to Bruder, who is on the right flank. Bruder collects the ball near the end line, where her defender slips. Bruder cuts back, easily dribbles around a second defender and slips in a left-footed shot to the back left corner. — 7:0 USA.

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Jane Campbell (#1, goalkeeper):Campbell was never really tested in this match and did not have even a save as Panama had just two shots and none on goal. She confidently grabbed a couple potentially dangerous crosses. And, her biggest effort of the night came early (5th minute) when Basinger hit a weak backpass over to Campbell, who had to hustle and knock the ball out of bounds for a throw-in.

Maddie Bauer (#5, centerback): This was Bauer’s best match, so far. Defensively, she dispossessed Panamanian attackers several times. Offensively, she earned her first assist of the tournament and also had a shot from distance that bounced off the crossbar.

Mandy Freeman (#16, centerback): Freeman also had a strong game defensively, namely winning 50/50 balls in her zone. Scoring-wise, she was involved in four of the five goals that came during the run-of-play.

Brittany Basinger (#3, right/left fullback): Except for a soft backpass, Basinger had an otherwise solid outing. Panama’s defense gave her more space, allowing her to go deeper up her flank than in the previous two matches.

Gabbi Miranda (#6, left fullback): Miranda was aggressive defensively on her flank, dispossessing multiple attackers. Offensively, she was involved in the first goal. Also, her long corner kicks were lofted and well-placed.

Morgan Andrews (#10, holding midfielder): Andrews showed how lethal her foot can be scoring one goal via a free kick and sending an earlier free kick off the crossbar. Her quick restart of a later free kick led to another goal. She was involved in some hard physical encounters, including a few plays where she ended up on turf.

Morgan Stanton (#11, attacking/holding midfielder): Stanton got on the scoresheet with an assist and had a good shot attempt from the penalty arc. Her passing was generally good, and she worked to win back balls.

Toni Payne (#19, attacking midfielder): Payne was cool and collected in the box, scoring the first goal and getting an assist on the third goal. She earned a dangerous free kick (42′) and set up additional scoring chances. Defensively, she worked to dispossess Panamanian attackers.

Emily Bruder (#9, forward): Overall, Bruder had a good match, scoring one goal, assisting on a second, and helping to set up a third, along with other potential chances. She worked hard on the flanks and helped out with defense. For the most part, her awareness of other USA players in the attacking third was better.

Summer Green (#8, forward): She did it again, and again, and again. Outside of her three goals, her best offensive play was the sliding assist on the opening goal. Her long corner kick delivery was excellent.

Darian Jenkins (#13, forward): Jenkins had a much better outing than her previous match, but her performance was mixed. Her speed on the flanks was a continuous problem for Panama’s defense, but her finishing, especially early on, was lacking. When she was wide open in the box, she rushed a shot straight at the ‘keeper and sent another shot off the crossbar. Also, her speed helped to earn the free kick on which Andrews, scored.

Andi Sullivan (#7, forward; substitute, 59′): Sullivan assisted on the final goal and had at least one shot.

Joanna Boyles (#12, attacking midfielder; substitute, 66′): Boyles had two speculative shots late in the match.

Lizzy Raben (#2, right fullback; substitute, 78′): Raben came on right after the last goal was scored and did not have much to do defensively. Offensively, she never really got a chance to show her stuff, thanks in part to being tripped up by a Panamanian defender as Raben neared the penalty box.

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Refereeing (Again, Offside Edition): Darian Jenkins was clearly onside for the first offside call (3rd minute), as she was behind at least two and maybe three defenders — and that is not even including the goalkeeper. Summer Green may have been in an offside position, but she was not involved in the play.

Image 1: First Offside Call (3rd minute)

The same assistant referee had another questionable offside call where Summer Green looked to be even with the second-to-last defender, if not a few inches behind her:

Image 2: Third Offside Call (12th minute)
Green is the USA player inside the box.

With the nature of refereeing, close calls as in the second example tend to go either way, so that call, by itself, is not that objectionable, but combined with the first call

All told, the USA had six offside calls in the first 30 minutes. Of the other four calls, three replays were shown: Two calls definitely appeared to be correct, while the third call was also probably correct, but that one was much closer as the USA player was no more than a few inches offside.

Martindale, not Ferierra-James? CONCACAF.com announced that Diana Fereira-James would referee this match, with Gillian Martindale getting the other match, but apparently someone reversed those facts or someone switched the assignments as Martindale ref’ed this match with Fereirra-James getting the other semifinal.

Andrew’s Free Kick Speed: By my calculations, Morgan Andrew’s goal-scoring free kick had a speed of about 55 to 60 miles per hour when it hit the Panamanian goalkeeper’s hands.

The Math: Based on my estimations the shot was about 22 yards from goal and in the CONCACAF highlight video it took no more than 24 frames from when the ball was kicked to when it reached the goal line. The frame rate for the highlight video was a standard 29.97 frames per second, which means that the ball traveled that distance in 0.8 seconds. The full mathematical calculation: 22/(24/29.97)*60*60*3/5280 = 56.19 MPH.

Comparatively, Real Madrid’s Cristian Ronaldo can hit free kicks in the 80-85 MPH range (130 kmh is the purported number, see e.g., techcrunch.com.)

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US Soccer Match Report
US Soccer MatchTracker
CONCACAF.com Write-Up
US Soccer Quote Sheet (not available)
CONCACAF.com Short post-match interview with Morgan Andrews

US Soccer Post-Match Interviews:

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