U-20 USWNT: A Statistical Comparison to Past Cycles (Part 1)

The main inspiration for this post was a quote by German U-20 WNT head coach Maren Meinert on FIFA.com, from earlier this month:

Who are favourites to win?
We’re one of the favourites. As hosts, Japan are up there, as well as Brazil and USA, who have a very good U-20 team this year. In my opinion it’s one of the best USA U-20 teams I’ve ever seen.

Maybe Meinert is just being nice because she would like to be the USWNT’s head coach someday, or maybe she is trying to prop up her team’s case for being one of the seeded teams…

…But, in any case, at least by a few metrics, the facts back up her opinion.

* * *

The ultimate test, the Under-20 Women’s World Cup, is still three months away, but so far this year, the current U-20 USWNT has built a solid résumé, which includes a CONCACAF Championship title, a 10:0 smashing of Switzerland, and shutout wins versus Germany and Norway.

This post only looks at the main phase of preparation for the U-20 USWNT in each cycle: the friendlies, scrimmages, and qualification matches that are played in the final year of each cycle, up to the start of the Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

Due to differences in the types and age levels of the opponents faced, raw overall statistical comparisons between the current and past cycles are not completely relevant. Luckily, each of the cycles have played at least ten matches versus U-20 opponents (including five CONCACAF qualifying matches), which will allow for a more proper comparison.

This year’s team still has at least one major test, a friendly versus Japan’s U-20 WNT, in Osaka, so the current cycle’s numbers are still preliminary, but so far the current U-20 USWNT is statistically better than the past three U-20 cycles (a)  in terms of goals scored per match (b), goals allowed per match, and (c) overall record.

TABLE #1: U-20 USWNT Cycle Comparison Summary (U-20 opponents, only)

YEAR    M    GT    AT      A%   GAT  |    GA    GAA  |   W   L   T
2012^  11    49    38   77.6%     2  |  4.45   0.18  |  11   0   0
2010   12    30    21   70.0%     9  |  2.50   0.75  |   9   2   1
2008   10    30    23   76.7%     3  |  3.00   0.30  |   8   1   1
2006*  12.3  43    --     --     13  |  3.49   1.05  |   9   1   2

Key: “M,” Matches, “GT,” Total Goals, “AT,” Total Assists; “A%,” Percentage of goals of that were assisted; “GAT,” Total Goals Allowed; “GA,” Average Goals Per Match; and “GAA,” Average Goals Allowed Per Match.

*Assist information is not available for all 2006 matches. A friendly versus China was tied at regulation. Thirty minutes of extra time was played.

^Excluding the 10:0 win over Switzerland, the goal average would be 3.90         (39 goals /10 matches)

Goals Scored Per Match: The current team is averaging 4.45 goals per game, which is almost two whole goals higher than the 2010 team and almost 1.5 more goals than the 2008 cycle. Even without the 10:0 match versus Switzerland, the team still has a higher average (3.90) compared to the best U-20 USWNT in this category, the ’06ers, who averaged 3.49 goals/match.

Goals Allowed: The current U-20s have only allowed 2 goals to be scored by under-20 opponents, the giveaway goal by Canada in the CONCACAF Championship final, and a goal by China in the first match of the April camp. Only the 2008 cycle, with 3 goals allowed, compares to this year’s team, as both the 2010 and 2006 allowed significantly more goals: 9 and 12, respectively.

This year’s team has a 0.18 goals allowed per match average, compared to 0.75 for 2010, 0.30 for 2008, and 0.98 for 2006.

Overall U-20 Record: This current team has won all its under-20 matches, so far this year, compiling a 11-0-0 record. All of the past cycles had at least one loss and one draw versus cohort teams going into the U-20 WWC.

* * *

OVERALL STATISTICS (All Matches and Scrimmages)

There are other positive indicators regarding this year’s team, namely the number of players with multiple goals and assists: 8 players have 4 or more goals and 10 players have 3 or more assists. Also, of the 8 players with 4+ goals, all but one of of them (Johnston) has at least 3 assists.

And, the assists are well distributed: the 10 players with 3+ assists account for 40 total assists, with 6 of those 10 players having 4 assists a piece, while 2 players have 3 assists, and 2 players have 5 assists.

Going with the current most likely starting XI, the goals and assists per position would be mapped out as so (asterisks denote team-leader in the category):

Heaberlin (GK)
Dunn (RB) — Johnston (CB) — Kallman (CB) — Pathman (LB)
Brian (AM) — S. Mewis (HM) — DiBernardo (AM)
Horan (RF) — Stengel (CF) — Ohai (LF)

Goals
0
0 — 5 — 0 — 0
4 — 5 — 2
13* — 7 — 5

Assists
0
4 — 1 — 0 — 5*
4 — 4 — 4
5* — 4 — 3

All of Johnston’s goals were scored when she was a midfielder, so her 5 goals should be discounted given her new defensive field position.

Concerning the substitute forwards, Maya Hayes has 5 goals and 4 assists, while Chioma Ubogagu has quietly been racking up one goal in each of her last five known appearances (going back to the game-winner in the Canada match) to have 8 total goals (second only behind Horan), plus 3 assists.

**************************************************************************

The following sections are summaries of all known matches and scrimmages for each U-20 USWNT cycle, going back to 2006, during the year of the U-20 WWC, up to the tournament.

Match results are from USSoccer.com news item, except where another source is linked.

* * *

2012: THE CURRENT TEAM
(As of the May 2012 Camp)

January Camp (January 19)

These two matches were 60-minute split-squad scrimmages.

USA 1, Shanghai WFC 0.
Goal: McCaffrey.
Assist: Information not available.

USA 3, Shanghai WFC 0.
Goals: Brian, Johnston, Horan.
Assist: Pathman.

Source: TopDrawerSoccer.com

La Manga (February 9-13)

USA 10, Switzerland 0.
Goals: Horan (3), Ohai (2), S. Mewis (2), Johnston, Brian, Ubogagu.
Assists: Brian (3), Horan (2), Hayes (2),  Stengel, S. Mewis, Pathman.

USA 1, Germany 0.
Goal: Horan.
Assist: Ubogagu.

USA 2, Norway 0.
Goals: Ohai, Ubogagu.
Assists: Johnston, Pathman.
(Full match report not available, statistical forensics used for assists)

Total Goals: 13:0.
Total Assists: 13.

CONCACAF Championship (March 2-11)

USA 6, Guatemala 0.
Goals: Horan (3), Johnston, Stengel, Roccaro.
Assists: Dunn (2), Brian, Hayes.

USA 6, Cuba 0.
Goals: Stengel (2), Hayes (2), DiBernardo, Ubogagu.
Assists: Ubogagu, Dunn, Pathman, Horan.

USA 6, Panama 0.
Goals: Hayes (2), Capelle, DiBernardo, Johnston, S. Mewis.
Assists: Hayes, S. Mewis, DiBernardo, Capelle.

USA 4, Mexico 0. (Semifinal)
Goals: Johnston, Brian (FK), Horan, Ohai.
Assists: Stengel (2).

USA 2, Canada 1. (Final)
Goals: Hayes, Ubogagu.
Assists: Ohai (2).

Totals Goals: 24:1.
Total Assists: 16.

April Camp (April 12-16)

USA 4, China 1.
Goals: Horan (2), Ubogagu, S. Mewis.
Assists: S. Mewis (2), Ohai.

USA 3, China 0.
Goals: Stengel, Ubogagu, S. Mewis (FK).
Assist: Ubogagu.

May Camp (May 19)

U-20s 4, U-23s 4. (TopDrawerSoccer)
Goals: Brian, Stengel, Horan (FK), Killion.
Assists: DiBernardo, Horan.

U-20s 3, U-23s, 1. (TopDrawerSoccer)
Goals: M. Doniak, Laddish, Ubogagu.
Assist: M. Doniak.

USA 5, New Zealand 0.
Goals: Stengel (2), Horan, Ohai, Ubogagu.
Assists: DiBernardo (2), Dunn, Pathman, Horan.

June Overseas Trip (June 17)

USA ?, Japan ?.
Goals:
Assists:

Summary:
14.33 FTE matches, so far (5 official).
15 different players have scored.
13 different players have registered assists.
Goals Scored: 60 (4.19 average).
Goals Allowed: 7 (0.49 average).
Total Assists: 43/60 = 71.7%

Even without the Switzerland match, the goal average would be 3.75 (50 goals / 13.33 matches).

Table #2: Goals and Assists Totals, Per Player

PLAYER             G    A   PTs
Horan, Lindsey    13    5    31
Ubogagu, Chioma    8    3    19
Stengel, Katie     7    4    18
Mewis, Samantha    5    4    14
Hayes, Maya        5    4    14
Ohai, Kealia       5    3    13
Brian, Morgan      4    4    12
Johnston, Julie    5    1    11
DiBernardo, V.     2    4     8
Pathman, Mollie    0    5     5
Dunn, Crystal      0    4     4
Capelle, Micaela   1    1     3
Doniak, Makenzy    1    1     3
Roccaro, Cari      1    0     2
Killion, Sarah     1    0     2
Laddish, Mandy     1    0     2
McCaffrey, S.      1    0     2
TOTAL             60   43   163

If a player is not listed, then she has not scored a goal or had an assist this calendar year.

* * *

2010: AGONY IN AUGSBURG (Quarterfinal Exit)

CONCACAF Championship (January 21-30)

USA 6, Jamaica 0.
Goals: Nairn (2), Leroux (2), Noyola, McCarty.
Assists: McCarty, Henninger, Leroux, Bywaters.

USA 4, Trinidad & Tobago 0.
Goals: Leroux (2), Marlborough, K. Mewis.
Assists: Quon, Marlborough.

USA 2, Mexico 1.
Goals: V. DiMartino, Leroux.
Assist: Noyola.

USA 2, Costa Rica 1. (Semifinal)
Goals: K. Mewis, Noyola (FK).
Assist: Quon.

USA 1, Mexico 0. (Final)
Goal: Leroux.
Assist: K. Mewis.

Total Goals: 15:2.
Total Assists: 9.

La Manga (February 22-26)

USA 1, Norway U-23 0.
Goal: Hayes.
Assists: n/a.

USA 1, Germany 1.
Goal: Leroux.
Assist: S. Mewis.

USA 1, England U-23 0.
Goal: Leroux.
Assist: Bywaters.

Total Goals: 3:1.
Total Assists: 2.

March Camp (March 15-19)

USA 3, U. of Florida 0.
Goals: A. Brooks. E. Eddy (2).
Assists: C. Jones, Short, V. DiMartino.

USA 2, Boston Breakers 2.
Goals: K. Mewis (2).
Assists: Quon, K. Johnson.

USA 0, Atlanta Beat 2.
Goals: n/a.
Assists: n/a.

May Camp (May 13-22)

USA 2, New Zealand 0.
Goals: Leroux, Verloo.
Assist: Nairn.

USA 4, New Zealand 0.
Goals: Leroux, S. Mewis, McCarty, Ayinde.
Assists: Noyola (2), V. DiMartino, K. Mewis.

USA 2, Mexico 1.
Goals: Noyola, A. Brooks.
Assist: Grimsley.

USA 4, Mexico 0.
Goals: K. Mewis, Bywaters, Verloo, Grimsley.
Assists: Ayinde, Pressley, V. DiMartino.

June Overseas Trip (June 10-13)

USA 1, Japan 2.
Goal: Leroux.
Assist: Hayes.

USA 1, Germany 3.
Goal: Leroux.
Assist: K. Mewis.

Summary:
17 matches (5 official).
15 different players scored goals.
17 different players registered assists.|
Goals Scored: 37 (2.18 average).
Goals Allowed: 13 (0.76 average).
Total Assists: 27 (73%).

* * *

2008: GOLD IN CHILE (Cup Winner)

Four Nations Tournament in Chile (February 11-15)

USA 1, England 0.
Goal: Noyola.
Assist: Washington.

USA 2, Norway 0.
Goals: Winters, Noyola.
Assists: Noguiera.

USA 5, Chile 1.
Goals: O’Hara (2), Marshall, Enyeart, Winters.
Assits: Enyeart (2), Marshall, C. Noguiera.

Cyprus Cup (March 5-12)

USA 2, Scotland (Senior) 0.
Goals: Washington, O’Hara (PK).
Assists: O’Hara.

USA 0, Russia (Senior) 2.
Goals: n/a.
Assists: n/a.

USA 2, Netherlands (Senior) 0.
Goals: O’Hara, Enyeart.
Assists: Washington.

USA 2, Canda (Senior) 3.
Goals: Steinbruch (2).
Assists: n/a.

June Camp (Utah, June 11)

USA 4, Utah Spiders (WPSL) 0.
Goals: Morgan, G. DiMartino, O’Hara, McDonald.
Assists: Information not available.

CONCACAF Championship (June 18-28)

USA 4, Trinidad & Tobago 0.
Goals: Enyeart (3), O’Hara.
Assists: Morgan, Winters, Dallstream.

USA 9, Cuba 0.
Goals: O’Hara (3), Washington (2), Enyeart (2), Morgan, Edwards.
Assists: Washington (2), O’Hara (2), Enyeart, Leroux, Wells.

USA 3, Mexico 0.
Goals: O’Hara, Enyeart, Washington.
Assists: Winters, Morgan.

USA 4, Costa Rica 0.
Goals: Klingenberg, Wells, O’Hara, McDonald.
Assists: Morgan, Edwards, Klingenberg, Enyeart.

USA 0, Canada 1.
Goals: n/a.
Assists: n/a.

Total Goals: 20:1
Total Assists: 16

July-August Domestic/England Camps (July 26 – August 5)

USA 5, NJ Sky Blue (W-League) 1.
Goals: Morgan (2), G. DiMartino, DaCosta, Dallstream.
Assists: Information not available.

USA 0, Everton 1.
Goals: n/a.
Assists: n/a.

USA 1, Arsenal 3.
Goal: Morgan.
Assists: Information not available.

USA 2, Chelsea 1.
Goals: Information not available.
Assists: Information not available.

October Camp (October 23-25)

USA 1, Canada 1.
Goal: Mautz.
Assist: Wells.

USA 1, Canada 0.
Goal: Nairn.
Assist: n/a.

Summary:
19 matches (5 competitive).
Goals: 48 scored (2.53 average)
Goals Allowed: 14 (0.74 average).

* * *

2006: COAL IN RUSSIA (Fourth Place)

CONCACAF Championship (January 19-27)

USA 4, Jamaica 1.
Goals: T. DiMartino, Rodriguez, Adams, Cheney.
Assists: Rodriguez, Wagenfuhr, Beam, Angeli.

USA 4, Suriname 0.
Goals: Rodriguez, Long, Poach, O’Hara.
Assists: Rostedt, Angeli, Logterman, B. Taylor.

USA 5, El Salvardo 0.
Goals: Cheney (2), Rostedt (2), Dew.
Assists: Holmes, O’Hara, Wagenfuhr, Adams, Poach.

USA 3, Mexico 0. (Semifinal)
Goals: Bock (2), Rodriguez.
Assists: Long, Moore.

USA 3, Canada 2. (final)
Goals: Rodriguez, Rostedt, Cheney.
Assists: O’Hara, Cheney, Beam.

Total Goals: 19:3
Total Assists: 18

March Camp (March 2-25)

USA 3, Long Beach State 0.
Goals: Rostedt (2), Adams.

U-20s 3, U-23s 1.*
Goals: Adams (2), Averbuch.

U-20s 1, U-23s 5.*
Goal: Heath.

USA 2, Pepperdine 0.
Goals: Rostedt (2).

USA 3, LMU 1.
Goals: Averbuch, B. Taylor, Bock.

USA 5, SDSU 1.*
Goals: Adams (2), Taylor (2), Larken.

USA 2, USC 2.*
Goals: Rostedt (2).

*U-20/U-21 matches and SDSU/USC matches were on the same days.

April Camp (April 1-8)

USA 3, Washington State 0.
Goals: DiMartino, Adams, O’Hara.

USA 4, U. of Washington 3.
Goals: Rostedt (2), Adams O’Hara.

USA 1, Portland 0.
Goal: Rostedt.

USA 4, Oregon State 1.
Goals: O’Hara (2), Taylor, Cheney.

USA 4, Ohio State 0.
Goals: Cheney (2), DiMartino, Angeli.

Ricardo Texiera Cup (Brazil, April 15-23)

USA 2, Canada 2.
Goals: Bock, Heath.
Assists: Wagenfuhr, Bock.

USA 2, Brazil 0.
Goals: Cheney, Adams.
Assists: Bock, Cheney.

USA 4, Canada 0.
Goals: O’Hara (2), Cheney, Rostedt.
Assists: T. DiMartino (2), Cheney (2).

USA 1, Brazil 2.
Goal: Angeli.
Assist: Adams.

Early June Camp
Scrimmage information not available.

June-July Camp (July 3-?)

USA 5, China 3 (a.e.t.).
Goals: Angeli, C. Noguiera, Rodriguez; O’Hara, Cheney.
Assists: Information not available.
(Extra time was played in case of a draw, to simulate WWC conditions. O’Hara and Cheney scored in extra time.)

Second USA-China match results not available.

July Overseas Trip to Finland (July 18-22)

USA 12, SCR (club team) 0.
Goals: C. Nogueira (4), O’Hara (2), Angeli (2), Heath, Logterman, Cheney, Poach.
Assists: Information not available.

USA 3, Finland 2.
Goals: O’Hara (3).
Assists: Information not available.

USA 7, Finland 1.
Goals: Cheney (2), Rodriguez (2), Angeli, O’Hara, Rostedt.
Assists: Information not available.

Summary
25.33** FTE matches played (reported).
Goals Scored: 90 (3.55 average).
Goals Allowed: 27 (1.07 average).

If the 12-goal blow-out is excluded, the average goals would be 3.21.

**Since the China friendly went to extra time, that match is being treated as 1.33 matches.