Young stars named for U-20 showpiece
The Women’s Olympic Football Tournament may have only just concluded but a major milestone for this month’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012 has been reached with the announcement of the squad lists for all 16 competing nations.
Just nine days out from the start of FIFA’s premier youth women’s tournament, 336 players have received confirmation of their participation on the world stage.
Check out the Official List Of Players.
The sixth edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup is restricted to players born on 1 January 1992 or later. Despite this, a significant number of players who featured at London 2012 over the past fortnight are set to make the journey to the Far East.
Leading the way is Brazil’s dynamic attacker Thais Guedes, with the 19-year-old, who also featured for A Seleção at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™, often tagged as Marta’s possible successor.
New Zealand will boast experience and know-how up front in Rosie White and Hannah Wilkinson who, like the Brazilian front-runner, have featured at both world events over the past 12 months.
It is Korea DPR, however, that will perhaps possess the most experience of top level competition with around half of their squad having featured at London 2012.
Other notable names include Germany’s Dzsenifer Marozsan, who missed last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup on home soil due to a serious knee injury, while Korea Republic have named nimble starlet Yeo Minji. The attacker was named adidas Golden Ball winner as Korea Republic won their maiden global crown with victory at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago two years ago.
Japan, seeking to build on the nation’s success at Germany 2011, has omitted their own attacking dynamo, Mana Iwabuchi, with coach Hiroshi Yoshida also without Mai Kyokawa due to injury.
Japan will feature on the tournament’s opening day, 19 August, with a match against Mexico, before further Group A contests against Switzerland and New Zealand.
South American heavyweights Brazil feature in Group B with Korea Republic, Italy, and Nigeria.
Korea DPR, runners-up in 2008, will face Canada, Norway, and Argentina in Group C, while Group D appears the toughest section as two-time world champions USA meet holders Germany, China PR, and Ghana.
The tournament will take place in Hiroshima, Kobe, Miyagi, Saitama and Tokyo, with the final to be held in the capital on 8 September.
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