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Nordic Cup

Under-21 Women open Nordic Cup 4-0 over Switzerland.

Aly Wagner
Aly Wagner
NURNBURG, Germany (Friday, July 28, 2000) -- The U.S. opened Nordic Cup play with balanced scoring leading to a 4-0 victory over the full Swiss national team, the only overage team participating in the tournament. Midfielders Aly Wagner and Veronica Zepeda each recorded a goal and assist.

The match was delayed by an hour after the U.S. team bus got stuck in a rain-related traffic jam, forcing an abbreviated warm-up in the chilly conditions. Due to the late start, the match had to be moved at halftime to a field with lights.

Aly Wagner made the first tally 25 minutes into the match after receiving a pass from Susan Bush inside the penalty box. She sidestepped a defender and cracked her shot into the lower right corner from five yards away.

Three minutes later, Wagner became the playmaker weaving her way through the Swiss defense before passing to Aleisha Cramer inside the penalty box. From five yards out, Cramer slotted her shot low into the right corner.

Veronica Zepeda
Veronica Zepeda
The Americans scored their third goal just eight minutes before halftime as midfielder Jena Kluegel worked her way free on the right flank and crossed to the far post. On a ball from Veronica Zepeda, who entered the game just minutes before for Wagner, the U.S. midfielder struck it home from close range.

U.S. Captain and defender Michelle French stated "There were some nerves at the beginning of the game, but we still had the edge in possession. Once we settled down and started to move the ball quicker, we started to dominate, the chances started coming and that's when we scored our goals."

Forward Mary-Frances Monroe sealed the match in the 53rd minute after Zepeda played a quick free-kick to her about 40 yards from the goal, catching the Swiss defense flat-footed. Monroe dribbled through several defenders before cracking a shot from 23 yards out into the bottom right corner.

2000 Nordic Cup
Team GF GA W L T Pts
United States 4 0 1 0 0 3
Finland 1 0 1 0 0 3
Sweden 0 1 0 1 0 0
Switzerland 0 4 0 1 0 0
Group B standings through July 28

Other games
Finland 1
Sweden 0

"We scored four great goals that were complete team efforts. We got five substitutes into the game and everyone contributed. It was a great way to start," said Head Coach Jillian Ellis. "The players responded very well to the adverse conditions, Aleisha Cramer did a great job of controlling the midfield defensively. She won balls and was excellent at spraying passes around in the second half. Her change of the point of attack was awesome. Mary-Frances Monroe also had an excellent game playing behind the forwards, she was our engine, and Michelle French and Jena Kluegel were fantastic on the flanks."

The U.S. next faces Sweden in its second Group B match on Sunday night in Hof, Germany.

United States (Under-21s) 4, Switzerland National Team 0

Lineups: Switzerland - not availble. United States - Jen Branam, Anna Kraus, Nandi Pryce, Michelle French, Susan Bush (Marcia Wallis 69), Aleisha Cramer, Jena Kluegel (Caroline Putz 77), Aly Wagner (Veronica Zepeda 33), Alyssa Ramsey, Christie Welsh (Catherine Reddick 56), Mary-Frances Monroe (Kim Patrick 60).

United States - Wagner (Bush) 25.
United States - Cramer (Wagner) 28.
United States - Zepeda (Kluegel) 37.
United States - Monroe (Zepeda) 53.

Shots: Switzerland 2, United States 18. Saves: Switzerland 10, United States 1. Corner kicks: Switzerland 0, United States 4. Fouls: Switzerland 12, United States 12. Offside: Switzerland 0, United States 5. Yellow card cautions: Switzerland - 10; United States - Cramer 79.

Referee: n/a. Attendance: 125 at Franken Stadium in Nurnburg, Germany. Weather:Intermittent rain, cold, 55 degrees.

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