Rodriguez and Holmes Play For Gold With U.S. U-20 National Team

Jan. 25, 2006

As members of the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team, USC women's soccer players Amy Rodriguez and Meagan Holmes will join Team USA in the gold-medal game of the 2006 CONCACAF Under-20 Women's Tournament. Behind a goal in the 58th minute from Rodriguez, the United States clinched its qualification to the upcoming 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship with a 3-0 semifinal victory over host Mexico today. Holmes, Rodriguez and Team USA will face defending champion Canada in the gold-medal game on Friday, Jan. 27 in Veracruz, Mexico.

In the 59th minute of play on Wednesday, Rodriguez -- leading scorer for the Women of Troy in her freshman season -- slipped in her third goal of the tounament to put the United States up 2-0 over Mexico. Holmes, a staunch defender for USC in her freshman season, was a key part of the USA's shutout of El Salvador during group play.

Wednesday's semifinal win ensures that the USA will compete at the FIFA U-20 World Championships, to be held in Russia from Aug. 17-Sept. 3. The top three teams at the CONCACAF Tournament qualify.

Freshman forward Rodriguez and freshman defender Holmes have teamed up before in red, white and blue as members of the U.S. Under-19 National Team that competed last summer at the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship in Thailand.

Rodriguez and Holmes were selected for the 20-player U.S. roster after participating in U.S. U-20 National Team coach Tim Schulz's training camp, which ran Jan. 2-10 at the Home Depot Center and included 29 of the top young players in the nation.

Rodriguez also has competed as a member of the full U.S. Women's National Team last summer. As automatic starters, the freshman duo helped power USC to the NCAA Second Round in 2005. Both received Freshman All-America honors and were recently named SoccerTimes All-Americans. Rodriguez led the Women of Troy with nine goals and 25 points on the year, and Holmes helped anchor USC's tough defensive back line, which powered the Trojans to 12 shutouts in 2005.

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