Yokers Named to U.S. Nordic Cup Team
July 8, 2002
BERKELEY - California junior midfielder Kim Yokers was one of 18 players chosen to represent the United States at the 2002 Women's Under-21 Nordic Cup Championships, being contested in Finland from July 22-28. Without a sanctioned FIFA championship for U-21 women, the Nordic Cup serves as the top competition in the world for this age group.
Yokers, a second team All-Pac-10 and third team all-region selection in 2001, emerged last season as one of the best central midfielders in the country. She finished third on the team with 12 points (3G, 6A) after posting eight points as a freshman. The Seattle native was second on the Bears in assists and tied for fifth in the Pac-10 in that category.
The U.S. U-21s have achieved tremendous success at the Nordic Cup since 1997, winning the tournament, which is played annually in Northern Europe, in four of the past five years. Last year, the U.S. won the title with a 6-1 victory over Sweden in the championship game. During the tournament, Cal senior Laura Schott posted a goal and three assists, including two against Sweden.
The eight competing teams are divided into two groups of four, with first-round play consisting of round-robin matches within the group. The group winners will then play for the championship. The two second-place group finishers will play for third place, the third-place finishers for fifth and the last-place finishers will play for seventh. Each team will play four matches in seven days.
The U.S. is in Group A along with host Finland, the full Greece women's national team and Denmark, while Group B features Sweden, Germany, Iceland and Norway. All of the matches will be played in and around the city of Turku on the southwest tip of Finland, about 90 miles west of Helsinki. The championship is set for July 28 in Turku.
The first match for the U.S. is against Finland on Monday, July 22, in Kaarina (6:00 p.m. local/8 a.m. PT). The U.S. then plays Denmark on Wednesday, July 24, in Kaarina (6:00 p.m. local/8:00 a.m. PT) and finish group play on Friday, July 26, in Turku against the full Greek women's national team that is trying to get some international seasoning in preparation for their first foray into big-time international women's soccer at the 2004 Olympics. That match kicks off at 5 p.m. local time (7:00 a.m. PT).
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