U15 GNT wins the CONCACAF Championship | Soccer club
Kennedy Fuller had an easy pass available. 10 meters, on his right, a teammate wide open.
She went for the tough, a ball floating above an opposing defender, a spinning thing to create an opportunity. And she succeeded, the ball bouncing obediently for teammate Alex Pfeiffer. A whip shot later, the ball was in the back of the net and the YNT U15 girls celebrated a crucial first goal against Canada in the Concacaf Championship.
The assist was one of Fuller’s many contributions that ultimately led to a YNT win. The attacking midfielder scored one and assisted one, playing a crucial role as the United won the Concacaf Championship for the second time in a row – with a 4-1 seal of the game.
But it was not a comfortable victory. Here is a relieved American team. One pushed and tested by a resilient opponent. The defensive contingent – a group used to navigating through contests – has been called up with regularity. He was smeared, shoved, forced into tackles and dragged. However, concrete danger, serious chances, rarely materialized. Meanwhile, the USA was effective in the final period, breaking through a strong Canadian defense with goals from Fuller, Pfeiffer, Abby Ballek and Keelyn Stewart.
And in a testy contest, the United States turned to their captain for the attack. Fuller had the freedom to attack in the no. 10 slots. She took advantage of space, pressing defensively while establishing herself as the most expressive option on the ball.
Fuller orchestrated early on. The No10 wandered into the final third, before feeding a ball to Pfeiffer behind Canada’s back line – who dutifully sent the ball past Noelle Henning into the back of the net.
The captain added a second two minutes later. Ayva Jordan surged down the left, beating two defenders and entering the penalty area. His whipped ball found a stray Canadaarm and the umpire pointed the spot. Fuller calmly dropped the penalty into the bottom left corner for a 2-0 lead.
Still, it was a halftime with a Canadian fight. He fought for every ball and looked to strike on the break. And that was rewarded with some promising moments. Annabelle Chukwu harassed down the left, while striker Isabelle Chukwu caused problems down the middle. Isabelle Chukwu was rewarded, daringly clipping the keeper from 20 yards out to make it 2-1 after 26 minutes.
There were other Canadian moments and more control in the central areas as well. There were runs down the channels, quick exchanges through midfield, but the killer ball never quite came. The United States always seemed to have a timely challenge or a shrewd interception. And barring a few tough moments, the United States held on to their 2-1 halftime lead.
There were a few chances right after the break. Henning made some neat saves, twice deflecting Fuller’s close range attempts. Meanwhile, the American defensive unit maintained its solidity, limiting Canada to just three shots during the period.
And from this solid foundation came the insurance target. King broke up play in midfield before finding Fuller. A series of neat passes sent Ballek on goal. And she opted for finesse, threading the goal through Henning’s legs to send her team into rapture.
The fourth came minutes later, the result of a neat cut and easy tap, with Puerta applying the finishing touches.
There was little control over American celebrations. This group’s first Concacaf Championship was greeted with jubilation, shouts of joy, a joyous reaction that continued throughout the trophy’s ascent. And for this team – one that saw a resilient opponent – there could be many more accolades to come.
American programming: Molly Vapensky, Daya King, Kimmi Ascanio, Jordyn Hardeman, Alexandra Pfeiffer, Kennedy Fuller, Mya Brandon, Kai Price, Carrie Helfrich, Ayva Jordan, Ainsely McCammon