Beginning with the USWNT’s infamous defeat to Sweden at the quarterfinal stage of the 2016 Summer Olympics, proceeding to the Under-17’s inability to advance from the group stage of the U-17 Women’s World Cup and now ending with the U-20’s defeat to North Korea at the semifinals of their own World Cup, it’s been a year to forget for U.S. women's soccer.
Over course of 2016 U-20 World Cup, #USWNT was outshot 76-35.PRK 25-7 USA
MEX 15-4 USA
GHA 14-8 USA
USA 13-5 NZL
FRA 17-3 USA
— John D. Halloran (@JohnDHalloran) November 29, 2016
Trailing 1-0 deep in the second half, the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team found a dramatic late equalizer against Korea DPR in the 89th minute, but Ri Hyang Sim restored her sides’ advantage only a minute into the first half of extra time.
The Americans were unable to find another equalizer, and North Korea will now advance to the final to play France. This is the eighth edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and the Americans will be denied a chance at a fourth world championship at this age level.
The competition across the board in the women’s game has clearly been growing, and the call for an increased focus on youth development, with the advantage of having a college system no longer providing a massive advantage for the States, will only grow louder with this result.