United States under-20 women's head coach Michelle French (pictured) encourages her team during 2014 CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championship held in the Cayman Islands. (Photo: Mexsport)
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- As polished as it appeared looking on from the outside, United States head coach Michelle French countered that notion by saying her team is still a work in progress.
In quality displays during the defense of its CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championship title in the Cayman Islands recently, the U.S. went a perfect 5-0-0, scoring 29 goals and conceding none
For good measure and a testimony to their strength, the Americans won the final on Sunday by delivering a solid 4-0 win over Mexico at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
But French, in the pursuit of bringing her side to the next perceivable level, notes that the work continues ahead of the FIFA World Cup to be held in Canada in August.
"I think our chemistry continues to grow, especially in the backline as it is a pretty new group,” French told CONCACAF.com. “In the middle of the field we would want to move the ball a little bit faster, and in offense, I think there are some finishing opportunities we could have done better with.”
"There are things we will continue to work on as we move to the World Cup."
Overall, however, she took particular pride in allowing no goals, even as she pushes the defenders to achieve higher levels of proficiency.
"We make it known the importance for us to defend, as we think if we defend well, it gives us the opportunity to score at the other end and you see that we had some good goalscorers who put away some great goals for us," she noted.
From the absolute last line of defense, Katelyn Rowland received the Golden Glove award as the tournament’s best goalkeeper.
Further up the field, midfielder Rose Lavelle won the Golden Ball, while forward McKenzie Meehan shared the Golden Boot prize with Mexico's Tanya Samarzich on six goals each.