Technical Study Group for FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup

The FIFA U-20 Women’s World CupTM will be held in Costa Rica on August 10, 2022. Due to the global pandemic, the biennial competition returns for the first time since France 2018.

Last time out, Japan was crowned champions, becoming only the fourth country to do so after the United States, Germany, and Korea DPR.

Finalists who were defeated Spain delivered their best-ever performance at a FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, with Patricia Guijarro taking home both the adidas Golden Ball and the Golden Boot for her outstanding contributions to her team’s run to the final.

VANNES, FRANCE – AUGUST 24: During the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 Final match between Spain and Japan on August 24, 2018 at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes, France. (Image courtesy of Steve Bardens – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images.) )
The significance of the U-20 Women’s World Cup in developing young talent is undeniable. Despite failing to qualify for the 2022 edition, five members of England’s EURO-winning team competed in the previous U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2018.

The experience of competing in a major tournament, against teams with varying styles of play, and against the best U-20 players in the world, is invaluable to young players’ technical, tactical, physical, and mental development.

We’d like to introduce our Technical Study Group

Our FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG) will travel to Costa Rica to observe all of the competition’s games.

Monica Vergara, Anja Mittag, and Pascal Zuberbuhler make up our team.

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY – NOVEMBER 30: Mexico’s head coach Monica Vergara watches a training session during the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018 on November 30, 2018 in Montevideo, Uruguay. (Image courtesy of Buda Mendes – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Monica’s life has revolved around football, which has led her to represent her country at every level, both as a player and now as a coach. Making her debut at the age of 13, she went on to play for Mexico for 14 years, from 1997 to 2011, before transitioning to coaching, where she has worked with Mexico’s U-15, U-17, and U-20 women’s national teams, and is now the senior national team’s head coach.

The technical, tactical, physical, and mental development of the women’s game has been evident in recent senior tournaments across the confederations; Vergara is eager to see how that development is transferring to the U-20 level.

“Women’s football is definitely progressing as federations offer more support and professional leagues are formed.” Clubs are now looking to identify player potential at a younger age, resulting in a holistic development that includes and improves the players’ physical, technical, tactical, and mental abilities.

“As a result, I expect to see more complete and competitive matches in each phase of the game, as well as better tactical understanding from the players to carry out their game plans,” Vergara said.

Defenders of the title Vergara is looking forward to seeing Japan. They have developed an intricate passing style, which helped them win the U-20 championship in 2018. It has a similar aesthetic to Spain. The offensive transition trends, which are frequently used by teams such as Germany and France, will also be closely watched in this tournament.

“I’m excited to see the different styles of play and tactical maturity of the teams.” How do they use tactics to outperform and defeat their opponents? “It’ll be an exciting tournament,” she said.

BREDA, NETHERLANDS – JULY 17: Germany’s Anja Mittag controls the ball during the Group B match between Germany and Sweden at Rat Verlegh Stadion on July 17, 2017 in Breda, Netherlands.



Anja Mittag, a former senior (2007) and U-20 (2004) FIFA Women’s World CupTM winner with Germany, has extensive experience as both a player and a coach. Mittag has 50 international goals and numerous trophies to her name in 158 appearances for her country. She won three UEFA European Championships (2005, 2009, and 2013), a UEFA U-19 Championship (2002), an Olympic gold medal in 2016, and was the all-time top goalscorer in the UEFA Women’s Champions League until 2019.

She retired in 2020 and is now the assistant coach of RB Leipzig’s senior women’s team, which competes in the Frauen Bundesliga.

Mittag also mentions player development from an athletic and tactical standpoint, and she is especially interested in how teams develop their attacking play in this tournament. “I want to see how teams create goal-scoring chances and how forward players move,” Mittag explained. “How do they behave and what solutions do they find in stressful situations?”

Mittag understands the importance of major youth tournaments for player development as a player who has competed in and won them.

“It was the best experience for me because it taught me how to play against different styles and players from all over the world.” I learned a lot. It pushed me to improve as a player,” she added.

“When you look at the recent UEFA Women’s European Championship final in 2022, so many players from England and Germany played in the previous FIFA U-20 World Cup.” Both squads had five players each who competed in France 2018. England’s Alessia Russo, Lauren Hemp, Georgia Stanway, Chloe Kelly, and Ellie Roebuck, and Germany’s Lena Oberdorf, Klara Buhl, Sophie Kleinherne, Guilia Gwinn, and Laura Freigang. This is why it is critical. Participating in these tournaments is invaluable for player development,” Mittag explained.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – FEBRUARY 10: FA Goalkeeping Expert Pascal Zuberbuhler speaks during a Technical Study Group (TSG) interview on February 10, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, as part of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021.



Senior Football and Goalkeeping Expert Pascal Zuberbuhler will be focusing on the tournament’s goalkeepers. The former Switzerland international witnessed the FIFA Women’s U-17 and U-20 World Cups, as well as the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Zuberbuhler will concentrate not only on the goalkeepers’ individual performances, but also on the crucial connection they have with their team, particularly their last defensive line. “I’m excited to see how connected the goalkeepers are with their teams as they build play from the back.” Can they play with both feet, and how do they distribute pressure? Goalkeepers at the senior level are now very fit, physical, and athletic, and we expect this to continue at the U-20 level,” Zuberbuhler explained.

“Will the goalkeepers dominate their areas when not in possession?” Are they comfortable dealing with crosses? How do they dominate crowded penalty areas with their physicality, footwork, and timing? “How are they landing to ensure that they are explosive and powerful for the second phase of the attack?” he added.

Zuberbuhler also mentioned how the teams that advanced to the final stages of the previous U-17 and U-20 World Cups had goalkeepers who were well connected to their teammates both in and out of possession. It is no coincidence that this is always visible on the best sides for him.

“If the goalkeeper is only there to save shots, they are not involved with the team enough.” To ensure the team’s defensive connection, good distances from the last line of defense and midfield are critical. More is required of goalkeepers in today’s game, so we’re looking into that as well,” Zuberbuhler concluded.


Football Analysis Group

Members of our Football Performance Analysis & Insights team will assist our football experts by providing video and football data insights from every game using our new Enhanced Football Intelligence (EFI) metrics. Furthermore, FIFA’s Football Data Collection team, based in the United Kingdom, will create comprehensive datasets from each match, which will be made available to all participating teams.

The new data and insights generated will support our TSG’s observations and provide a greater understanding of U-20 women’s football than ever before. This in-depth coverage will be included in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022 technical analysis, which can be found on the FIFA Training Centre.

VAR will also be used for the first time at this tournament.

Costa Rica’s

The tournament begins on Wednesday, August 10, 2022. It takes place during the rainy season in Costa Rica, when temperatures typically range from 24 to 29°C. The 16-team competition will be held at two venues in San Jose, the host country’s capital: the San Jose Estadio Nacional and the Alajuela Morera Soto, with the final on Sunday, August 29.

FIFA Technical Team For The U-20 Women’s World Cup

Experts: Anja Mittag – Technical Consultant Monica Vergara – Technical Consultant Pascal Zuberbuhler – Technical Consultant (GK)

Data Scientists / Performance Analysts: Elliott Stonell – Football Performance Analyst Harry Lowe – Football Performance Analysis Lead Juan Pablo Busso is the Head of Football Data Science.

Football Information: Lisa Fallon is the Tournament Lead for Football Content.

Project Managers: Ulf Schott is the Director of High Performance. Chris Loxston – Football Performance Analysis & Insights Group Leader

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