With just over 100 days left until the kick-off of the 2012 Under-20 Women’s World Cup, US Soccer has released the roster for its next camp, which runs from May 13th to the 20th. Twenty-six players were called up, including nineteen of the twenty players who competed in the CONCACAF Championship in Panama, earlier this year. And, returning to the team is Duke forward Kelly Cobb, who has been recovering from ankle surgery.
The U-20 USWNT will scrimmage twice against the U-23 USWNT (May 15th and May 17th), who are also in camp at The Home Depot Center. Then, the U-20s will play a full international versus New Zealand’s U-20 WNT on May 19th. The Junior Football Ferns have a few players who are or will be on American collegiate teams, including captain Rosie White (UCLA), Hannah Wilkinson (incoming freshman at Tennessee), and Katie Bowen (incoming freshman at UNC).
(Also, given that New Zealand is traveling to the USA, they will probably at least be playing scrimmages against local club teams, if not also playing Canada’s or Mexico’s U-20 WNTs.)
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CRUNCH TIME (Almost?)
When the camp concludes, it will be 91 days until the kick-off of the U-20 WWC.
The next camp will be in June and includes an overseas trip to Japan where the U-20s will play Japan’s U-20 WNT in Osaka (JFA news item, in English). In addition to the tune-up matches, this trip will help the team get acclimated to the country ahead of the U-20 WWC. The US will probably be playing at least one other U-20 WNT, but the details have yet to be released.
Last cycle, the U-20 WWC roster was named about 45 days before the tournament kicked off and ten days before a similar trip to Germany (US Soccer). Given that the U-20 WWC is a month later this cycle, I doubt that we will see a final roster announcement until after the Japan trip. It is unclear how many players will travel to Japan in June, but 21 is probably the minimum, while 24 would probably be the maximum. Twenty-one players is the U-20 WWC roster size, while a 24-player roster would allow for three alternates.
The final roster is due ten days before the tournament starts, which makes the deadline August 9th. In July, the U-20 USWNT will be in a residency-style camp. The end of that camp should be the latest for when the roster is announced.
Finally, the draw for the tournament will be held in Tokyo on June 4th. There, the teams will learn their group opponents. Details of past U-20 WWC draws are sketchy, but for the last three tournaments (2006, 2008, and 2010) the USA was one of the four seeded teams. If similar procedures are used this year, then the USA, given that it is the top team in CONCACAF should also be a seeded team. This will mean that the USA avoids host Japan (also AFC champions), along with the two other likely seeds Germany (UEFA champions) and Brazil (CONMEBOL champions). [Note: I’ll have more on the draw in a week or so.]
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Goalkeepers: Four were called up including the two ‘keepers from Panama, Bryane Heaberlin and Abby Smith. Of the additional players brought into the last camp, only Jami Kranich (Villanova) was called back, while Emily Kruger (Cal Berkeley) and Emily Oliver (Stanford) were not. Megan Kufeld (U. of Washington), who did train with the U-23 WNT in January, is the only new player.
Defenders: No new players were called in. The only defender who was not on the CONCACAF roster is Caprice Dydasco (UCLA) who seems to be in the running as a substitute/back-up fullback. One player from the last camp was not called back: Lauren Lindstrom (Fresno State). Again, not included in the roster is centerback Abby Dahlkemper, who has been included in the concurrent U-23 WNT camp.
Midfielders: All seven mids from the last camp, include the six who traveled to Panama, along with Ashley Meier (Cleveland Whitecaps, incoming freshman at Virginia Tech) are back.
Forwards: Eight forwards were called up for this camp, including all five from the April camp. The three new forwards include Kelly Cobb (Duke), who had been a core part of the this team prior to her injury, plus newcomers Makenzy Doniak (Slammers FC, incoming freshman at U. of Virginia), who is part of the U-18 pool (1994 birthday) , and Becca Wann (U. of Richmond), who plays both soccer and basketball at the University of Richmond. Wann had 15 goals, including 7 game-winners and 6 assists for the Spiders last fall, in her sophomore season (press release about Wann’s call-up).
Portland’s Micaela Capelle, who had a goal and an assist in Panama, has been left off the roster for the second straight camp, presumably due to the fact that she is still recovering from an injury picked up in a spring game. Capelle should still have a shot of making the U-20 WWC roster, but being cleared to play by the June camp will probably be a prerequisite.
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Asterisks (*) denote that the player was not on the CONCACAF Championship roster.
Megan Kufeld* (Washington; Fremont, Calif.)
Makenzy Doniak* (Slammers FC; Chino Hills, Calif.)
Becca Wann* (Richmond; Chesterfield, Va.)