On Monday, U.S. Soccer released the travel roster for the United States Under-17 WNT’s last major training camp prior to the Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan. Only nineteen players were called up, with one additional player to be named at a later date. Eighteen of those players participated in CONCACAF qualifying. The two players from Guatemala not on the roster are midfielder Sarah Robinson and defender Lizzie Raben. The one added player is defender Claire Wagner, who is a teammate of Joanna Boyles and Morgan Reid at CASL’s Chelsea Ladies (Raleigh, NC). During the camp, which runs from July 19th to the 30th and will be held in Croatia and Slovenia, the U-17s will play four tune-up matches, all against older players, with the first three opponents being club teams, while the final will be versus the full women’s national team of Slovenia.
The absence of Sarah Robinson is somewhat puzzling as she had a standout performance in the last training camp, scoring two goals in a scrimmage, so the reason for her non-inclusion does not appear to be tactical, nor injury-related (at least due to in-camp injuries) as the TopDrawerSoccer.com articles on that camp (see previous link) make no mention of any injuries. (Further speculation is being put on hold until the final player is named.)
Meanwhile, Lizzie Raben was only used briefly as a substitute in two matches during qualifying, so her not being named to the roster is a bit more understandable.
The “player to be named later” will most likely be a midfielder, with Robinson being the most likely choice, assuming that she is healthy and is otherwise able to travel. If Robinson is not an option, then Arielle Ship would probably be the next choice. Or, Montoya could select Jaye Boissiere whose first camp with this team was only the last one, in June.
The one player who was not part of the CONCACAF Championship squad is defender Claire Wagner, who is a member of CASL’s Chelsea Ladies, the current ECNL U-17 national champions (TopDrawerSoccer), along with fellow defender Morgan Reid and midfielder Joanna Boyles. Wagner is a 2013 verbal commit to Clemson and appears to be a true centerback, which may be one of the reasons why she got the call-up ahead of Raben, who was only used as a fullback during qualifying.
ABOUT THE TEAM’S CAMP OPPONENTS
The first opponent is listed as “FV Viktoria, the Hungarian Women’s First Division champion,” which appears to be Viktória FC Szombathely (www.viktoriafc.hu; en.Wikipedia). In 2012, Viktoria FC did finish at the top of the league table, but was second in the league’s championship (UEFA.com). That match will be July 23rd, in Croatia’s capital, Zagreb (Wikipedia).
The remaining matches will be in Maribor, Slovenia (Wikipedia), with the second opponent being Austria’s LUV Graz, who finished mid-table in Austria’s Bundesliga (league table, UEFA.com). The last club team opponent is Slovenian league champion ZNK Pomurje (www.znkpomurje.com, league table on UEFA.com). These two matches will be played on July 25th and the 27th, respectively.
The final match, on July 29th, will be against the full women’s national team of Slovenia, who are currently ranked 53rd in the world, between Haiti and Greece, and 30th in UEFA (FIFA rankings profile for Slovenia’s WNT). Slovenia is in Group 6 of Women’s Euro qualifying (UEFA.com), and has five losses and one draw, which was with fellow basement dweller Croatia. (Group 6 is led by England, followed by the Netherlands.)
The U-17 USWNT does have two friendly wins and one normal-time draw against older international squads, all U-19 WNTs (wins versus France and the Netherlands, and the draw with England), so getting positive results against the three club teams is certainly possible, but not guaranteed. And, any result against Slovenia would be a noteworthy accomplishment.
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U-17 USWNT ROSTER FOR OVERSEAS TRIP (JULY 19-30)
*Payne is officially listed as a midfielder but was also used as a flank forward during qualifying.
**Sullivan, although officially listed as a midfielder, was primarily used as forward during qualifying.
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A Q&A with head coach Albertin Montoya was posted on USSoccer.com last Friday. That article has more extensive quotes on the U-17 USWNT’s group opponents.
Team captain Morgan Andrews, has
apparently changed her verbal commitment from Boston College to Notre Dame, based on her club team’s website. — Edit: Here’s the Google cache version of that same page from June 19th, which still listed Boston College as her verbal choice. — Edit #2: TopDrawerSoccer.com posted an article where Andrews gives some details on her switch, which was decided on July 5th.
Goalkeeper Jane Campebell recently got a mention in Sports Illustrated. Here is a companion online video segment.
The Washington Post has an online article about Brittany Basinger (June 20th), which mostly features quotes about her experiences during the last training camp.