U-20 USWNT: Recent News Articles and Videos About the Players

This post is a collection of insightful news articles and videos from the last month or so on specific United States Under-20 Women’s National Team players. — Not including those on USSoccer.com and U.S. Soccer’s YouTube channel.

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GENERAL

United States U-20 women’s soccer team preps for World Cup at IMG Academies in Bradenton (Bradenton Herald, 27-July)

IMG, which has a residency program for the U.S. U-17 men’s team, is the perfect location to replicate the weather conditions the U-20s will most likely experience in Japan, which hosts next month’s World Cup.

“We came down for a reason,” head coach Steve Swanson said. “… It’s supposed to be hot, it’s supposed to be humid, (and) it could have rain. So, we’ve had everything here. It’s been good. I think IMG’s been great to us, and everyone at U.S. soccer has treated us really well.”

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BRYANE HEABERLIN
(goalkeeper, U. of North Carolina)

Heaberlin leads U.S. to World Cup (WTSP, with video of team’s Florida camp)

“I think she deserves a whole lot of credit, not only for getting herself back to where she was but pushing forward,” U.S. U-20 head coach Steve Swanson said. “Just becoming a better goalkeeper in every phase , technically, tactically, mentally, physically.”

“(The injury rehab) definitely has made me a better and stronger player,” Heaberlin said. “Mentally I am so much stronger than I was before, and physically I’ve got a golf club for a leg.”

Local News Segment on Heaberlin (Bay News 9)

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JAMI KRANICH
(goalkeeper, Villanova)

‘Nova’s Kranich Scores Position on U-20 Women’s World Cup (Catholic Sports Journal)

“She’s a solid goalkeeper, and she has been since her freshman year. She’s a very, very good goal keeper, a very good athlete. And she’s really progressed over the last couple of years being in college and that environment, and its been noticeable too when she comes back from some of the US training camps what a difference that has made to her. She’s really enjoyed that experience; she’s really enjoyed the intensity that those players bring. And she’s bringing that back to our program, and influencing some of the kids in our program to pick up their game,” said Byford.

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ABBY SMITH
(goalkeeper, U. of Texas)

Worldly experience can only boost Soccer’s freshman keeper (TexasSports.com)

For instance, this summer at the national championship tournament with the Dallas Texans, Smith’s club team, she entered the game after 20 minutes, with her team trailing 1-0. It proceeded like that until midway through the second half.

When her team got a free kick at midfield, Smith knew the wind was at her back and that her team needed organization, a jolt even.

“I literally pushed everybody forward and took the free kick,” Smith said.

The shot curled off a center line and tucked just into the upper 90 of the goal, tying the match at 1-1. After double overtime, Smith’s team won in a shootout, as she saved two and influenced a third miss.

Longhorn Network Interview, also with Texas coach Angela Kelly (espn.com)

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JULIE JOHNSTON
(centerback/midfielder, Santa Clara)

Julie Johnston Named Captain of US U20 World Cup Team (Santa Clara Athletics)

Bronco head coach Jerry Smith, in his 26th season at the Santa Clara helm, has coached many Olympic and World Cup medalists and lists what he sees of Johnston’s leadership ability.  “Over my 25 years at Santa Clara University, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many great leaders within our women’s soccer program,” said Smith.  “Julie Johnston ranks right up there with the best of them.  We are excited about the leadership role she has on our team as one of our team captains and thrilled for her that she has been named captain of the US U-20 World Cup Team.  Captain at any level is a tremendous honor.  Captain of a US World Cup Team is the highest honor a soccer player can be awarded.

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KASSEY KALLMAN
(centerback, Florida State)

A unique opportunity for FSU’s Kallman (Tallahassee.com)

The talented defender doesn’t leave for Japan until Aug. 10, so she’s been able to practice with FSU during two-a-days this week. To a point anyway.“I’m on kind of my own schedule with the national team because we have light, medium and hard days that I have to follow that might not correspond with this team,” Kallman said. “And I’m only allowed to practice once a day. So I’m kind of in and out of practices.”

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MOLLIE PATHMAN
(fullback, Duke)

Pathman: You’re always fighting (FIFA.com)

However, the experienced Pathman, who was modest about her place on the team as coach Swanson finalises his roster, also confirmed there is a strong competitive spirit among the Americans. “You are always fighting for something whether it’s a certain spot, playing time, or playing on the team. I think that’s good and just speaks to the competitive nature of the team. I think the competition will make us better.”

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VANESSA DiBERNARDO

(attacking midfielder, U. of Illinois)

(Video is 30 minutes, DiBernardo’s 11-minute segment begins at 18:35 mark)

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Mewis sisters offer glimpse into future for US soccer (The Boston Globe)

“I hate to use the word potential, but she’s still figuring out her game,” said Snow, who coached both sisters as an assistant for the national under-20 team in 2010. “Sam is such a unique player with such a tremendous upside that makes her really, really special.”

Samantha was traveling with the team and couldn’t be reached for comment, but when Snow tried breaking down her game, explaining what makes her so special, he had a hard time deciding on her biggest strength. She has too many.

“She brings athleticism and great size with tremendous technical ability all wrapped up into one player,” Snow said. “When you have a girl nearly 6 feet tall that has the technical ability of any of the best center midfielders in the country — well, we’ve never seen a player like that in America.”

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TAYLOR SCHRAM
(attacking midfielder, Penn State)

Schram achieves team goal (The Observer-Reporter, Washington County, PA)

But after getting an invitation 12 hours before the U.S. team’s tryout camp in mid-July, Schram hopped on a plane, impressed the evaluators and found out two weeks later that she would be traveling to Japan later this month for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

[A]fter her concussion, Schram wasn’t even allowed to run for seven months.

She was cleared to resume workouts in the middle of May and spent the next six weeks enduring her own two-a-day practices: CrossFit training in the morning, technical work in the afternoon.

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BECCA WANN
(forward, U. of Richmond)

For UR’s Wann, a ‘one-in-a-million’ opportunity (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Spiders coach Peter Albright called Wann’s selection “a one-in-a million thing.” This was a reference to his star player’s threadbare pedigree. Wann, as devoted to basketball as she is to soccer, stopped playing club soccer the summer before eighth grade because she was reluctant to focus entirely on one sport. The soccer experience collected during her high school years came almost exclusively during the Titans’ three-month spring schedule.