On the heels of finding out its group draw at the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan, the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team will travel to Croatia and Slovenia for training and games as the squad continues its world championship preparations. The tour will help the team acclimate to travel in Eastern Europe and provide some excellent competition against several women’s clubs – all champions of their respective top leagues – and the Slovenia Women’s National Team.
The team will travel to Zagreb, Croatia, and Maribor, Slovenia, from July 19-30, playing four matches during that span. The young Americans will face FV Viktoria, the Hungarian Women’s First Division champion, on July 23 in Zagreb and then travel to Slovenia, where it will face Austrian First Division champion Luv Graz on July 25. The U.S. U-17s will then take on Slovenian champion ZNK Pomurje on July 27 and finish with a game against the full Slovenia Women’s National Team on July 29.
U.S. U-17 head coach Albertin Montoya has named 19 players for the tour and will name one more before the team departs. All the players except for defender Claire Wagner were a part of the team that won all five matches at the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championships in Guatemala to earn a berth to Azerbaijan.
The USA will face France, Gambia and Korea DPR in Group B at the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, taking place at six stadiums in Azerbaijan from Sept. 22-Oct. 13. The Final Draw took in Azerbaijan’s capital city of Baku on July 6.
The Republic of Azerbaijan, which is slightly smaller than the state of Maine and has a population of almost nine million, is located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe and is bound by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. Five of the tournament’s six venues are in Baku with one stadium located about 175 miles south in Lankaran.
The U.S. plays its first Group B match at Lankaran Stadium in Lankaran, opening its tournament on Sept. 22 against France (1 p.m. local / 4 a.m. ET) before facing Gambia on Sept. 25 (5 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET) at Dalga Arena in Baku. The USA will finish group play on Sept. 29 against Korea DPR (5 p.m. local / 8 a.m. ET) at Bayil Stadium in Baku.
U.S. U-17 WNT Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jane Campbell (Concorde Fire South; Kennesaw, Ga.), Cassie Miller (Sereno FC; Cave Creek, Ariz.)
DEFENDERS (6): Brittany Basinger (FC Virginia; Purcellville, Va.), Maddie Bauer (Slammers FC; Newport Beach, Calif.), Mandy Freeman (Lady Renegades SC; Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), Gabbi Miranda (Colorado Rush; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Morgan Reid (Chelsea Ladies; Cary, N.C.), Claire Wagner (Chelsea Ladies; Panther Creek HS)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Andrews (FC Stars of Mass.; Milford, N.H.), Joanna Boyles (Chelsea Ladies; Raleigh, N.C.), Lauren Kaskie (Heat FC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Toni Payne (Concorde Fire; Birmingham, Ala.), Morgan Stanton (Colorado Rush; Lakewood, Colo.), Andi Sullivan (Bethesda SC; Lorton, Va.)
FORWARDS (5): Emily Bruder (Utah Avalanche; Sandy, Utah), Summer Green (Michigan Hawks; Milford, Mich.), Darian Jenkins (Sparta SC; Riverton, Utah), Amber Munerlyn (So Cal Blues; Corona, Calif.), Margaret Purce (Freestate Soccer; Olney, Md.)