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Global Apr 02, 2012

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team starts World Cup prep with training camp at The HDC as Swanson names 25 players for two matches vs. China

After a successful CONCACAF qualifying campaign in Panama in March, the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team now begins its run to the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan with a training camp from April 9-15 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

U.S. U-20 WNT head coach Steve Swanson has called up 25 players to his roster, which includes 19 of the 20 players from CONCACAF qualifying.

The camp will feature two full international matches against the China U-20 Women’s National Team on April 9 and 15. Fans are invited to attend both matches, which will be staged on Field No. 3 at The HDC. Both games will kick off at 3 p.m. PT and admission is free.

“We are excited to get back together again as a team since this camp will give us the opportunity to play two full internationals against a quality team and also evaluate more players who potentially could impact our final roster for the World Cup,” said Swanson. “As a team, we feel good about our results during qualifying, but we also realize our level of play and our performance needs to be more consistent on both sides of the ball as we prepare for the World Cup finals in the fall. To that end, we really are anxious to come together again, put the U.S. Soccer crest on, hit the training ground, and continue to develop our players as individuals and even more as a team.”

The coaching staff will bring in five goalkeepers to this camp to continue to cultivate the pool of players at this all important position, but will also give looks to UCLA defender Caprice Dydasco, who saw her U-17 international career end early due to a knee injury, defender Lauren Lindstrom of Fresno State and high school senior, midfielder Ashley Meier from the Cleveland Whitecaps.

The USA qualified for the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, which will be held from Aug. 18 through Sept. 8 in five Japanese cities – Miyagi, Saitama, Tokyo, Kobe and Hiroshima – by advancing to the semifinals of the 2012 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship and defeating Mexico 4-0. In the championship game, the USA came from behind to defeat Canada 2-1 on a late goal from Chioma Ubogagu to win the regional title.

The U.S. team got excellent performances out of numerous players at the qualifying tournament, including forwards Maya Hayes, who led the team with five goals, and Lindsey Horan, who bagged four. Eleven different players scored for the USA during the tournament, including Julie Johnston, who found the net three times from her defensive midfield position and forward Katie Stengel, who also scored three goals.

The U.S. team allowed just one goal in the tournament as central defenders Kassey Kallman and Cari Roccaro marshaled the back line while goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin started four of the five matches.

Six players on the training camp roster have previous FIFA Women’s World Cup experience, either at the U-17 or U-20 levels or both. North Carolina Defender Crystal Dunn and UCLA midfielder Samantha Mewis have represented the USA at both the age group World Cup tournaments.

U.S. U-20 WNT Training Camp Roster by Position :
GOALKEEPERS (5): Bryane Heaberlin (North Carolina; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Jami Kranich (Villanova; Hamden, Conn.), Emily Kruger (California; Woodside, Calif.), Emily Oliver (Stanford; Flossmoor, Ill.), Abby Smith (Dallas Texans; Dallas, Texas)
DEFENDERS (8) : Stephanie Amack (Mustang Blast; Pleasanton, Calif.), Olivia Brannon (Virginia; Troy, Mich.), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina; Rockville Centre, N.Y.), Caprice Dydasco (UCLA; Honolulu, Hawaii), Kassey Kallman (Florida State; Woodbury, Minn.), Lauren Lindstrom (Fresno State; Newbury Park, Calif.), Mollie Pathman (Duke; Durham, N.C.), Cari Roccaro (Albertson Fury; East Islip, N.Y.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Virginia; St. Simons Island, Ga.), Vanessa DiBernardo (Illinois; Naperville, Ill.), Julie Johnston (Santa Clara; Mesa, Ariz.), Sarah Killion (UCLA; Fort Wayne, Ind.), Mandy Laddish (Notre Dame; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Ashley Meier (Cleveland Whitecaps; Strongsville, Ohio), Samantha Mewis (UCLA; Hanson, Mass.)
FORWARDS (5) : Maya Hayes (Penn State; West Orange, N.J.), Lindsey Horan (Colorado Rush; Golden, Colo.), Kealia Ohai (North Carolina; Draper, Utah), Katie Stengel (Wake Forest; Melbourne, Fla.), Chioma Ubogagu (Stanford; Coppell, Texas)