Published: December 22, 2011
The U.S. U17 Women's National Team is getting closer to cementing its roster for the CONCACAF U17 World Cup in May, but more tests remain for the hopeful group of standouts.
Having wrapped their final camp of 2011 last week in San Diego, CA, coach Albertin Montoya indicated that eight or nine spots are all but locked down for the Cup, leaving the majority of the team still to be decided.
Those determinations will be made based on what Montoya sees from the team in the next couple gatherings: a camp in Florida in February, followed by a camp in April and a trip to Spain in preparation for the team's international test the following month.
The 18 players Montoya brings to Spain will likely be the team in charge of getting the U.S. through the qualifying and into the Cup next fall.
Based on past observations
, we have a pretty good feeling about a few of the player's chances of making the cut and Montoya raved about the team’s most recent performance.
"It was our most productive camp yet as far as putting the team together," he said. "In the past, we were more identifying players and finding their right positions, but now we were able to really see who are centerbacks are, and midfielders and work on that relationship.
"We were able to really hone in this time and work on tactical awareness and shape. We enjoyed a great match against the San Diego Sea Lions (WPSL) and also a strong intrascrimmage."
The 24 players involved were all the familiar names minus injured players Lauren Kaskie
and Morgan Stanton
– both of whom could be back for February’s camp.
Montoya and his staff have had candid meetings with players and their challenge now is conveying the right message to the right player as the stakes are raised.
"We have a responsibility to figure out which players need assurance and need to know that they're here for a reason," he said. "Some players will thrive on the environment. There’s definitely pressure.
"But then, there will be pressure in World Cup Qualifying too."
U.S. U17 WNT Roster
MIDFIELDERS (10): Joanna Boyles
(Chelsea Ladies; Raleigh, N.C), Caroline Chagares
(PDA Slammers; Wyckoff, N.J.), Miranda Freeman
(Lady Renegades SC; Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), Summer Green
(Michigan Hawks; Milford, Mich.), Gabbi Miranda
(Colorado Rush; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Sarah Robinson
(MVLA Lightning; Los Altos, Calif.), Arielle Ship
(Real So Cal; Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Lydia Simmons
(Seacoast United; Londonberry, N.H.), Morgan Stanton
(Colorado Rush; Lakewood, Colo.), Andi Sullivan
(Bethesda SC; Lorton, Va.)
FORWARDS (7): Emily Bruder
(Utah Avalanche; Sandy, Utah), Darian Jenkins
(Sparta; Riverton, Utah), Savannah Jordan
(Concorde Fire South; Fayetteville, Ga.), Gabrielle Matulich (MVLA Lightning; Los Gatos, Calif.), Amber Munerlyn
(So Cal Blues; Corona, Calif.), Toni Payne
(Concorde Fire; Birmingham, Ala.), Margaret Purce
(Freestate Soccer; Olney, Md.)