On Monday, U.S. Youth soccer coach Mike Dickey began what will be a very busy couple of weeks at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. In addition to having the U15 girls national camp on site this week before bringing in the U14s next week, Dickey hosted 30 or so youth coaches for a two-day symposium that will offer insight into how national team training camps are organized.
“We feel like this is an opportunity for all coaches to learn more about how U.S. Soccer organizes its training camps, selects players and what we focus on the field and off,” Dickey said in a statement on the U.S. Soccer website. “We are offering complete access to our training sessions and staff with the goal to offer a practical learning environment for those in attendance.”
As a part of the event, the coaches observed a U15 intra-squad scrimmage in what was the first action of the week.
US U15 Girls National Team
It was a good scrimmage with some positive signs and intriguing matchups. On the Blue squad: Jasmine Patterson and Courtney Raetzman were featured as the forwards while Reilly Parker, Ashley Meier, Haley Washburn
, Lindsay Horan and Morgan Andrews patrolled the midfield. The backline consisted of Laura Liedle, Katie Naughton and Ashley Spivey while Sarah Cox started in goal.
On the Red squad: Brittany Ratcliffe and Kelli Hubly started up top, with Lauren Bernard, Mariana Galvan
, Stephanie Amack, Isabel Farrell and Sandra Yu
were in the midfield. Melissa Bomberger, McKenzie Karas and Katelyn Rowland defended with Katelyn Rowland in goal.
Early on, the Blue team dominated the action with superior size and movement. Horan was certainly one of the standouts with her size and mobility. She has the potential to dominate at times, and was peerless with the ball at her feet.
Also operating in the center midfield was Meier, who was another difference maker for the Blue squad. Meier managed to hit both posts on shot attempts – one on a long strike beyond the box that had keeper Rowland beaten but appeared to get caught up in the wind, and another on a nice cutback move and fire that grazed off to the left.
The Red group started to get something working near the half. Galvan was a silver lining for the team. She lived up to her reputation as a creative player, and even when she lost possessions it was clear that she had good ideas about how to combine with her teammates. Galvan and striker Hubly hooked up for a few nice plays on the right wing where defender Liedle marked wll and shined with her athleticism and anticipation.
Had the Red team reversed its attack a little more it may have taken advantage of Bernard, who proved good with the ball at her feet when she received it.
The match opened up a little in the second half where both teams scored in what concluded as a 1-1 draw.
Yu scored on a counter attack, making a run middle of the box before chipping it past Cox, and Andrews responded for the Blue about a minute later.
Both players were strong in their own ways. Yu was one of the more tenacious in battling for possession, while Andrews just has a superb feel for the game while making tough passes look easy and reading the game correctly.
Rachel Price was inserted into the Red defense in the second half and will be a player to watch this week. She has incredible speed and an endless motor. She’s always one of the toughest players on the field.
All and all, the teams played decently together; positioning, and reading one another was a problem for both groups, but such should be expected in a camp format.
“I thought for not having played together in a couple of months, we played pretty well together,” Liedle said. “The coach was telling us mostly to calm down at the half. This is a big extravaganza for everyone that flies in. We’ll continue to play better.”
U.S. U-15 Girls Training Camp Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sarah Cox (Slammers; Newport Beach, Calif.), McKenzie Karas (Premier ’95 Black; Las Vegas, Nev.), Katelyn Rowland (San Juan Soccer; Vacaville, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Stephanie Amack (Mustang Black; Pleasanton, Calif.), Melissa Bomberger (Ohio Premier; Dublin, Ohio), Laura Liedle (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Katie Naughton (Sockers FC; Arlington Heights, Ill.), Rachel Price (Space Coast United; Melbourne, Fla.)
MIDFIELDERS (11): Morgan Andrews (FC Stars of Mass.; Milford, Mass.), Caroline Coyer (Chantilly Burn; Oak Hill, Va.), Isabel Farrell (Crossfire; Bellevue, Wash.), Mariana Galvan (SC Sporting; San Jose, Calif.), Lindsey Horan (Colorado Rush; Golden, Colo.), Kelli Hubly (Sockers FC; Elk Grove, Ill.), Ashley Meier (Cleveland Whitecaps; Strongsville, Ohio), Reilly Parker (Mustang Blast; Danville, Calif.), Courtney Raetzman (Sockers FC; Elk Grove, Ill.), Haley Washburn (San Juan Spirits; Folsom, Calif.), Sandra Yu (Cleveland Futbol; Strongsville, Ohio)
FORWARDS (5): Lauren Bernard (Nordic SC; Colchester, Vt.), Gabrielle Galante (Montclair Thunderbolts; Howell, N.J.), Jasmine Paterson (Kendall Soccer Coalition; Key Largo, Fla.), Brittany Ratcliffe (FC Pennsylvania Strikers; Williamstown, N.J.), Ashley Spivey (Baltimore Soccer Bays; Baltimore, Md.)