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U.S. U15 striker shines in blowout win

Published: November 24, 2011
CARSON, California - What was initially scheduled as an intrascrimmage for the U.S. U15 Girls National Team turned into a match against outside competition as a friendly against Fram Soccer Club came together at the last minute on Tuesday. 

But outside competition or not, it was still the U15s against themselves.

The young U.S. side flashed holiday season spunk during a 6-0 rout that left coach Damon Nahas with some positive findings. 

“It was great that this match worked out. Playing against another club brings out a little something,” Nahas said. “I thought we showed some impatience but our movement and forwards in the first half was good. Once the game settled down we started to expose them a little bit.”

girls club soccer player imani dorseyImani Dorsey
The match also exposed U.S. striker Imani Dorsey as a young star. Dorsey scored two of the team’s three first-half goals and created a headache up top. 

Dorsey is simply going to be faster and more athletic than most players her age but what was most impressive was her feel for the game and quality runs which showed how comfortable she was on the stage. 

“This is my fourth camp so you definitely feel more comfortable; it grows as you come to each camp,” she said. “As a player, I would say my game is a lot about making attacking runs and trying to get in behind and really spread out a defense. I would say I’m happy (with how I played).”

Dorsey is a Freestate United teammate of fellow U.S. forward Maggie Purce and it really showed as she played a few perfect passes to her partner in crime and clearly anticipated where she was going to be. 

Purce, also a quick and athletic player who pressures well, scored the third goal of a dominant first half on a corner kick that was deflected around in the box.

After an antsy start, the U.S. side was at its best in the first half. Central midfielder Katie Cousins was a stabilizer who played with good pace. She’s a small but solid possession player who took most of the team’s corner kicks.

She played alongside midfielders Megan Buckingham, Katie Cousins and Mikaela Harvey. Genevieve McGowan, Natalie Calhoun, Kate Morris and Peyton Perea also started the match as well as goalkeeper Alexis Bryant who could’ve just as well rested on the bench as she didn’t see much action. 

The second half wasn’t quite as commanding but the U.S. team brought on some hard workers and the energy eventually resulted in three more goals.

Left back Dominique Romero is a standout with really good physical tools. She’s strong and fast with the ball at her feet and has the skill set to play a few different positions.

Harvey made a nice run down the middle and finished off a pass for a goal, while Jennifer Westendorf and Haley Pounds also scored to cap a strong performance.

Well, from the outside looking in, anyway. 

“The kids have to find a balance,” Nahas said. “Some of them worked so hard that they overran without enough thought; some hesitated. “We’ll watch film and clean those things up. But overall, the spirit was really good tonight.”

U.S. U15 GNT Camp Roster 
GOALKEEPERS (2): Caroline Brockmeier (Eclipse Select; Tallahassee, Fla.), Alexis Bryant (Bethesda SC; Kensington, Md.) 
DEFENDERS (6): Natalie Calhoun (Sting; Sachse, Tex.), Hannah Davison (Eclipse Select; Geneva, Ill.), Ellie Jean (Oakwood SC; Coventry, Conn.), Genevieve McGowan (Eclipse Select; Lake Forest, Ill.), Kate Morris (Michigan Hawks; Plymouth, Mich.), Jamie Van Horn (Mustang Fury; Danville, Calif.) 
MIDFIELDERS (9): Betsy Brandon (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Megan Buckingham (Michigan Hawks; Novi, Mich.), Marley Canales (San Diego SC; San Diego, Calif.), Katie Cousins (Richmond Kickers; Forest, Va.), Meggie Dougherty-Howard (Tampa Bay United; Largo, Fla.), Mikaela Harvey (Lonestar SC; Liberty Hill, Texas), Peyton Perea (Legends; Riverside, Calif.), Taylor Racioppi (PDA Clash; Neptune, N.J.), Dominique Romero (Club Heat; Las Vegas, Nev.) 
FORWARDS (7): Jorian Baucom (Sereno SC; Scottsdale, Ariz.), Imani Dorsey (Freestate United; Elkridge, Md.), Eva Gordon (Empire United; Syracuse, N.Y.); Haley Pounds (Challenge SC; Spring, Texas), Maggie Purce (Freestate Soccer; Olney, Md.), Amber Stearns (Classics Elite; San Antonio, Texas), Jennifer Westendorf (GSA; Montgomery, Ala.)
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