Steve Swanson, who coached the USA to the championship at the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan, will hold his first training camp as the new head coach of the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team when the squad comes together for a camp from Dec. 14-21 in Sunrise, Fla.
Swanson, who takes over from Randy Waldrum, has coached the U.S. Women’s National Teams at numerous age levels. From 2000-2002, Swanson was the head coach of the U.S. U-16 Girls’ National Team and the U.S. U-18 Women’s National Team. In recent years he has served as an assistant coach with the U-17, U-18, U-20 and full Women’s National Teams. He most recently led the University of Virginia to an undefeated regular season and a berth in the NCAA Final Four where his squad fell in penalty kicks in the semifinal match to eventual champion UCLA.
For his first camp at the U-23 level, Swanson called up 24 players, which includes four professionals from the National Women’s Soccer League in Adrianna Franch (Western NY Flash), Katy Freels (Sky Blue FC), Christine Nairn (Washington Spirit) and Meleana Shim (Portland Thorns), who helped her club win the inaugural NWSL title. All but Shim have extensive experience with the USA’s youth national teams.
The roster features eight players from Swanson’s U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, including center midfielders Sarah Killion and Samantha Mewis, who just helped the UCLA Bruins win their first NCAA title. The roster also features Jenna Richmond, who partnered with Killion and Mewis this year to create one of the best midfields in the country, as well as UCLA central defender Abby Dahlkemper.
Also named was forward Kealia Ohai from UNC who scored the winning goal in the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, a 1-0 victory against Germany, Stanford forward Chioma Ubagagu, who scored the winning goal in overtime against North Korea in the quarterfinal match of that tournament, and Maya Hayes from Penn State who scored four goals in Japan.
The U-23 event will run concurrently with a U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team camp and the teams will scrimmage against each other during the week.
U.S.U-23 WNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Adrianna Franch (Western NY Flash; Salina, Kans.), Abby Smith (Texas; Dallas, Texas); Kelsey Wys (Florida State; Coral Springs, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (7): Natasha Anasi (Duke; Arlington, Texas), Abby Dahlkemper (UCLA; Menlo Park, Calif.), Arin Gilliland (Kentucky; Wilmore, Ky.), Jaelene Hinkle (Texas Tech; Castle Rock, Colo.), Kassey Kallman (Florida State; Woodbury, Minn.), Emily Menges (Georgetown; Garden City, N.Y.), Emily Sonnett (Virginia; Mariette, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Danielle Colaprico (Virginia; Freehold, N.J.), Daphne Corboz (Georgetown, Greenbrook N.J.), Vanessa DiBernardo (Illinois; Champaign, Ill.), Katy Freels (Sky Blue FC; Homewood, Ala.), Sara Killion (UCLA; Fort Wayne, Ind.), Samantha Mewis (UCLA; Hanson, Mass.), Christine Nairn (Washington Spirit; Arnold, Md.), Jenna Richmond (UCLA; Centerville, Va.), Meleana Shim (Portland Thorns; Honolulu, Hawaii)
FORWARDS (5): Maya Hayes (Penn State, West Orange, N.J.), Morgan Marlborough (Santa Clara; Raymore Mo.), Kealia Ohai (North Carolina; Draper, Utah), Chioma Ubogagu (Stanford; Coppell, Texas), Courtney Verloo (Stanford; Tualatin, Ore.)