U17 WNT looking ahead to Denmark

U17 WNT looking ahead to Denmark
June 18, 2010

Part II | Read Part I

Welcome to Part II of our interview with U17 Women’s National Team coach Mike Dickey.

We talked to Coach Dickey after the U17 WNT wrapped up training camp in Florida last week, and he discussed the strides some of his players have made, and what the future holds for them as a group.  

TopDrawerSoccer.com: Can you name some players that stood out at last week’s camp, or have made good progress over the past few months?

Mike Dickey:
Of the 1993 age group, goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin is starting to turn the corner and play at a very high level. She got some extra reps last week because Abby Smith, another goalkeeper, injured her shoulder before the second game, so Bryane got two full games under her belt. Morgan Brian and Kaysie Clark also looked good.

elite boys youth club soccer playersThe U17 WNT look toward their Denmark trip.
Of the 94s, Katie Naughton was very steady at center back; Maya Theuer is showing good improvement in her technique, despite a knee injury. Laura Liedle from San Diego Surf played well as a wide back; she’s starting to develop the offensive side of her game. Stephanie Amack showed us she can play any position on the field. She’s well-rounded, has really developed a lot in the past year. Haley Washburn is a converted forward, but is now attacking from a deeper position as an outside back, and she’s showing signs of becoming a dangerous attacking threat. And Lindsey Horan still looks dangerous at the front, even though she wasn’t able to score [in two games against Japan]. But give her time and she’ll find a way.  

We had three 95s there – Morgan Andrews, Miranda Freeman and Jane Campbell – they all played well and have bright futures. It was good for them to be training and learning with the older players.

Our wide midfield didn’t have its best showing. But for some, this was their first opportunity to play internationally. So for them there was some uncertainty, apprehension. They need to see how international opponents play, how they act, what they’re good at, what their tendencies are. So it was a good experience for them.

TopDrawerSoccer.com: With the World Cup in full swing, are you encouraging your team to watch the games? What sort of things can they learn from the best in the world?

Mike Dickey: Absolutely; it’s part of their homework to watch the games – not only as a fan, but as a player. We’ve asked them to really hone in on specific players in the World Cup who play their position on the field, so they can learn nuances of the game by watching what the pros do.

During camp we also watched the pro team Miami FC, gave our players assignments before the game, and asked them to present to the group what they came up with. For example, with the goalkeepers, we asked them to track the number of times the Miami FC goalie was involved in transitions, how he distributed, the angles he took on the ball.

So it was good. But they’ve got to keep doing things like that. It’s not just about practicing on the field and watching games. You’ve got to look for specific things you can learn from pro players, their intensity and technique, but also be critical of their play, because pros can make mistakes, too.

TopDrawerSoccer.com: What’s next for these players, with the U17 Women’s World Cup out of the picture?

Mike Dickey:
The 94s will be going to Denmark this summer for some international competition, and we hope to get them on a trip to China in August. Bryane Heaberlin will go with the U20s for the U20 World Cup in July – but the rest, after August, graduate into the U20/18 program.

There are still issues to address after this camp; there is never enough time for everything, so they’ll need to continue improving at home. We only have a budget for so many camps.

But every camp exposes some of your weaknesses, some of the things you need to work on, and we learned some valuable things this week against Japan. We’ll certainly look back at this U17 camp when we make the curriculum for our U14 camp in July and our U15 and U17 camps in August. It’s a long-term process, and the development of all the age groups happens together.

Read Part I

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