Of the 24 players that reported for the U15 U.S. National Team camp last week, seven of them were first-timers. Even for a formative age group like the 15s, such a high turnover is rare for these national gatherings.
But coach Mike Dickey had a plan. He wanted to expand his prospective pool of players, see new skill sets and get more individuals involved with the U.S. program.
By that measure, he succeeded.
The fresh-faced rookie bunch that included Gabrielle Miranda, Vanessa Kovar
, Madison Tiernan, Mikaela Berger
, Katherine Mohr, Micaela Powers and Rebecca Schoales
, brought a lot to the table in Sunshine, Florida.
“I enjoyed the positive energy and input of all of them,” Dickey said. “We needed to see more players; I thought there were mixed results, as I would have liked to win every game, but I think it was worth it to get them in and get them into the groove. Some of the players were just not ready and they’ll have to keep working, but I received good information on a lot of different players.”
One player Dickey had positive reviews for was Gabrielle Miranda, an attacking talent from the Colorado Rush. Miranda is dangerous in the middle of the field and brings special abilities you don’t often watch at her level. Dickey said his staff has been watching Miranda for some time now and she continues to develop at a great pace.
Schoales was another budding performer the U.S. staff will be watching. A product of the Crossfire Premier, Schoales is a tireless worker. She was injured during a match against a Weston FC boys team and bounced back to perform well in the next friendly against Nigeria.
For all of the new girls it was a major adjustment to fall in line with a squad of veterans. Returners Joanna Boyles
, Carissa Miller, Amber Munerlyn and Summer Green were coming off an international stint with the U.S. team in July. It was then that all four players competed with the U17 group at the Nordic Cup in Denmark.
Back stateside, mainstays and new blood alike were pushed during the U15 week of extensive training.
“We worked on defending techniques a lot – that seems to be an area that doesn’t often get worked on, especially when they return home,” Dickey said. “Speed of play was also a focus: finding the pass early, taking multiple touches and moving the ball towards the goal faster.
“A lot of times at this age you see too much posturing.”
And if this past week was any indication, the next time Dickey speaks of needing to see more players in camp you can be assured he’s far from posturing.
U.S. U15 Women’s National Camp Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Mikaela Berger
(West Coast FC; Mission Viejo, Calif.), Jane Campbell (Concorde Fire; Kennesaw, Ga.), Carissa Miller (Sereno DC; Cave Creek, Ariz.)
DEFENDERS (5): Morgan Andrews (FC Stars of Mass.; Milford, N.H.), Maddie Bauer (Slammers FC; Newport Beach, Calif.); Lauren Kaskie (Neusport FC; Las Vegas, Nev.), Micaela Powers (Ohio Galaxies; Beavercreek, Ohio), Jenna Romano (Team Chicago; Naperville, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Joanna Boyles
(Raleigh, N.C; CASL Spartan Elite), Caroline Chagares (PDA; Wyckoff, N.J.), Kaitlyn Clark
(KC Select; Liberty, Mo.), Miranda Freeman (Renegades SC; Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) Summer Green (Michigan Hawks; Milford, Mich.); Gabrielle Miranda (Colorado Rush; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Lydia Simmons
(FC Stars of Mass; Londonberry, N.H.), Andi Sullivan
(Bethesda SC; Lorton, Va.), Madison Tiernan (PDA; Vorhees, N.J.)
FORWARDS (7): Elizabeth Boon (Columbia Timbers; Washougal, Wash.), Frannie Crouse
(Beadling SC; Jeanette, Pa.), Vanessa Kovar
(VSA Heat; Manassas, Va.), Katherine Mohr (Santa Rosa United; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Amber Munerlyn (So Cal Blues; Corona, Calif.), Rebecca Schoales
(Crossfire Premier; Port Orchard, Wash.), Zoe Swift
(NSA Premier; Naperville, Ill.)