Sports

Seven local soccer players named to USA soccer teams

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.

For his first camp at the U-23 level, Swanson called up 24 players, including UCLA central defender Abby Dahlkemper. The former Sacred Heart Prep standout helped the Bruins win the national championship last weekend.

Also named was Stanford forward Chioma Ubogagu, who scored the winning goal in overtime against North Korea in the quarterfinal match of the 2012 FIFA Women's World Cup, and Cardinal teammate Courtney Verloo.

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. Under-20 Women's National Team head coach Michelle French also has called 24 players to her camp, which will serve as the final preparation for the 2014 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship. The top three finishes at that tournament will advance to the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup being held in Canada in August of next year.

The roster features 12 players who have seen game action in a FIFA U-17 or U-20 Women's World Cup as well as several of the top goal scorers in the country from this past season.

Defender Stephanie Amack from Stanford is in her second U-20 cycle and was part of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan. Joining her will be Stanford teammates Jane Campbell, Maddie Bauer, and Laura Liedle.

Following the camp, French will name a 20-player roster for the Women's World Cup qualifying tournament that will run from Jan. 9-19 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town, Cayman Islands.

The tournament features eight nations divided into two groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group will qualify for the semifinals, with the winners of those games along with the winner of the third-place match earning berths to Canada.

Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1994, are age-eligible for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Top Drawer Soccer

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