Palo Alto High senior Chloe Japic will be spending the early part of October with the U-19 Bosnian national women's soccer team in the UEFA qualifying rounds.
Paly sophomore Sydney Japic follows her older sister to Sarajevo and plays for the U-17 Bosnian national women's soccer team in late October.
“The first time I played for Bosnia was when I was 13 years old,” said Sydney Japic. “I didn’t know much about my heritage back then, but I met players from many different countries whose families left Bosnia during the war. It’s cool to know that soccer is what brings us all together.”
Both girls play on the US Development Academy California Thorns team. Chloe Japic, who is headed to Baylor to play soccer in the fall, scored twice in California Thorns U18/19's 3-1 victory over Lamorinda in Orinda on Saturday. Paly senior Sofie Vogel also scored for the Thorns.
Japic and Vogel each played for Palo Alto as freshmen, helping the Vikings finish 14-1-4 overall. Japic led the team with 14 goals.
Sydney Japic scored the only goal to help the California Thorns U16 girls team improve to 3-0 in the Northwest Division with a victory over Lamorinda U-16 on Saturday.
The Thorns have scored 12 goals and have yet to allow a goal. They are tied for first with San Jose Earthquakes U-16.
In U-19 UEFA competition, Bosnia and Herzegovina host Group 10, with play getting under way on Wednesday, Oct. 2. The Bosnian team plays Belgium in its first match at Stadium Etno Selo Stanisici in Bijeljina.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to play for the country where my Dad grew up,” said Chloe Japic. “There is no better way to experience the culture of my heritage than playing the sport I love.”
The Bosnian team meets Sweden on Saturday, Oct. 5 and Armenia on Tuesday, Oct. 8. The top two sides in all 12 groups, plus the four third-placed teams with the best record against the top two in their section enter the elite round draw in November, with games played in the spring of 2020.
A final group of seven will eventually join host Georgia at the finals in July, 2020.
In U-17 competition, Bosnia and Herzegovina plays Belgium on Monday, October 21, England on Thursday, October 24 and Croatia on Sunday, October 27, all at the FF BH Football Training Center in Zenica.