July 17, 2014
CHICAGO - Incoming Tennessee soccer freshman Carlyn Baldwin has been named to U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team, as announced on Thursday by head coach Michelle French, and will represent the United States at the 2014 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup, being held in Edmonton, Montreal, Moncton and Toronto, Canada, from Aug. 5-24.
Skillful and quick, Baldwin made a late run to earn a spot on the final squad. One of five players on the roster who have yet to enter college - she will join Tennessee in the fall - she adds depth and some tenacity to the U.S. midfield.
"On behalf of our entire program, a big congrats goes out to Carlyn," Tennessee head coach Brian Pensky said. "She epitomizes what hard work and dedication are all about. Carlyn has never been handed anything as a player - she has had to fight and grind for everything she's ever achieved, and of course a spot on this U-20 roster is certainly no different. We wish Carlyn and her teammates all the best in Canada in August!"
All three of the USA's group games will be broadcast live across the ESPN platforms. The U.S. plays its first two Group B matches at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, opening its tournament on Aug. 5 against Germany at 5 p.m. local (7 p.m. ET on ESPNU and WatchESPN) before facing Brazil on Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. local (10 p.m. ET on ESPNU and WatchESPN). The USA will finish group play on Aug. 12 against China PR at Moncton Stadium with a kickoff at 5 p.m. local (4 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and WatchESPN). The curtain-raising clash between the USA, which has won this tournament three times, and Germany, which has it won it twice, will pit the countries that played in the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Final in Tokyo.
"We have a good mixture of leadership, talent and great technical ability on all three lines," French said. "We have a lot of tactical understanding and creativity based on the way they read the game, and I see a lot of grit and bite in the way we defend. The combination of these factors gives us a very well-rounded team."
French named her squad after the first week of a two-week training camp in Seattle, Washington, which will be the last domestic event for the U.S. team before it leaves for Canada in late July. French put her player pool through a thorough evaluation process over the past year and a half, taking a hard look at almost 80 players in training camps and games.
"Because we have players that have previously played in the U-20 World Cup, and we have Lindsey Horan who is playing professionally, and we have players who had a great amount of time with the U-17s, in a lot different areas we have players that lead," said French. "That's not just vocally, but in how they conduct themselves on and off the field. As a staff, to know that we can rely on a number of different people to lead, is a great benefit to this team."
Among the 21 players named are two who were a part of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA Women's World Cup in Japan. Co-captain Cari Roccaro, who leads the roster in U-20 caps with 30, played every minute of the three knockout matches two years ago. Defender Stephanie Amack, the youngest player on the 2012 U-20 Women's World Cup team, did not play in Japan but is expected to play a much larger role this time around.
"Everyone is thrilled to be on this World Cup roster," said U.S. co-captain Andi Sullivan. "We know it was really tough to make these decisions, but we are very confident in our coaching staff and each other. We have our strongest team together now and we hope that everyone who was a part of this cycle, whether they made the final 21 or not, knows that they are a part of this journey as well. Now, we just can't wait to get to Canada."
The USA will bring a contingent of talented strikers who as a group add size, speed and versatility to the front line. Five of the six forwards named to the roster scored a combined 82 goals for their college teams during the 2013 season. Horan opted to skip college to play professionally and scored 20 goals in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain this past season (her second in France). Horan was a key member of the U-20s during the run-up to the 2012 FIFA Women's World Cup but missed the tournament due to a knee injury. She is the USA's leading scorer with 21 goals in 22 U-20 caps.
The USA has a young but skillful and hard-working midfield for the tournament, led by Rose Lavelle, a rising sophomore at Wisconsin who was the MVP of the 2014 CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship last January in the Cayman Islands. Four of the five players on the roster who have yet to start college are midfielders in Stanford commit Sullivan (who has always seen extensive time at outside back), Tennessee's Carlyn Baldwin, Duke commit Taylor Racioppi and UCLA commit Mallory Pugh, the USA's youngest player, who still has two years of high school remaining. Sullivan and Baldwin will begin college this fall while Racioppi will be a high school senior.
The U.S. defense is an experienced bunch. Roccaro and Katie Naughton, both of whom attend Notre Dame, have played together in many matches for both college and country. Outside backs Sullivan, Brittany Basinger (Penn State) and Stephanie Amack (Stanford), all have extensive experience in USA's youth national team system. Sullivan and Basinger were starters on the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup team.
The USA has an excellent trio of goalkeepers in Katelyn Rowland, Jane Campbell and Rose Chandler. The 5-foot-11 Rowland helped UCLA with the NCAA title last year. The 5-foot-9 Campbell was the USA's starter at the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup and a starter as a freshman for Stanford last fall. The 5-foot-8 Chandler, who graduated a year early from high school and will attend Penn State this fall, made a late run for a roster spot.
U.S. U-20 Women's World Cup Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Stanford; Kennesaw, Ga.), Rosemary Chandler (Penn State; Atlanta, Ga.), Katelyn Rowland (UCLA; Vacaville, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Stephanie Amack (Stanford; Pleasanton, Calif.), Brittany Basinger (Penn State; Purcellville, Va.), Christina Gibbons (Duke; Raleigh, N.C.), Katie Naughton (Notre Dame; Elk Grove Village, Ill.), Kaleigh Riehl (BRYC; Fairfax Station, Va.), Cari Roccaro (Notre Dame; East Islip, N.Y.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Carlyn Baldwin (Tennessee; Oakton, Va.), Nickolette Driesse (Florida State: Wayne, N.J.), Rose Lavelle (Wisconsin; Cincinnati, Ohio), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Taylor Racioppi (PDA; Ocean Township, N.J.), Andi Sullivan (Bethesda SC; Lorton, Va.)
FORWARDS (6): Makenzy Doniak (Virginia; Chino Hills, Calif.), Summer Green (North Carolina; Milford, Mich.), Lindsey Horan (PSG; Golden, Colo.), Savannah Jordan (Florida; Fayetteville, Ga.), McKenzie Meehan (Boston College; Scituate, R.I.), Margaret Purce (Harvard; Silver Spring, Md.)