Soccer Stars Invited to Train with National Teams
BATON ROUGE – With just a few months remaining to prepare for the 2014 collegiate season, four members of the LSU Soccer program will continue training with their national teams in the coming weeks with Mexican internationals Natalia Gomez-Junco and Fernanda Pina and Canadian internationals Emma Fletcher and Jordane Carvery receiving invitations for upcoming camps.
Gomez-Junco will make her return to the senior Mexican Women’s National Team with Pina joining the senior squad for the first time for a week-long training camp that will be held from June 7-14.
Gomez-Junco made history last spring when she became LSU’s first footballer to earn an international cap at the senior level while making two appearances for the Mexican Women’s National Team in matches against Portugal and Wales at the 2013 Algarve Cup held in Algarve, Portugal.
Prior to joining the senior squad, Gomez-Junco made seven appearances for Mexico while competing at the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in 2010 and 2012. She scored two goals for Mexico in her experience for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and was also the team’s leading goal scorer in World Cup qualifying in 2012 at the CONCACAF Qualification Tournament held in Panama.
“I’m looking forward to this camp, and I look forward to the opportunity,” Gomez-Junco said upon learning of her selection to the national team. “I’ll do my best and use my previous experience with the U20 team and previous senior camps to perform at my very best. I’m hoping that a good performance will get me future call ups and more opportunities to represent my country.”
While Pina is set to train with Mexico’s senior team for the first time, she had previously represented her country at the U-17 and U-20 levels throughout her youth career. That included starting in Mexico’s midfield at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2010 and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2012 along with Gomez-Junco.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” Pina said. “It’s a great responsibility to be a part of the national team. It will be my first experience with the full team, and I am looking forward to performing at my best, using my past experience with our U-17 and U-20 teams. Hopefully, I will have a good performance at the camp because it is a great opportunity for future call ups.”
Fletcher and Carvery are among 19 players who have both been called into the Canada’s U-20 Women’s National Team for its latest National EXCELeration Camp beginning Saturday at Fortius Sport & Health Complex in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. The 10-day training camp begins Saturday and will run through Wednesday, June 11, and will feature a pair of closed-door U-20 international friendly matches against South Korea on Saturday, June 7, and Tuesday, June 10. South Korea is the reigning U-19 Women’s Asian Champions.
Fletcher has received invitations to train with Canada’s U-20 squad on seven different occasions since joining the LSU Soccer program in the spring of 2013. That includes three national camp appearances since ending a stellar rookie season with the Tigers in 2013, including National EXCELeration Camps in Burnaby, British Columbia, in both December and February and Portland, Oregon, in April.
This marks Carvery’s third invitation to train with the U-20 Canadian Women’s National Team since signing her National Letter of Intent with the Tigers in February as she joined Fletcher in their two previous camps.
Fletcher and Carvery are competing against the best U-20 players from their home country for a coveted spot on Canada’s U-20 roster that will compete at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this summer. Canada will actually serve as the host nation of the event that will be held from Aug. 5-24 with Canada being drawn in Group A with Ghana, Finland and North Korea.