Soccer Standouts Named to U-20 World Cup Rosters
BATON ROUGE – In the wake of Germany’s victory over Argentina at the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil on Sunday, four LSU Tigers will step onto the international stage themselves this summer while being named to their respective national teams this week ahead of the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup that will be held in Canada from Aug. 5-24.
All-SEC left back Megan Lee and Class of 2014 goalkeeper recruit Lily Alfeld were named among New Zealand’s U-20 roster on Monday and All-SEC midfielder Emma Fletcher and Class of 2014 defender recruit Jordane Carvery were named among Canada’s U-20 roster on Wednesday morning as they now prepare for the tournament that kicks off in just three weeks.
The 16 nations competing at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 will each submit a roster of 21 players eligible to compete during the competition in the coming weeks.
New Zealand’s head coach Aaron McFarland announced his nation’s U-20 roster on Monday as Lee and Alfeld will both feature for the Junior Football Ferns as part of Group D. New Zealand will open the event with an initial group play match against Paraguay in Montreal, Quebec, on Aug. 6, followed by matches against France in Montreal on Aug. 9 and Costa Rica in Toronto, Ontario, on Aug. 13.
Both Lee and Alfeld are experienced youth internationals in the New Zealand Women’s National Team setup while already competing with the Young Football Ferns in two FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cups in Trinidad & Tobago in 2010 and in Azerbaijan in 2012. They will compete at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup for the first time in their international careers this summer.
Lee is already a capped member of the senior New Zealand Women’s National Team as she will help lead the U-20 squad into this year’s World Cup. As an 18-year-old, Lee featured as a late defensive substitution in an impressive 1-1 draw against the world’s No. 1-ranked United States in an international friendly match in October 2013 to earn her first senior cap during an All-SEC rookie season with the LSU Tigers.
Alfeld will join the LSU program following the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup as an outstanding goalkeeper prospect as she has started for New Zealand’s U-20 squad throughout the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Canada Soccer announced its official roster for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 on Wednesday morning as both Fletcher and Carvery were named among head coach Andrew Olivieri’s 21-player team in the unveiling event held in Toronto.
As the host nation of this year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, Canada will start up the tourney with a match against Ghana in Toronto on Aug. 5 before facing Finland in Toronto on Aug. 8 and North Korea in Montreal on Aug. 12 as part of Group A. The competition will run for nearly three weeks as it wraps up with the World Cup Final at the Olympic Stadium in Toronto on Aug. 24.
Fletcher, a Second-Team All-SEC attacking midfielder in her debut season with the Tigers in 2013, will represent Canada in a major international competition for the first time in her footballing career after competing for New Zealand at the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan before her arrival in Baton Rouge.
Fletcher has since rejoined the Canadian Women’s National Team system while taking part in a series of U-20 National EXCELeration Training Camps in 2013 and 2014 to prepare players for their appearance in August at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014. A native of Victoria, British Columbia, Fletcher competed for New Zealand at the youth level because her father, Stefan, is a native New Zealander.
Carvery joined Fletcher as part of Canada’s U-20 National EXCELeration Training Camp series throughout the spring of 2014, and has now been rewarded with a place on the team’s 21-player roster that was announced on Wednesday morning. A veteran of Canada’s U-17 squad, Carvery will represent Canada in a major international competition for the first time in her young career this summer.