The 2014 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup will be hosted by Canada and kicks off Tuesday with the start of group play. Four LSU Tigers are will be competing in the event for the best representation of the LSU Soccer program in the history of the World Cup event. LSUSports.net is publishing a four-part feature series on the Tigers stepping onto the field for their countries at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. Part 4 features Class of 2014 defender recruit Jordane Carvery, who will be competing for the host nation of Canada during the event.
Jordane Carvery likes to dream big.
An imposing center back in the Canadian Women's National Team system, Carvery aspires to one day make her mark as a defensive leader of Canada's senior squad and also play professionally at the highest level in either the United States or Europe.
Carvery's confidence is high. Her potential as one of Canada's top young prospects is even higher.
And she will take her first step onto the World Cup stage in the coming weeks when wearing the red and white of the host nation at the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014.
Carvery cut her teeth as a former member of Canada's U-17 national team player pool early in her youth career, but will represent her country internationally at a World Cup for the first time after being named to Andrew Olivieri's squad of 21 U-20 stars as part of the team's unveiling event in Toronto on July 16.
Carvery received an invitation to train with Canada's U-20 squad for the first time as a 17-year-old in the winter of 2013 in her first National EXCELeration Training Camp. The camp series was originally designed to identify the player pool from which to select Canada's roster for the U-20 World Cup.
It was her outstanding displays as part of the camp series that earned Carvery a World Cup call-up.
“I definitely have some butterflies in my stomach,” Carvery admitted as she looked ahead to stepping on that World Cup stage for the first time in her own back yard. “I am looking forward to representing my country on the World Cup stage and inspiring future generations. It's special to play at home here in this World Cup where all my family and friends will be there to cheer us on.
“There's going to be a lot of competition in this World Cup, but we're up for the challenge and are ready to fight for everything that we can to go as far as we can.”
It's an experience that Carvery and her teammates will certainly savor as they will command the nation's attention for the next three weeks as the tournament runs through the final on Aug. 24.
“It's an amazing feeling to put on that national team jersey,” Carvery shared. “You're not just playing for the name on the back of your jersey, but the name and the badge on the front of your jersey.
“It's not just about playing for your teammates, coaches, friends and family anymore, but you're playing for your whole country. It's a responsibility that we all take very seriously. It's just so exciting for us since we get to play here at home. It's going to be an amazing experience.”
As is the tradition established by FIFA for any host country of a World Cup, Canada will face Ghana in the first match of the group stage on Tuesday as they open up play in Group A at BMO Field in Toronto.
Group A will also feature Finland and North Korea alongside Canada and Ghana at this year's World Cup.
There are 16 nations competing at this year's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup with top two teams in each of the four groups advancing to the quarterfinals beginning Aug. 16. The semifinal round will be held just days later on Aug. 20, followed by the tournament final and third-place game on Aug. 24.
“Playing in front of the home fans who will be there supporting us and cheering us on will be incredible,” Carvery said. “The players on the field will feel that excitement and passion of the crowd when we're on the field. Just as they'll be cheering us on, we'll be playing for them too. We're in it together.”
Baton Rouge: A Football Melting Pot
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has become a football melting pot while tapping a pipeline of talent from across the globe in recent years as Carvery joins another heralded class of recruits to sign with the Tigers.
LSU's starting 11 and squad rotation in the coming 2014 season could feature experienced internationals from as many as five different countries when the Tigers kick off the collegiate season.
With the United States providing the primary foundation of the squad, the 2014 LSU Tigers will feature a stable assembled from Canada, England, Mexico and New Zealand that is sure to excite a fan base that is poised for another championship run in the Southeastern Conference, and also a return trip to the NCAA Tournament as one of the top teams nationally this fall.
Carvery said her reasons for signing a National Letter of Intent with the LSU Tigers were simple.
“You're getting the best of both worlds,” she stated of what is most attractive about LSU. “Academically, you can grow as a student, and athletically, you can really develop as a player.”
First identified by LSU's coaching staff and other college recruiters as a 15-year-old while training as part of Ontario's Provincial Team, Carvery's potential as a future star in the center of defense was undeniable early in her career. She led Ontario to the U-14 gold medal and U-16 silver medal at the Canadian Soccer Association National Championships to earn her first call-up to Canada's U-17 national team.
The commitment of Brian Lee and his staff in recruiting Carvery to Baton Rouge fostered an interest into the LSU program by the native of Richmond Hill, Ontario, who recognized the opportunity.
Carvery ultimately gave her commitment to head coach Brian Lee and his staff following in the footsteps of All-SEC standouts and fellow Canadian imports Summer Clarke and Emma Fletcher, who enjoyed their outstanding debut seasons with the Tigers in 2013.
“There have been a lot of Canadians who have played at LSU and I knew there were some Canadian girls already on the team,” Carvery said of her recruitment to LSU.
Carvery officially signed her National Letter of Intent with the Tigers on National Signing Day in February; highlighting LSU's recruiting class that earned a No. 7 national ranking by TopDrawerSoccer.com in 2014. It marked the second-straight season in which the Tigers inked a class of international recruits to rank as one of the Top 15 classes in the NCAA on National Signing Day.
Carvery looks to bring her World Cup form to Baton Rouge as she will soon prepare for her debut season with the Tigers following her international duty with her country.
Taking the Next Step
The old saying goes, “When one door closes, another opens.”
No matter where Canada's World Cup run may come to an end, Carvery will soon turn the page on her time with the team and begin a new chapter in her career as an international footballer when she makes her move to Baton Rouge to join the Fighting Tigers of LSU as a college rookie in 2014.
While Carvery will be delayed in her arrival for preseason training with the rest of her Tiger teammates, she believes that her experience at the World Cup will help her adapt quickly to the college game.
“I'll be playing against girls that are two years older and more experienced than me,” Carvery said of her appearance at the World Cup. “I'll be a freshman at LSU and playing against girls who will be two or three years older than me. Playing against so many great players who are more experienced than myself at the World Cup will be good preparation for the college season.”
There are high hopes in Baton Rouge for the 2014 season as the Tigers field a world-class lineup game in and game out and push for their first Southeastern Conference crown for years to come.
Carvery will certainly factor into LSU's defensive mix from the moment she wears the purple and gold.
She shared what she is most looking forward to when she first steps onto the field as an LSU Tiger.
“I can't wait to be in a college environment, playing with the best players in America and even all around the world,” Carvery said. “LSU has a great program, and I hope to excel there. I hope to be able to use what I've been taught at the national and international level and apply that in a college atmosphere. The future looks great, and I can't wait to get started.”
The Tigers will kick off preseason training on Aug. 12 in preparation for their 2014 season opener against the Troy Trojans on Aug. 22, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. CT at the LSU Soccer Stadium.