Five local soccer standouts will represent the United States on this year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup roster, which was announced by U.S. Soccer late last week. Woodgrove alum Brittany Basinger and South County product Andi Sullivan, rising South County senior Kaleigh Riehl, Flint Hill alum Carlyn Baldwin, and former All-Met Player of the Year Midge Purce (Good Counsel) will be among the 21 Americans heading to Edmonton, Alberta, where the United States opens group play Aug. 5.
The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup is held in even-numbered years. The United States has won two of the past three tournaments, most recently with a 1-0 victory over Japan in 2012. This will be the first U-20 Cup for all five locals, though Basinger, Purce and Sullivan all played for the United States at the 2012 U-17 World Cup in Azerbaijan.
Sullivan, a Stanford commit and one of the top players in the class of 2015, will co-captain the U.S. team. She has played 15 games for the U-20s, scoring three goals and emerging as a staple in the American midfield.
Riehl, also from South County, will be one of the youngest players on the team as one of only three who still have a year or more of high school remaining. The Penn State commit will return to South County for her senior year after the World Cup.
Riehl’s Braddock Road Youth Club teammate Baldwin joins her on the roster. The 5-foot-2 dynamo will be a freshman at Tennessee this fall.
Basinger, the 2012 Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year while at Woodgrove, started for Penn State as a freshman outside back last season. An All-Big Ten freshman pick, Basinger scored her first U-20 goal earlier this year in the midst of the Americans’ run to the CONCACAF U-20 title.
Purce, the 2012 All-Met Player of the Year from Good Counsel and rising Harvard sophomore, becomes the first Ivy League player chosen to a U-20 World Cup squad. Purce turned in a ground-breaking season in her first with the Crimson, scoring 11 goals and leading Harvard to the Ivy League title. That resume made her the first freshman Ivy League Player of the Year. She and Sullivan scored two goals apiece for the U-20s in January’s CONCACAF tournament.
The United States begins group play Aug. 5 against Germany, before facing Brazil Aug. 8 and China Aug. 12. All three group games will be shown on ESPNU or ESPN2.
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