Five participants in the recent U.S. Under 23 women’s national team camp have been asked to stay for the full national team camp, as announced today by U.S. Soccer and WNT head coach Jill Ellis. The group includes former University of Southern California defender Mandy Freeman, taken as the No. 10 overall pick in yesterday’s NWSL College Draft.
U.S. U-20 starting goalkeeper Casey Murphy, college players Tierna Davidson and Savannah McCaskill and U-17 Women’s World cup starter Brianna Pinto round out the group selected.
In the statement released by U.S. Soccer, Ellis explained the decision to bring these players in during January camp. “These players showed very well during the U-23 training camp, and this is a great opportunity to see how they perform in the highly competitive environment of January Camp,” Ellis said. “The majority of this year is about looking at new players so we can continue to expand our pool.”
Mandy Freeman has played in the youth national team system since U-14s, and the centerback recently won the 2016 NCAA National Championship with the University of Southern California. She is the only NWSL draft pick from the U-23 camp to be held over for the full national team camp.
Casey Murphy comes into her first senior national team call up as the tallest goalkeeper ever called in. The Rutgers redshirt junior has plenty of experience within the youth national team system, and was the starting goalkeeper for the U-20 National team during the 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Forward Savannah McCaskill, a rising senior at the University of South Carolina, is coming off of one of the most impressive performances in the NCAA this past season. McCaskill scored 17 goals and contributed 11 assists to the Gamecocks in 2016 and was named SEC Offensive Player of the Year, NSCAA First Team All American, and was a MAC Hermann Trophy Semi-Finalist.
Tierna Davidson comes into camp as a recently new call up to the U-23 team. She has been involved within the youth national team system, and has 6 caps and 1 goal with the U-20s. The central midfielder started all 21 games for Stanford during her freshman campaign, and was named to the Pac 12 All-freshman team.
Brianna Pinto anchored the midfield for the U-17 team during the 2016 U-17 Women’s World Cup. The North Carolina commit was capped 20 times during her U-17 career and scored one goal. She has also been capped at the U-20 level.
The senior national team camp provides an opportunity for these young players to make their presence known on the full national team level. Their talent and speed will test the current national team players, and this is an opportunity for them to be tested against some of the best players in the world.
Freeman joins her now-Sky Blue FC teammate and fellow defender Kelley O’Hara in USWNT camp just months before NWSL preseason starts.