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Nikki Washington

U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team

11 Questions with Nikki Washington

U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team and North Carolina forward Nikki Washington sat down and answered 11 questions with Center Circle on the eve of the team's Group A showdown with Mexico at the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Tournament and professed her love for Portugal, A-1 sauce and Chapel Hill.

Center Cirlce: You’re a EURO 2008 fan…. Who’s your team?
Nikki Washington: Well, I’m a Portugal fan but they’re out of it. I just really like their style of play a lot and of course I like Cristiano Ronaldo - I can even get past his mullet. I can’t pick another team now, I’m a die hard.

CC: We know you love music – what’s on your playlist?
NW: I’m going to give the typical answer and say everything. I love Lil’ Wayne, but I can’t listen to the same thing all the time. I also love the Goo Goo Dolls, which are at the opposite end of the spectrum. And The Fray. And Eminem…
(ed. note: Nikki kept going, but for the sake of space we stopped there)

CC: What is it about A-1 sauce that you love so much?
NW: I don’t know, but whenever I think about it or smell it, my mouth waters. I love it on steak and mashed potatoes, but I’ll eat it on anything. I can eat it by the spoonful. I’m a big fan of sauces in general – I have to have a sauce with everything. I went through a Heinz 57 phase, but A-1 is just so good.

CC: What is your favorite thing to do at home in Texas?
NW: Definitely just hanging out on my front yard and juggling, or playing with my brother, Brandon , who just graduated from college.

CC: What is your favorite thing to do in Chapel Hill?
NW: I love spending time with my team – we have a lot of fun. We play late-night soccer in our stadium sometimes when there isn’t a field marshal on duty to kick us off. We just mix up the guys and girls teams and just play small-sided games under the lights. During exam time is when we really do it a lot, just to get a study break. It’s awesome.

CC: What was it like to wear the captain’s armband against Cuba?
NW: Wearing the arm band and getting to exchange the flags and stuff like that is always cool. It’s a different role for me, and it’s one that I’m still getting used to. I’m still learning about the role but I think it’s going well for me so far. It’s always an honor.

CC: Three words that describe your personality off the field:
NW: Goofy, (a little) weird, sometimes serious

CC: They’re making a movie about your life – who plays your leading man?
NW: Patrick Dempsey. I’m a big Grey’s Anatomy kick right now, so definitely McDreamy.

CC: If you weren’t pursuing a career in soccer right now, what would you be pursuing?
NW: I’d want to be a teacher. Unfortunately it’s too hard to work student teaching into my schedule at UNC with soccer, it’s too demanding. I want to work with younger kids, like preschool aged. I love kids.

CC: Do you want kids of your own someday?
NW: Definitely. I always say I want to have two kids because I don’t like the idea of having a middle child, but I think I want more than two so I don’t know what to do! Maybe just have four kids?

CC: What’s your favorite thing to do on the road?
NW: Listen to music and just spend time with my teammates. I talk online a lot to keep in touch with my friends at home or at school. I really just creep around and hang out with my teammates. I also keep a journal, so I like to sit out here in the lobby and do that in the evenings.

U.S. U-20 Women Head to Maryland for Pan-Am Prep

CHICAGO (June 4, 2007) - In its final training camp before heading to Brazil for the 2007 Pan-American Games, the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team will hold a training camp in Maryland as head coach Jillian Ellis brings in 24 players for eight days from June 9-16, a period that will include scrimmages against two W-League teams.

As the Pan-American Games is an “open” tournament for women, Ellis will bring four “overage” players into this camp, none of whom who are age-eligible for the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, the ultimate goal of this team, to be held at the end of next year in Chile.

Those “overage” players are forwards Michele Weissenhofer and Lauren Cheney (who spent most of the last three months in Residency Training Camp with the full Women’s National Team), midfielder Amanda Poach (a member of the FIFA All-Star Team at the 2006 U-20 WWC in Russia) and defender Brittany Taylor.

Ellis also named four players just graduating from high school in Gatorade Girl’s National High School Player of the Year Melissa Henderson, a forward from Garland, Texas, headed to Notre Dame, and defender Meghan Klingenberg from Pennsylvania and forward Rachel Givan from Mississippi, both headed to UNC, and midfielder Kylie Wright, who will attend UCLA. Ellis also named the Parade Girl’s High School Player of the Year, junior Teresa Noyola, who at 17 is the young player on the roster.

For the first time, Ellis will have on her roster the three players from U.S. team that competed in the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship who are age-eligible for the next U-20 WC, in midfielder Tobin Heath and forwards Casey Nogueira and Kelley O’Hara, all of whom spent some time training with the full Women’s National Team in 2007. Ellis also gives a first call-up to midfielder Nikki Washington, who performed so well for UNC during the NCAA Final Four last fall. Ellis has some serious height in her goalkeeper corps, calling in 5-foot-11 Chantel Jones, 5-foot-9 Alyssa Naeher and 6-foot Kristin Olsen. The camp may have an emphasis on attacking as Ellis has called in 10 forwards among the 24 players.

While in Maryland, the U-20s will take on the Virginia Majestics on June 12 and face the Washington Freedom on June 14. The Pan-Am games will be held in Rio de Janeiro from July 12-26 and will feature two groups of five teams each with Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Canada, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and the USA participating on the women’s side. Matches will be held on July 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 23 and 26.

U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Roster – Boyds, Maryland
June 9-16, 2007

Goalkeepers (3): Chantel Jones (Virginia), Alyssa Naeher (Penn State), Kristin Olsen (USC)
Defenders (4): Meghan Klingenberg (Hot Spurs), Nikki Marshall (Colorado), Brittany Taylor (UConn), Lauren Wilmoth (UCLA)
Midfielders (7): Becky Edwards (Florida State), Kaley Fountain (Wake Forest), Tobin Heath (UNC), Teresa Noyola (MVLA Mercury), Amanda Poach (Santa Clara), Nikki Washington (UNC), Kylie Wright (So Cal Blues)
Forwards (10): Lauren Cheney (UCLA), Gina DiMartino (Boston College), Michelle Enyeart (Portland), Rachel Givan (Mississippi United), Melissa Henderson (Dallas Texans), Alicia Jenkins (Stanford), Jessica McDonald (Phoenix College), Casey Nogueira (UNC), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford), Michele Weissenhofer (Notre Dame)