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Courtney Verloo

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Getting to Know U.S. U-17 WNT Forward Courtney Verloo

U.S. U-17 WNT forward Courtney Verloo arrived in Trinidad ready to play. The tenacious forward scored twice and dished out two assists in the opening match. She hasn’t committed to a college yet, but one thing she knows for sure is that she will continue to play. Verloo, who was named a 2008 Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year for soccer in Oregon, took some time to talk to Center Circle about her experience in Trinidad, her secret affinity for playing the guitar and DREAM, a mentoring program she is trying to start at Tualatin High School to teach elementary students about the dangers of drugs.

Center Circle: How are you enjoying the trip so far?

Courtney Verloo: “I’m having a lot of fun. We had a great start to the tournament yesterday so everyone is really excited about that and it’s just been a really good experience so far. The trainings have been going really well and it’s great to have that first game under our belt.”

CC: You’ve made so many sacrifices throughout the past year, training all across the U.S. How does it feel to finally be here and start playing a tournament that really means something?

CV: “It just felt amazing. We’ve all put in so much work to get to this place and, before the game, everyone was just talking about how this is what all of our hard work has come up to so it was really exciting and a proud moment to be able to pull on a U.S. jersey and start actually playing.”

CC: What was your reaction to being named Gatorade High School Player of the Year for the state of Oregon?

CV: “That was a really cool award. It was a big honor from Gatorade and I was really proud to have won that award.”

CC: Who was the first person you told?

CV: “I think my parents. My coach called me in one day and told me about it and I called my parents a little bit later on that day and told them about it.”

CC: Walk us through your pre-game rituals.

CV: “I really don’t have a pre-game ritual in regards to how I dress but obviously in warmups I like to make sure I do the same things. I like to get a lot of touches on the ball. Shooting, always. I don’t really have a specific ritual.”

CC: Moving away from soccer a little bit, we noticed that you go to an International Baccalaureate school. Most people don’t know what that means. Can you explain it a little bit?

CV: “The IB program is kind of an AP (Advanced Placement) class, an advanced class. They’re just a group of accelerated classes that you can choose to take throughout high school.

CC: The whole idea behind that is that those credits are valid in any country. Are you planning on using that at all, for example, going to college abroad?

CV: “Right now, no. I have thought about it for the future. I don’t want to start out going to another country but I think it would be cool to possibly study abroad at some point.”

CC: Have you given any thought to where you’re going next year for school?

CV: “I’ve given it some thought but I haven’t committed anywhere. I’d like to stay on the West Coast.”

CC: What are you looking for in a school?

CV: “Obviously soccer is really important to me. I’m looking for a good match there, but I’m also really looking for an all-around good school, academically, and a place that fits me personally in all areas.”

CC: We noticed that you’re involved in a lot of clubs and extracurricular activities. Can you tell us about DREAM?

CV: “When I was younger, in elementary school, I was in a program called DARE, which was Drug Abuse Resistance Education but the police force now doesn’t have enough manpower to continue on with the program. I was talking to a family friend that was on the (parent-student organization) in our community and she was talking about how we didn’t have this program, so we just thought it would be a great idea to start up this program called DREAM where students, Seniors right now, would take the training and learn the curriculum and then go into elementary schools and teach fifth graders drug resistance education. We’d call it Drug Resistance Education Awareness Mentors. So it’s basically the same thing, just with high school students teaching it.

“We haven’t actually started it yet. We’re presented a proposal to Oregon Partnership, which is the group that we’re working with to raise the money for training, because that takes a while. We’re still building it up. We’re hoping to start this year but it might be later rather than sooner because we still have to go through the training.”

CC: What inspired you to take time to do something like this?

CV: “I just thought it would be a great thing. My little sister is going to be a fourth grader now. I know she and all of her friends don’t have the same curriculum that I had as a student and I just thought that it would be something beneficial to them and our community.”

CC: Tell us a little bit about the guitar lessons. How are those coming along?

CV: “I’m not actually taking lessons. It’s just something that I like to do by myself in my free time. I’m really not very good at all but it’s just something that I really enjoy. My mom has a guitar and we just having it lying around the house and I like to pick it up every once in a while and try and play. I took piano lessons and stuff like that. It’s nothing serious or anything. It’s just for fun.”

CC: So, do you ever play Guitar Hero?

CV: “I do! My little sister actually has Guitar Hero. It’s a fun game.”

CC: Back to the tournament a little bit. The first game is under your belt and you still have two more group games. What are you looking forward to?

CV: “I’ve been just looking at it as one game at a time. I’m just excited to step out onto the field for every single game and work hard and try to get through (to the next round) and play my hardest every single game and work for the team.”

CC: Tell us a little bit about being on the ninth floor. The rest of the team is on the seventh floor and you and your roommate, Kate Bennett, got stuck on the ninth floor.

CV: “Yeah. We came a little bit late and got stuck on the ninth floor. It’s not too bad though. It’s a little quiet up here. We kind of miss out on some of the calls and we might miss a memo every now and again but it’s not too bad. We got into Miami a little bit late. Our connecting flight was a little bit delayed and we tried to rush to make it on the flight with the rest of the team but we weren’t able to make it so we ended up staying in the hotel for that night. We were all kind of bummed to miss the flight out with the team but it wasn’t too bad. We were able to get an early flight out the next day.”

U-16 GNT Opens Training Camp in Florida

The U.S. Under-16 Girl’s National Team began training camp on Saturday (March 31) in Sunrise, Florida, as head coach Kazbek Tambi has brought 24 players for a week of training from April 1-7. Tambi is trying out several new players as he continues to form a pool from which he will choose a team that will attempt to qualify for the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, to be held late next year in New Zealand. Twenty-one of the players in camp were born in 1991 with three being born in 1992 in defenders Mia Bruno and Megan Oyster and midfielder Alex Crown.

Goalkeepers (3): Lauren Arnold (Hoover, Alabama), Julie Blaszczak (Northville, Mich.), Alexa Gaul (Naperville, Ill.);
Defenders (8): Mia Bruno (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.), Zakiya Bywaters (Las Vegas, Nev.), Lucretia Lee (Bothell, Wash.), Kristin Mewis (Hanson, Mass.), Megan Oyster (Naperville, Ill.), Alev Perusse (Eagle River, Alaska), Rachel Quon (Lake Forest, Ill.), Julia Roberts (Frederick, Md.);
Midfielders (7): Kathryn Bennett (Clyde Hill, Washington), Cloee Colohan (West Point, Utah), Alex Crown (Lake Mary, Florida), Elizabeth Eddy (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Olivia Klei (Pleasanton, Calif.), Rachel Merick (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), Jenna Richmond (Centreville, Va.);
Forwards (6): Kim Castleberry (McKinney, Texas), Victoria DiMartino (Massapequa, N.Y.), Megan Jurado (San Jose, Calif.), Carlee Payne (Pleasanton, Calif.), Ahsha Smith (Oakland, Calif.), Courtney Verloo (Tualatin, Ore.).

A regular call-up for the U.S. U-20s in 2009, she was not a member of the team at the CONCACAF Women’s Championships in Guatemala, but worked her way back into the mix through camps and games in 2010 … Has played forward and outside back for the U-20s … Played in 13 total matches for the USA before the U-20 Women’s World Cup, including eight internationals, and scored twice … One of the leading scorers for the U.S. U-17s in 2008, scoring 12 goals in 13 career international matches including four scores at the U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand … Played in every game in New Zealand and scored against Paraguay, two against South Korea and the winning goal in the 81st minute against Germany in the 2-1 semifinal victory that sent the Americans to the championship game … Started four matches at 2008 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championships, leading the team in scoring with six goals while finding the net in three of the five matches … Scored against New Zealand in January of 2008 in the Future Stars Tournament … Played for the U.S. U-16 Girls’ National Team in 2007, scoring four goals including two in a win over the University of Florida.

Played from U-17 with the FC Portland Sapphire until she left for college … Played U-11 through U-16 with the Southside Strikerz … Won State Cup titles with the Strikerz as U-12s in 2003, U-13s in 2004 and U-15s in 2006.

Full name is Courtney Reneé Verloo … Nickname is Court … Major is undecided … Was a member of the National Honor Society … Was a member of the Key Club, a community service organization … On the honor roll as a freshman, sophomore and junior … Likes to spend time with her family and fiends and travel, especially on vacation … Being from the northwest, she loves Oregon and the outdoors.

Played in all 26 games for Stanford as a freshman, starting eight and scored four goals with six assists … Helped the Cardinal to an undefeated regular season and a berth in the NCAA Championship Game … She was named to the Pac 10 All-Freshman Team … Attended Tualatin High School where she scored 93 goals and had 31 assists, including 34 goals as a freshman, but only played in one game as a senior due to National Team commitments … Had two goals and three assists in that one HS game … A 2009 Parade All-American … Named Gatorade Oregon State Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007 ... Named Oregon's 6A Player of the Year by The Oregonian in 2006 … As a junior, she was First-Team All-State the Pac-9 Player of the Year as well captain of the Oregon ODP Team … As a sophomore, she was the Oregon State Gatorade Player of the Year and the Multnomah Athletic Club sophomore scholar athlete of the year … As a sophomore, she was the Pac-9 Player of the Year, First-Team All-State, the Oregon 6A Player of the Year and the MVP of the state championship game … As a freshman, she was Second-Team All-State … Scored two goals in her first high school game against the defending state champion.

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