WNT Sep 17, 2012
During the final domestic training camp for the U.S. U-17 WNT before the team left for Europe and the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, U.S. WNT defender Rachel Buehler was nice enough to stop by and chat with the young U.S. players.
Buehler is well qualified to speak about her personal experience as she played in two FIFA youth World Cups, helping the USA win the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women's World Cup in Canada and was on the team that took third at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women's World Cup in Thailand. She now has two Olympic gold medals and a FIFA Women's World Cup second-place medal on her resume as well.
The players got to hear Rachel speak, asked her tons of questions and of course took a bunch of pics. Buehler even passed out the team's new Nike jacket tops for the World Cup.
When many players of the generation who won the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup were growing up, they didn't have any female athlete role models, never mind soccer players, to look up to. Now the young women who play for the U.S. youth teams have plenty of fantastic role models, who not only support their "younger sisters" through how they conduct themselves on the field and off, but also for the support they show for the younger teams in their World Cup preparations and during the tournaments themselves.
Said U.S. Under-20 forward Kealia Ohai after her team won the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup earlier in September in Japan, on the support of the full team through tweets, emails and videos:
Ohai: “It’s been incredible to watch the full team win the Olympics. They are our idols and we look up to them so much. Being in this tournament and getting so much support from them has been a dream.”
The U.S. U-17s are eager to get the tournament started and try to add to the tradition of the U.S. Women's National Team programs, as well as serving as role models for the U.S. U-14s and U-15s who are currently working hard in their quest to help the USA qualify for the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.
On to Azerbaijan!