U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team head coach Steve Swanson talks about the team’s tour in Japan and preparing for the 2012 U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup from Aug. 18-Sept. 8.
On the U.S. U-20 WNT’s Japan tour:
“We are excited about this upcoming tour to Japan for a number of reasons, primarily because it will give us a chance to play one of the favorites in this upcoming World Cup on their home turf. We played Japan twice last summer in San Diego and both games were extremely competitive. Japan is a skilled, disciplined and well-organized team that will test our team in all phases of the game. Not only will the games challenge us, but we are excited about experiencing the same sort of travel to the Women’s World Cup host country, which will give us a greater understanding of what we can expect in August and September.”
On the U-20 player pool:
“After evaluating a large pool of players at multiple training camps throughout the past year we have finalized a pool of players that will make up the roster for the World Cup. We’ve had a very consistent pool since the beginning of the year and we feel the majority of players who will make up the final roster will come from this group going to Japan.”
On the preparation over the past year:
“We put a plan in place over a year ago and thanks to the hard work of so many people our team has consistently improved during this time. Since we qualified for the World Cup in March, we have had two excellent training camps in April and May that helped put us in a great place heading into the summer. There is still a lot of sweat and hard work ahead of us, but we are excited about the opportunity and challenge of becoming the best possible team we can be heading into the World Cup.”