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U.S. Soccer Begins U-15 Girls National Developmental Team

CHICAGO (March 2, 2004) – U.S. Soccer has created a new Women's National Team program that will make its debut this week, as the U.S. Under-15 Girls' National Developmental Team takes to the field for the first time at the Home Depot Center from March 6-13, 2004.

The U-15 camp is the first of three training camps scheduled to take place from March to July of 2004, with an emphasis on development and training, and a focus on technical training sessions, rather than domestic or international competitions.

“We see this as a critical developmental age and we believe it is important to expose as many players as we feel are capable to the demands and benefits of being involved in a national team training environment,” said U.S. Women’s National Team head coach and technical director April Heinrichs.

Approximately 24 players will be invited to each camp, involving a larger pool of players over the course of the three camps than has been traditional in the older age groups. The camps will be primarily for players born in 1989, amazingly, just two years before the first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The U-15 Developmental Team is now a part of a U.S. Women’s National Team program that includes six teams – full WNT, Under-21, Under-19, Under-17, Under-16, Under-15 Developmental – as well as an annual Under-14 National Training Camp.

“The U-15s have been created to provide a more continuous opportunity for player development, bridging the gap between the U-14 National Camp held in August each year and the U-16 National Team,” added Heinrichs. “Implementing this age group will provide our players with more opportunities to be trained and evaluated at national team levels at a younger age, in turn preparing them to compete at higher levels as they move in to the U-16 age group and beyond. The application of resources needed to provide a quality training environment and program for the U-15 age group has once again shown U.S. Soccer’s commitment to our Women's Youth National Teams programs."

Stephanie Gabbert, the U.S. Women’s National Staff Coach for Region II, will run the U-15 Developmental Camps along with other U.S. Soccer staff coaches.