CHICAGO (Sept. 21, 2019) – U.S. Soccer will send the Women’s Beach Soccer National Team to the ANOC World Beach Games, being held in Doha, Qatar from Oct. 11-16.
In addition, the first-ever domestic training camp for the USWBSNT will take place from Sept. 29-Oct. 3 in Huntington Beach, Calif. before the U.S. team departs for the tournament.
The USA finished second behind Mexico for the lone berth at the Concacaf qualifying event held in El Salvador in early August but will compete at the ANOC World Beach Games after China PR dropped out of the competition, thereby opening a slot.
The USA will play in Group B against Russia (Oct. 11), Great Britain (Oct. 13) and Paraguay (Oct. 14), with the semifinals being staged on Oct. 15 and the championship on Oct. 16. The two top teams in each of the two groups will advance to the semifinal round. Group A features Spain, Brazil, Cape Verde and Mexico. All the matches will be played at the Beach Soccer Arena or at an adjacent field on Katara Beach.
U.S. Beach Soccer veteran and Men’s Beach Soccer National Team assistant coach Francis Farberoff will coach the team at the event, which will feature nine of the 10 players who represented the USA at qualifying as midfielder/forward Kilee Quiglee replaced Kelly Fitzgerald, who has a knee injury.
Midfielder/forward Samantha Witteman, who was a star at UC Berkeley and played almost 30 matches in the NWSL over two seasons, one with the Orlando Pride and one with the North Carolina Courage, led the USA in scoring at qualifying with five goals. Midfielder/forward Lauren Leslie and defender Megan Wharton had three goals each.
The World Beach Games, the first ever staged, were officially moved from San Diego to Qatar in May. Beach soccer features four field players and a goalkeeper with three 12-minute periods and unlimited substitutions on the fly.
The inaugural World Beach Games will feature beach soccer and 15 other non-Olympic beach and water-focused events. The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) is an organization of 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and eight associate National Olympic Committees that serves, promotes and protects interests of NOCs.
Additional WBNT programming will be evaluated based on available international competitions and competitive opportunities in the future.
U.S. Women’s Beach National Team Roster – ANOC World Beach Games – Doha, Qatar
GOALKEEPERS (2): Melissa Lowder (San Diego, Calif.), Christine Yount (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (4): Bethany Haynes (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Paxton Scott (Santa Cruz, Calif.), Jeane Sunseri-Warp (San Jose, Calif.), Megan Wharton (Columbus, Ohio)
MIDFIELDERS/FORWARDS (4): Elizabeth Eastman (Gilford, N.H.), Lauren Leslie (San Clemente, Calif.), Kilee Quiglee (San Francisco, Calif.), Samantha Witteman (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
More than half of the roster (six of the 10 players) hails from Southern California and all the players have extensive experience playing in beach soccer tournaments in the USA or abroad.
Goalkeeper Christine Yount played collegiately at San Diego State and goalkeeper Melissa Lowder played at Santa Clara, where she was a consistent three-year starter.
Defender Paxton Scott played collegiately at Cal-State Monterey Bay before deciding to focus on beach soccer.
Midfielder/forward Lauren Leslie played at San Diego State and Point Loma Nazarene University, and has experience playing for clubs in Netherlands and Spain. She is currently a youth coach in the SoCal Blues Soccer Club out of Orange County, Calif.
Defender Megan Wharton played collegiately at NAIA Ohio Dominican.
Midfielder/forward Kilee Quiglee hails from Salt Lake City, Utah and played collegiately at Idaho State.
Midfielder/forward Elizabeth Eastman lives in Europe where she plays beach soccer in Switzerland and won the 2016 European Beach Soccer title with Swiss Grasshoppers.