Last weekend, the World Cup came to an end with France beating Croatia 4-2 in Moscow to win the tournament. You might think that the World Cup would at least cause the soccer news cycle to quiet down for a little bit.
However, soccer never ends. Leagues like MLS and the NWSL are still going on. Players all over the world are moving teams. European teams are over in the US doing preseason tours playing friendly matches. Oh, and some Tar Heels have been given a big opportunity.
Two UNC women’s soccer players, Emily Fox and Brianna Pinto, were included on the US’s under-20 women’s national team for the upcoming U20 World Cup in France.
Fox is a sophomore midfielder, who played in the majority of games early last year, before suffering a season-ending injury. Her most notable performance (at least from a stats perspective) came on September 30th against Syracuse. Fox provided assists for two of the Tar Heels’ seven goals against the Orange.
Pinto has actually not played a game in a UNC uniform yet. The Durham native is an incoming freshman this season, and (obviously considering she’s been called up to a youth national team) is considering one of the better recruits coming in this season.
Making a youth national team is far from a guarantee that you’ll have a long career with the main national team, but it’s a start. Several players from the US’s 2014 U20 national team have already made an impact with the USWNT. Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh, and Rose Lavelle are three examples of players who are already in the fold just four years later.
The US’s kicks off their tournament August 6th against Japan, with whom the regular USWNT have developed a bit of a rivalry with over the last two World Cups. The US will also play group games against Paraguay (August 9th) and Spain (August 13th). The tournament goes until August 24th, where if the US is still in it, they would play the final in Vannes, France. Best of luck to the two Tar Heels headed to France.