As the United States U-19 Women’s National Team continued their week-long training camp in the Sunshine State., a reunion of sorts took place on Friday afternoon.
Team USA took on the University of Central Florida in a scrimmage at the Paul Filipe Estate in Palm City, FL as two players with Internationals SC on their resume were together again on the pitch.
National team defender Sydney Dawson, of Akron, OH competed in the second of three 30-minute scrimmages while UCF freshman midfielder Christina Trickett, of Independence, OH, did not play.
Hampered by a knee injury in her first year with the Golden Knights, Trickett appeared in 14 contests, totaling 305 minutes, as UCF finished the 2016 campaign with a 9-8-2 record.
“It was an awesome experience my first year,” Trickett said. “It was really tough because I’ve been struggling with my injury for basically a year now. That was rough for me all season because I could play some days, but couldn’t play most games.
“That was tough, but the atmosphere and everything was amazing.”
After spending the final months of 2016 on the U-18 YNT, Dawson was a recent call-up to the U-19 USWNT team. Dawson talked about how the level of competition has made her up her game.
“Well I’ve heard from players before that were called up, that it was a higher level. I kind of always thought that pace will just be faster, but everything is on another level,” Dawson said. “The speed is faster. Everyone is more mature, more physical. It’s just a really good training environment and very competitive.
“I think my decision making is much better. Playing against these top players, I have to be much quicker with my decisions. I think my physicality has improved and my competitiveness has shown up a lot.”
Joining Trickett and Dawson for the scrimmages was Keri Sarver, Director of Coaching for Internationals SC and U-19 USWNT assistant. Having seen much of their careers first-hand, Sarver noted how the duo has earned their opportunities.
“They’ve been playing and training at a high level since they started with our club at the young age of U-9, 10, 11, and 12,” Sarver said. “We’ve always seen something special in both of them, so we knew that their future was bright in terms of being able to play at that next level. Whether that next level is Division I, where Christina is at a top level program like UCF, or the youth national teams, or professionally maybe later, they’ve definitely have had those qualities since an early stage, in terms of training habits, their focus and talent on the field.
“We always knew there’d be something bigger and better for those types of players on our club and it’s just special to see them come together in an environment like this.”
After the game, both Trickett and Dawson discussed how instrumental Sarver has been to their careers thus far.
“She has pushed me to be the best player I can,” Dawson said of Sarver. “She’s been coaching me since I was nine. I’ve always been use to her coaching style, but she’s pushed me beyond my ability.
“I can’t imagine being coached by somebody else.”
Trickett echoed those sentiments.
“She’s basically been my coach for not as long as Syd, but pretty long,” Trickett said with a laugh. “Everything that she’s taught us, what they gave us as information for soccer and not even related to soccer, but just in life, she’s helped us grow and develop as players and people.”