Best Girls Teams Gear Up For Nike Friendlies


CHICAGO – More than 25 teams from around the country will participate in the third annual Women’s Nike Friendlies Aug. 21-24 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

The 2008 event will include three team’s representing the U.S. Under-14 and Under-15 Girls’ National Teams, joining the 22 other clubs from the U15, U16 and U17 divisions.

The two U.S. U-14 Girls’ National Teams will participate in the U-16 age group, and the U.S. U-15 Girls’ National Team will participate at the U-17 level.

The Women’s Nike Friendlies is an annual competition in which the best youth soccer clubs around the United States are invited to a high-level four-day event which stresses quality soccer and player development over wins and losses. Standings are not kept during the competition, in which each teams play three 80-minute games over the four days.

“This event is the kind of competition these young players need,” said U.S. National Staff Coach Mike Dickey, who oversees the Under-14 Girls’ Development Program. “The Women’s Nike Friendlies provide players an opportunity to play the sport in the right environment and for the right reasons, which ultimately helps players develop and reach their full potential.”

The Nike Women’s Friendlies emerged in 2006 as an extension of the Nike Friendlies, held at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla. The event has become highly anticipated by college coaches because of the emphasis on quality soccer and the top-level competition.

Every participating team will play on the first day of the Women’s Nike Friendlies, beginning on Thursday, Aug. 21. Teams will play their second match of the event either on Friday, Aug. 22, or Saturday, Aug. 23, and will wrap up the weekend with a third and final match on Sunday, Aug. 24.

“From a national team perspective,” Dickey said, “this year’s event will also give us a glimpse at the players that will be a part of our future national teams, and most specifically the core group of 1993s and ‘94s who will compete in the 2010 U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

During the tournament, parents, fans and participants can follow the action at the Nike Friendlies at ussoccer.com. U.S. Soccer will also be conducting a Referee Academy in conjunction with the Women’s Nike Friendlies.

U-15 Group
Crossfire (Wash.)
Irvine Strikers (Calif.)
PDA (N.J.)
Slammers (Calif.)
Surf (Calif.)
TBD

U-16 Group
Irvine Strikers (Calif.)
Mustangs (Calif.)
PDA (N.J.)
Real Colorado (Colo.)
Real So Cal (Calif.)
Sereno (Ariz.)
Slammers (Calif.)
Surf (Calif.)
U-14 GNT (competing as two teams)

U-17 Group
Birmingham United (Ala.)
Colorado Rush (Colo.)
FC DELCO (Pa.)
Irvine Strikers (Calif.)
Real Colorado (Colo.)
Real So Cal (Calif.)
Seacoast United (N.H.)
Sereno (Ariz.)
Surf (Calif.)
U-15 GNT

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