Sunday, May 24

Field of former and current women’s soccer players to feature in World Cup

(Bridgette Baron/Daily Bruin)

This post was updated June 6 at 2:51 p.m.

Coach Amanda Cromwell knew Teagan Micah had been selected to represent Australia in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France two weeks before the junior goalkeeper was scheduled to find out.

So, with permission from Australia’s coaching staff, Cromwell called Micah into her office for a regular one-on-one meeting. But not before she set up a GoPro to capture the Aussie’s reaction.

“I just knew it would be awesome to get her reaction, so I called her in for a meeting,” Cromwell said. “We kind of sneakily filmed it, and it was awesome to have that recorded for her.”

Eleven days later, junior midfielder Jessie Fleming was officially selected to represent Canada in the tournament for the second time in her career.

Fleming played her first game for Canada at age 15, started in the 2016 Olympics and earned a gold medal at the 2016 Algarve Cup.

“(Fleming) is the epitome of a box-to-box midfielder – she can run for days and nobody wants to chase that,” Cromwell said. “I think she can have an impact on the attacking side by potentially being a goal scorer or getting assists, but the thing for (Fleming) for Canada that they need most is for her to control the tempo.”

Six former Bruins – four players and two coaches – will also be competing in France.

Forward Mallory Pugh, defender Abby Dahlkemper and midfielder Sam Mewis were named to the U.S. team – the defending champion. Forward Rosie White will represent New Zealand.

Pugh played just three spring games for UCLA in 2017 before opting to go professional, but Dahlkemper, Mewis and White were all members of the 2013 national championship team for the Bruins.

“They all have tools that are unique to them that allow them to stand out from the rest in certain ways,” Cromwell said. “But they also have the mentality, and that’s a part of what they get (at UCLA) – that competitive fire that comes from being around other elite athletes on a daily basis.”

Aline Reis – UCLA’s volunteer goalkeeper coach from 2013 to 2016 – will play for Brazil, which is in the same group as Australia. Reis may go head-to-head with Micah, a player she formerly coached.

Jill Ellis, who coached the Bruins from 1999 to 2010, is the winningest UCLA women’s soccer coach in history. Ellis will coach the U.S. this summer after leading the team to the 2015 World Cup Championship.

Cromwell played for the U.S. in the 1995 World Cup and will head to France to watch seven players she has coached. The coach said the rest of the UCLA women’s soccer players will be following the tournament remotely before heading to Italy to compete in the World University Games.

Junior goalkeeper Teagan Micah of UCLA women's soccer was named to the Australian national team for this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in France. Micah is one of seven current and former Bruins who will represent UCLA starting Sunday. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin)
Junior goalkeeper Teagan Micah of UCLA women’s soccer was named to the Australian national team for this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Micah is one of seven current and former Bruins who will represent UCLA starting Sunday. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin)

“Our girls have been super excited … they’re just such fans of the game,” Cromwell said. “And it’s cool because they get to go play in the World University Games right after (the World Cup) and go for their own gold.”

The World Cup will kick off Friday with a match between host nation France and South Korea. Micah and Reis will begin play Sunday, Fleming and Team Canada start Monday and the U.S. is slated to kick off Tuesday against Thailand.

Assistant Sports editor

Dzwonczyk is currently an assistant Sports editor for the women's basketball, women's soccer, beach volleyball, men's golf and women's golf beats. She was previously a reporter on the women's soccer, beach volleyball and women's tennis beats.

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