SEATTLE – Fresh off a productive spring, the Husky women’s soccer players disperse to play for various club teams. In addition to these normal roles, two Dawgs have been participating in training camps for their national teams. Megan Kufeld is in camp with the U.S. Under-23’s, while Amanda Perez is with Mexico looking to a spot on the U-20 World Cup roster.
Kufeld is returning to national team camp, coached by a familiar face, Amy Griffin. Griffin is working with the U.S. goalkeepers, something she does with regularity and this time Kufeld is among the women between the posts.
Kufeld has been in training camp with youth national teams at various levels throughout her career, but this is her first with the U-23’s. She is excited for the opportunity to continue to grow as a player.
“Attending a U-23 training camp is a great experience to play at the highest level and improve my game,” said Kufeld. “The players at these camps are the best in the country at our age group and each very talented so it is an amazing opportunity to compete with them and learn from them.”
Kufeld was one of the top goalkeepers in the Pac-12 last season, starting for the first time as a redshirt sophomore. She has two years left at Washington where she is growing into the leader of an up-and-coming team.
“I think the opportunity to play at the international level is a great opportunity to grow my game especially technically and tactically as I will be in an environment surrounded by great players and coaches,” said Kufeld. “After camps, I can bring back what I experienced and share this with my teammates to help them also understand what the highest level of play is like so they can improve their games making us a better team.”
Perez is in a different environment with Mexico as she hopes to use the training camp as a learning experience, but is also competing for the highly coveted spot on the U-20 World Cup roster.
The U-20 World Cup takes place this summer from August 5-24. Mexico is in Group C with Nigeria, England and Korea.
"Playing for Mexico is a huge honor and nothing can compare to representing your country,” said Perez. “It would be a dream come true to be a part of the roster competing in Canada this summer."
Although playing for Mexico is firmly on Perez’s mind, she also understands what she can bring back to Washington for the 2014 season.
"One of the biggest lessons I've learned through my experiences at the international level is the balance a player must have between wanting to excel individually or excelling collectively,” said Perez. “Representing a country is much like representing a school, and that is something I believe I can bring back to our soccer program. We aren't playing for ourselves, but for the University of Washington.”