CAYMAN ISLANDS – Washington redshirt freshman Amanda Perez is headed to the U-20 World Cup after qualifying with Mexico. Mexico cruised through the qualifying tournament, before losing to the United States in the final, but still advances to the finals in Canada later this year.
The top three teams from CONCACAF (the U.S., Mexico and Costa Rica) earned their bids to the U-20 World Cup last week through the qualifying tournament, while Canada advances as the host. They will join 12 other squads from around the World to make up the 16-team field. Perez and her teammates with Mexico went undefeated, before falling to the United States, 4-0, in the final. The U-20 World Cup takes place August 5-24 in Canada.
"It's been an amazing experience,” said Perez. “We came in with the mindset to take the tournament game by game, and by doing that we've been able to fulfill our bigger goals. Booking a ticket to the U20 World Cup this summer was the most important step and I'm thrilled to have been a part of that!”
Perez saw action in four games, including two starts. She scored two goals, both coming in the group stage. Perez scored early in a 10-1 rout of Honduras and converted a penalty kick in a 6-0 victory over the Cayman Islands. Perez earned the start in the final against the United States, but the Ticas came up short.
"This experience has really helped me as an individual player and a teammate,” said Perez. “My time with the national team has really motivated me to continue improving. I'm looking forward to rejoining the Huskies and positively impacting our team for next season!"
“Being in any World Cup/National Team environment is challenging and exciting for a young player,” said Washington head coach Lesle Gallimore. “Your role is typically different and the training/coaching is different than your college team. It is special for Amanda to have the opportunity with Mexico because it will help her grow and develop as a player and person. It’s great for us to have her there because she can bring on and off field experiences back to our group that will enrich our program as well.”
The Dawgs have begun training for the spring season and will play its first game just before Spring Break on March 13 at Seattle U.