The three Colorado natives on the U.S. Women’s National Team who addressed the media on Tuesday at UC Health Training Center echoed a similar phrase: There’s something special about Colorado’s soccer scene.
There are 14 Coloradans on rosters across the National Women’s Soccer League, plus another five who play overseas — easily enough to fill up a starting eleven. The best part? Players hail from Northern Colorado in Windsor down to the Four Corners in Durango.
Look closer and you’ll see a pipeline of talent. Seven players have been called in to the U.S. Youth National Team set-up in recent months, so who’s next? Here’s a few names to watch for.
Abby Ballek, U-15
From Timnath (Pop. 1,916), Ballek is a midfielder who plays for Real Colorado and attends Fossil Ridge High School. She was most recently called into the U.S. U-15 training camp in March as part of a 36-person training camp.
Nicki Fraser, U-17
A defender from Highlands Ranch, the 5-foot-10 left back recently played a key role in her first call-up, as she helped the Americans win CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship in May. Fraser became only the second father-daughter duo ever to represent the U.S. at any level of international. Her dad? Robin, the head coach of the Colorado Rapids. The Rock Canyon junior is looking to make the FIFA U-17 World Cup squad for the U.S., which will be held in October in India.
Two of Fraser’s teammates at Real Colorado, Littleton natives Adelyn Todd, a goalkeeper, and defender Morgan Juran, were called in to the U.S. U-17 training camp last year.
Alex Loera, U-23
A rookie from Thornton who plays for the Kansas City Courage, Loera was a three-time West Coast Conference defender of the year at Santa Clara, where she helped the Broncos to the 2021 NCAA title. She was called into the U-23’s training camp in January.
Also of note, Broomfield native Halle Mackiewicz, a junior goalkeeper at Clemson, most recently represented the U-19s in 2020, while Sydney Cheeseman, a defender from Lafayette who will be an incoming freshman at North Carolina, was called in to the U-20 training camp last October.
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