Nov. 22, 2013
CARSON, Calif. – After a stellar sophomore campaign which led her to be named to her second-straight All-SEC team, sophomore Kala Faulkner will be taking her play to the international stage as she was invited to the U.S. National U-20 Team training camp in Carson, Calif., earlier this week.
Faulkner, who just finished her second season with the Auburn Tigers after being named to the All-SEC First Team as a defender, will be making her first appearance on the national squad, which begins training for the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship starting on Sunday.
“It’s a real honor to be invited to the camp and I’m really excited about it,” Faulkner said. “I really appreciate the support of my teammates and my coaches and I hope to represent Auburn well.”
Faulkner is fresh off her second year as a Tiger where she played in all 25 matches and scoring one goal, matching her season-high. Faulkner anchored the defense as the main center-back during the second half of the season that helped Auburn win four out of its final six matches, which included a win over LSU in the first round of the 2013 SEC Tournament.
The sophomore is the fifth player on the 2013 Auburn roster to gain international experience as seniors Bianca Sierra and Ashley Kotero both played for the Mexican National Team over the last three years, while freshman Brooke Ramsier was invited to the U.S. U-18 National Training Camp in 2012. Senior Kim Spence played for the Jamaican National U-20 Team last year.
“We are so excited for Kala to get the opportunity to go to the U.S. U-20 National Camp,” Auburn head coach Karen Hoppa said. “She has had a great season and is playing soccer at a very high level right now. We know that she will represent Auburn well at the national team level.”
Faulkner will report to the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., on Sunday, which is the home of the U.S. Soccer National Training Center, where camp will be conducted from Nov. 24-Dec. 1. The head coach of the U.S. U-20 National Team is Michelle French. This camp will serve as a bridge to the mid-December event in Florida which will be the final preparation for the team before the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship in the Cayman Islands in January.
The tournament features eight nations divided into two groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group will qualify for the semifinals, with the winners of those games along with the winner of the third-place match earning berths to the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
The USA is in Group A with Costa Rica, Jamaica and Guatemala while Group B features the host Cayman Islands, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico.
The USA opens play on Thursday, Jan. 9, against Costa Rica, faces Jamaica on Saturday, Jan. 11, and finishes the group against Guatemala on Monday, Jan. 13. All three of the USA's group games kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET. The semifinal matches will take place on Friday, Jan. 17, and the Championship and Third-Place match are on Jan. 19.