Chugiak's Kelly Cobb added to her international soccer resume this week when she was among 21 players named to Team USA's Under-20 squad, which will play in Japan later this month in the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
"I feel blessed that I made this team," Cobb said in a press release. "I feel completely honored to be wearing that crest and to go down to Japan and play in the U-20 World Cup. I have put in a lot of work into making the team. I am very excited."
Cobb, the first player from Alaska to make a women's World Cup roster at any level, gained valuable experience at the U-20 level last year when she played in a few friendlies in Spain. She scored a goal and an assist in a 2-0 win over Norway.
Prior to her experience in Spain, Cobb also was part of the 2008 and 2009 U-18 national team player pool. The only levels higher than the U-20 team in Team USA's program are the U-23 national squad and the senior national team, which competes in the Olympics and World Cup.
Cobb, 19, began her college career at Duke with a bang last season, scoring 11 goals as a freshman and helping the Blue Devils to a runner-up finish in the NCAA tournament.
Along with Duke teammate Mollie Pathman, Cobb will leave for Japan on Aug. 10. World Cup competition runs from Aug. 19- Sept. 8, with matches being played in Miyagi, Kobe, Saitama, Hiroshima and Tokyo. The World Cup schedule will cause Cobb to miss seven regular-season matches and two exhibitions for Duke, but she is expected back in time to begin Atlantic Coast Conference play against Florida State on Sept. 13.
Three U.S. women's matches are scheduled to be aired on TV, starting with a match against Ghana on ESPNU on Aug. 20 at 10:55 p.m. ADT. A match against China will air on ESPNU on Aug. 23 at 1:55 a.m., and a match against Germany will air on ESPN2 on Aug. 27 at 10:55 p.m. The match between the U.S. and Germany provides a rare chance to see past World Cup champions face off during group play.
The U.S. team has a 12-1-0 record this year in international play, the only loss coming against Japan in June. Three days later the U.S. avenged the 1-0 defeat with a 2-0 win over Japan.
Reach Jeremy Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 257-4335.
By JEREMY PETERS
Anchorage Daily News