Gray invited to the U.S. Under-20 Women's Soccer National Team training camp
    18-year-old freshman joins a select pool of 26 players
    January 16, 2008

    U.S. U-20 National TeamOfficial Website
     
    BLACKSBURG, Va. - Virginia Tech Freshman All-American and All-ACC honoree Marika Gray was officially asked Tuesday to join the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Soccer Team for its annual training camp, Jan. 19-26, by second-year U.S. head coach Jillian Ellis as the squad prepares to open its Women's World Cup year at The Home Depot Center outside of Los Angeles.

    Ellis has called in 26 players to be in her selection pool throughout the year, and may add a few more before or during camp, as the USA begins to focus on CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, to be held Nov. 20-Dec. 7 in Chile.

    Gray, who turns 19 in September, ended the 2007 regular season with a team-leading eight goals and six assists for a total of 22 points, the most recorded by a Hokie since 2004. The forward became the first Hokie since Emily Barnhart (2000-03) in 2002 to lead the squad in both goals and assists. In the program's two upset victories over then-No. 10 Boston College and No. 13 Tennessee, Gray posted two assists against the Eagles and two goals against the Lady Volunteers.

    "While we are not surprised, we are very happy that Marika has been invited to participate in the January training camp for the U-20 national team," Virginia Tech women's soccer head coach Kelly Cagle said. "Marika has been a wonderful addition to our program, and I think she proved this season that she has a tremendous future ahead of her."

    In 2006, a total of 47 players were evaluated throughout the year with 21 representing the U.S. in the World Cup hosted by Russia. Last year, Ellis invited 30 players to the camp and used 18 on her official roster for the Pan-American games.

    "We have selected and invited players that have shown the desire to represent their country in the 2008 World Cup in pursuit of one day playing for the USA at the senior level," Ellis said. "This initial camp to start the year will feature a lot of evaluation as we are looking at players from the college ranks as well as some players that have done well with our younger teams."

    The roster is made up primarily of players in college, including three from NCAA champion USC, three from NCAA College Cup semifinalist UCLA, one from NCAA College Cup semifinalist Notre Dame and three from NCAA runners-up Florida State, but five players are still in high school.

    2008 U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team Roster

    GOALKEEPERS (2): Alyssa Naeher (Penn State), Kristin Olsen (USC);

    DEFENDERS (6): Lauren Barnes (UCLA), Hannah Cerrone (Boston College), Lauren Fowlkes (Notre Dame), Camille Levin (Slammers FC), Ella Stephan (Florida State), Lauren Wilmoth (UCLA);

    MIDFIELDERS (11): Carolyn Blank (West Virginia), Amanda DaCosta (Florida State), Becky Edwards (Florida State), Katy Frierson (Homewood, Ala.), Kaley Fountain (Wake Forest), Teresa Noyola (MVLA Mercury), Megan Ohai (USC), Elli Reed (Utah Avalanche Premier), Ashli Sandoval (USC), Keelin Winters (Portland), Kylie Wright (UCLA);

    FORWARDS (9): Lauren Alwine (Super Nova FC '89), Gina DiMartino, (Boston College), Michelle Enyeart (Portland), Marika Gray (Virginia Tech), Melissa Henderson (Dallas Texans), Sydney Leroux (Sereno FC), Kelley O'Hara (Stanford), Christen Press (Stanford), Brittney Steinbruch (Miami).

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