It was a hot and hectic 49-day run of national and international soccer action and the Aurora-based Team Chicago Academy-Botafogo, U17 girls brought back several awards this summer.
After capturing the Illinois Youth Soccer Association state title on June 17 and the IYSA Region II title on June 27 in Saginaw, MI, in soaring temperatures, Team Chicago went on to capture third at the United States Youth Soccer National Championships in Rock Hill, S.C. July 27 in dangerous heat.
But Team Chicago was not through.
On Aug. 2, the team claimed the Brondby Cup in Copenhagen, Denmark, in milder climates.
After hosting and beating the Danish U18 National Champions Broendby IF, 2-1, July 20, Team Chicago players went to Denmark as a partnership to enhance their international development.
“Our American players are rarely presented with the opportunity to play the cream of the crop of international youth teams, and the learning curve was steep for many players,” Team Chicago Director and Region II Olympic Development Program Senior Staff Coach Phil Nielsen. “In order to keep up with the progress that is being made in girls youth development around the world it is pivotal for our elite players to have a steady exposure to international competition.”
Several Chicago area standouts who are back for their final high school season in 2012-13 are on the roster.
From the Naperville/Aurora area: Zoe Swift and Jillian Van Kampen (Naperville North); Hope D'Addario, Zoey Goralski, Brooke Ksiazek and Gianna Dal Pozzo (Neuqua Valley); Jenna Romano, Rachele Armand, Kendall Wilde, Karla DiJohn (Waubonsie Valley); Megan Geldernick and Kiley Dunning (Metea Valley) and Kaitlyn Johnson and Molly Piech (Rosary)
From the Wheaton/Lombard area: Dana Miller and Kelly Langlas (Wheaton Warrenville South) and Danielle Pitaro (Glenbard South).
Other stars include Ashley Handwork (Plainfield North), Jorie Clawson (St. Charles North), Darby Moran (Hinsdale Central), Ellie Ordonez and Bryce Banuelos (York) and Meegan Johnston (Mundelein Carmel).
Broendby IF’s team included four U19 national team players who recently won bronze medals at the European Championships in Turkey, three U17 national team players who won bronze at the European Championships in Switzerland, and two U16 national team players who just finished 4th at the Nordic Cup, considered the most elite U16 tournament in the world.
Team Chicago boasts four players with United States Soccer Federation National Team experience: Swift, Romano, Goralski and Dal Pozzo.
The team’s Olympic Development Program Region II players, Dal Pozzo, Romano, Banuelos, Johnston, Armand, Geldernick and Goralski, also met the Danes at the USYS Region II ODP training camp at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb earlier in July when temperatures soared near 100 degrees. They were coached by Marquette University women’s coach Markus Roeders.
There will be 15 Team Chicago Botafogo athletes playing NCAA Division I soccer starting in 2013.