Aug. 19, 2008
CHICAGO - Washington State junior Kiersten Dallstream has been named to the United States Under-20 Women's National Team that will compete at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Chile, Nov. 19-Dec. 7, USA Head Coach Tony DiCicco announced earlier this month.
For Dallstream, it has been a long process to get to this point, but it has been well worth the journey.
"I was first invited to camp in the spring after my freshman year at WSU," Dallstream said. "I was in the top 60 or 70, but I did not get to play that summer. I didn't think I was going to have a chance to come back last spring, but Tony DiCicco became the coach and he wanted some new players. So, (WSU Head Coach) Matt (Potter) helped get my name on the list and I was invited to a camp in April."
From there, the Fountain Hills, Ariz., native has proved herself during each opportunity she has received and the ultimate result is her earning a roster spot in Chile.
"Tony told me after the April camp I was not going to the May camp, but I would be coming back in July," Dallstream said. "A week later, when the roster for the May camp was named and I was on it, I was really surprised."
It was at that point, Dallstream was told a position change would be in her future.
"Matt told me Tony wanted to bring me in as a defender in May," Dallstream said. "I've been a forward my whole life. It's hard to not be able to dribble by people without having to worry about them scoring on you."
Dallstream played well enough in May to be invited to a camp at Clemson in June, and her performance there earned her a spot in Park City, Utah, which was the training camp for the CONCACAF Championship qualifying tournament. She made the cut and travel with the United State to Mexico where the Americans secured a spot in the U-20 World Cup with a second place finish at the CONCACAF Championship.
A starting defender during all four matches in Mexico, Dallstream contributed an assist in the Americans opening-match victory over Trinidad & Tobago. However, even a starting spot in Mexico did not guarantee her a roster spot in Chile.
"I don't think you are ever guaranteed anything," Dallstream said. "It is so competitive and you have to play hard all the time."
After the CONCACAF Championship, Dallstream was invited to a camp in New Jersey and from there on a tour to England. After contributing a goal in New Jersey and turning in a strong performance against some of the top English clubs, Dallstream was informed she made the U-20 World Cup team.
"I love international soccer," Dallstream said. "It is so fun to play against other countries because everyone is good. When I first went to camps, I thought no one made mistakes. I feel like now I have been able to raise my game to that level."
Potter added, "What an outstanding accomplishment on Kiersten's part. It is a true honor and arguably the biggest stage you can be on as a female soccer player for this age group at a worldwide event."
Even with the whirlwind travel in the past few months, Dallstream found time to enjoy life outside of soccer.
"It was one of my favorite summers," Dallstream said. "Normally, I do not spend a lot of time with my family because I have so much soccer commitments. This summer, I was able to go to a wedding, a baptism and see my family and I was still able to do a lot of cool things with soccer."
Dallstream now has the task of training for the U-20 World Cup while helping Washington State in its quest for the NCAA postseason. The Cougars open their season, Friday, Aug. 22 at Montana.