Thanksgiving Update: Sanchez & Balcer Get The Call

29 Nov 2019

Calgary alumnae up for top Canadian honors; Hermann Trophy semifinalists

ashley sanchez hermann trophy
Ashley Sanchez (credit Don Liebig)

METUCHEN, NJ – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski has named a 24-player roster for an Identification Camp that will take place from Dec. 9-14 in Bradenton, Florida and will complete the year of activity for the USWNT. Andonovski’s second training camp roster will not include any players from the 2019 World Cup Team, all of whom are on a well-deserved end-of-year break. This event is being staged to evaluate younger players from the college game and those who have performed well in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) or in pro leagues abroad. A pair of United Women’s Soccer (UWS) alumnae will be attending.

2017 Midwest Player of the Year Bethany Balcer (Grand Rapids FC) caps her stellar 2019 with her first-ever call-up to the senior team. This past August, Balcer was called up to U.S. U-23 training camp. The 2017 All-UWS selection was named the 2019 NWSL and NWSL Players Association Rookie of the Year after she appeared in all 24 regular-season matches for Reign FC (six goals, two assists). UCLA forward Ashley Sanchez (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) received her second call-up but first since April of 2016 after she participated in her first USWNT training camp at age 17. Sanchez has excelled at UCLA, setting multiple school records, including the career assists (41), single-season assists (15 in 2018) and single-game assists (four in 2018) records.

tonya boychuk  2019 Canada Soccer Player Awards
Tanya Boychuk (credit Dirk Fontaine)

Canada Soccer has announced the list of nominees for the 2019 Canada Soccer Player Awards with voting open for media and coaches from November 27-December 8. At the top of the list are the nominees for the 2019 Canadian Players of the Year, celebrating the top male and female footballers from the 2019 calendar season. Voting will be done by Canadian media and coaches, selecting first choice, second choice, and third choice. The award celebrates Canada Soccer’s top footballers in recognition of their 2019 achievements with both the National Team and their respective club teams.

Two UWS alumnae have been tabbed for top honors – goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé for the WNT and forward Tanya Boychuk for the youth Women’s EXCEL Program – and both are from the two-time West Conference champion Calgary Foothills Women’s FC. Labbé was a 2018 All-UWS and All-West Team selection for Head Coach Troye Flannery before she made the move to Linköpings FC of the Swedish Damallsvenskan. North Carolina Courage Head Coach Paul Riley signed the Canadian international earlier this year and she proceeded to grab the No. 1 spot, leading the team to the 2019 NWSL Championship title. Boychuk was a 2019 All-UWS and All-West Team selection for Flannery and led the team in scoring (eight goals). The sophomore registered eight goals and two assists for the nationally-ranked University of Memphis Tigers while also serving as a team captain.

Catarina Macario 2019 Canada Soccer Player Awards
Catarina Macario (credit Dirk Fontaine)

United Soccer Coaches (USC) and the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) have announced the 15 women’s semifinalists for the 2019 MAC Hermann Trophy, based on voting by NCAA Division I women’s soccer coaches. The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most coveted individual honor in NCAA Division I soccer and has been awarded annually since 1967. Stanford University star and 2019 UWS Championship MVP Catarina Macario (LA Galaxy OC) received the award last year. Three finalists will be named for the award on Friday, Dec. 6 in conjunction with the Women’s College Cup. The 2019 MAC Hermann Trophy banquet will be held at the historic Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Jan. 3, 2020 to formally announce this year’s winners.

Three UWS alumnae have made the list of semifinalists: Macario, USC forward Tara McKeown (Santa Clarita Blue Heat) and Memphis defender Stasia Mallin (Indiana Union). Macario, the two-time reigning ESPNW Player of the Year and Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year, leads the NCAA in virtually every offensive category – goals (30), goals per game (1.36), assists (23), assists per game (1.05), points (83), points per game (3.77), game-winning goals (11) and shots per game (6.50). McKeown is in the midst of one of the best seasons in USC program history (15 goals, seven assists, 37 points), earning Pac-12 Forward of the Year honors already this season. Mallin finished her senior season as a First Team All-Conference honoree alongside career highs in goals (3) and assists (14) and posted two game-winning goals.

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