On August 9th, the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team started a training camp in Carson, California in preparation for World Cup Qualifiers. The camp runs from August 9th until the 16th. There are 24 players in the roster all led by head coach B.J. Snow.
We were fortunate to be able to speak with Hillary Beall who plays for SoCal Blues (ECNL) at the club level and is a regular with the U.S. U-17 WNT.
Maria Teixeira: How does it feel to make the U-17 Roster and to represent your country?
Hillary Beall: I am extremely excited every time I get the honor of being called into camp and cannot describe the feeling you get when you can wear the jersey to represent our country. I take a lot of pride in wearing that jersey and never take the opportunity for granted.
MT: Have you ever been called up for a USYNT?
HB: Yes. I was fortunate to get the opportunity to get called into camp at U14, U15 and U17. I have also attended international tournaments in South Korea and played in the NTC Invitational in Carson. I love the girls on the team and they have become very good friends and we keep in touch throughout the year.
MT: What are the expectations for the World Cup Qualifying?
HB: The challenge for all of us is to continue to improve and play to our potential. We have very talented players on our team and we are all committed to putting in the training time between camps to improve. After every camp, I have come away with areas where I need to work to improve. I work hard on these areas so I don’t let down my teammates and to make our team stronger. I know all of the other girls are also working hard to improve between camps. We have great team chemistry since we have all grown up together.
MT: What countries do you think would be the toughest ones to face?
HB: Every team. We take nothing for granted. We were all very proud of our win over Japan at the NTC.
MT: How importantly do you think these training camps are in preparation for big events like that?
BH: Extremely important. We do not get that many opportunities to train together, so we all need to bring our A game and be ready to train hard and compete from the time we step on the pitch. Equally important is the time we put in between camps putting in the training to improve. Complacency is the enemy of all good players. We are focused on going from good to great!
MT: What do you girls you usually work on in these camps?
HB: I am a goalkeeper and spend most of my time with keeper training. We come together with field players for short sides games and scrimmages.
MT: Did you know or played with any other girls on this roster?
HB: Yes. know all of the girls. Most of us have grown up together going to camps. And we will be playing against each other in college. These are my best friends and I love and respect all of them. We have great team chemistry. Karina Rodriguez and Ashley Sanchez play on my club team.
MT: At what age did you start playing?
HB: I started in AYSO at age 8 playing up on my older sisters team.
MT: What did you like the most about growing up playing in California?
HB: Being able to play year round outside. That is a big reason our California teams do well at the National level.
MT: What do you think of the soccer atmosphere in California?
HB: A great atmosphere. I love my coach Randy Dodge and my teammates. I have also had the best keeper trainers anywhere. Southern California has a very supportive soccer culture and obviously we have the weather to play all year.
MT: Do you plan to play collegiate soccer? And are you committed to a college already? What made you decide on that college/university?
HB: Yes. I am committed to play at the University of Michigan. I chose the school based on the great coaching staff and the support for me as a student athlete that wants to continue playing through the highest level. I really felt a good fit with a Coach Ryan and the team’s style of play. I also had a great connection with asst coach Tiffany Hansen who will be my keeper trainer. I also really liked Ann Arbor and the campus and think the Big 10 is a great soccer conference. I will get the opportunity to play against a lot of my friends on the U17 National Team and want to win a National Championship. I think we will have the team to do it. Go Blue!
Good luck to the U.S. U-17 WNT on the World Cup qualifiers. We hope to bring you more about their journey to World Cup! Thank you to Hillary for taking the time to speak with us.