Jan. 10, 2006
Chicago, IL – When Florida State began its first season of women’s soccer in 1995, the university hoped for days like this. After watching the team advance to its second College Cup in three years, FSU has now produced its first ever full US National Team player. Junior forward India Trotter was named to the 20-player roster yesterday and is currently on her way to China to participate in the Four Nations Tournament. That wasn’t the only good news for FSU soccer yesterday as freshman defender Sarah Wagenfuhr secured a spot on the US U-20 National Team as well.
“This is an exciting opportunity for a great young woman,” said FSU Senior Associate Athletic Director Kim Record. “This not only speaks volumes for India as an individual but also shows the level at which the Florida State soccer program has grown to. To have India playing for the US National Team is an honor we are all proud of.”
“The roster was posted and we all went in to look at it and I was pretty excited to see my name on the list,” said Trotter. “This is my first camp and you don’t really expect much being your first time. I was really excited and am just so happy to be a part of this team.”
Trotter was the only uncapped player chosen at the Carson camp but she is one of six players picked who have two caps or less. On the other side of the coin is US Team captain Kristine Lilly who is on the verge of her 300th cap. Lilly is the most capped player in the world and would be the first to ever reach the 300 mark.
“I want to take in the whole experience,” said Trotter. “I want to continue to gain knowledge from the players that have been around international competition and from our coaches. I want to make this a great experience and do everything I can to help this team win.”
“This is going to help India immensely,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “Anytime you are competing at the international level, playing against teams like China and France, it will certainly be a huge boost to her. It will give her even more confidence when she returns to Florida State for her senior season.”
Lilly is just one of the veterans on the US squad. Shannon Boxx and Aly Wagner both played with the 2003 US World Cup team while North Carolina standouts Lindsay Tarpley and Heather O’Reilly, whom Trotter has faced off with on numerous occasions, both won gold medals at 2004 Olympics. Trotter will also be running up top with former Florida standout Abby Wambach. Wambach and Boxx both finished in the top four for FIFA Women’s Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
“It is pretty amazing to look at the players I am playing with,” said Trotter. “I grew up watching some of these players so it is special to now be playing with them. The first couple days I was in shock. I was like a little kid playing with my idols. As you play together that goes away and they are such great people. They made me feel so welcome and they treated me like an equal.”
Trotter has spent time in the past with the U-15 and U-19 US National Teams. In 2003 she was a member of the U-19 squad that finished in first place at the 2003 Houston Shootout. She also went on a European Tour with the U-19’s in 2003 and was called into U-19 national team camp on two other occasions. Trotter was also a pool player with the U-15 National Team but the Ft. Lauderdale native never was even invited to a camp with the full national side before this year.
“None of it has sunk in yet and I am not sure any of it will until we actually get to China,” said Trotter. “I am going to approach this tournament the same way I approached camp. I am going to try and have fun. I think you play your best when you are enjoying soccer the most and that’s what I am going to try to do. That’s when I am at my best. I plan to have a great time and try to keep my nerves in check, which will be difficult in a tournament versus three of the best teams in the world.”
“We all know that India has all the physical qualities, all the soccer qualities, the technique and the tactics and with her turning her focus to wanting to be a national team player the sky is the limit for her,” said Krikorian. “She can be an important piece for that national team for a lot of years if that is what she wants to do. I am thrilled to see her on the team and getting an opportunity. She has worked very hard to get herself into this position and I hope she enjoys herself in China.”
The Four Nation’s Tournament held in China will get underway January 18-22. Trotter and 19 teammates will make the trip to Guangzhou to compete against three teams ranked in the top 10 of the FIFA World Rankings (No. 3 Norway, No. 5 France and No. 9 China).
Trotter’s selection to the US National Team wasn’t the only good news for FSU soccer coming out of the Carson, CA camps. Wagenfuhr’s selection to the U-20 National Team was huge news as well. She will be part of a team that will head into the CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Final Qualifying Tournament, being held in Mexico from Jan. 18-27, 2006, that is looking for a berth in the 2006 U-20 World Cup.
“At first it seemed a little unreal that I had made the team,” said Wagenfuhr. “I have worked so hard for such a long time for this to happen. Obviously I am very excited. This is going to be an amazing experience trying to help the US qualify for a World Cup. It is all just incredible.”
The first-year defender is playing on the national team for the first time in her career. Wagenfuhr has been involved with the Olympic Development Program for many years and was even invited to U-17 National Team camp in 2004. Due to the team’s qualifying schedule, Wagenfuhr will have a busy spring semester as she will remain enrolled in school taking correspondence courses. The U-20’s will open qualifying versus Jamaica January 19 in Cordoba, Mexico.
“This spring is going to be a lot of work but I think it will be worth it,” said Wagenfuhr. “The camps are all over the US in preparation for the World Cup so it is going to be a great experience. I will see a lot of America and hopefully all sorts of countries as well but it was important for me to stay on track to graduate on time.”
“Wags is going to be playing in an Under-20 World Cup qualifying event so her selection is very significant,” said Krikorian. “These opportunities don’t come every day and it will be tremendous for her development and growth. Being in camp with such good coaches and players is only going to make her a better player. For Sarah and India, the experiences they are going to have this spring will help them both develop as players.”
With both Trotter and Wagenfuhr expected to earn their first career caps this month, fans can follow their success at the official site for Florida State athletics, www.seminoles.com.