April 15, 2011
By Zach Mendelson, Seminoles.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Three members of the Florida State women’s soccer program have been called up to the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team training camp beginning later this month. Juniors Casey Short, Toni Pressley and Tori Huster will all represent the Seminoles in the upcoming camp which will be held at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California from April 24 to May 1.
“I am very pleased for Casey, Toni and Tori,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “Obviously all three are very good players, and for U.S Soccer to recognize their quality and bring them in to their training camp will be very beneficial for them. I think it speaks highly of their continued improvement and development.”
All three players participated in national team training camps before, but this will be the first time that Pressley and Short have trained with the under-23 team.
“I am really excited,” said Pressley. “I think it’s a big honor and I have been waiting a while to be called back in. I think my last camp was during the World Cup in July of 2010, so it’s definitely been a long wait, but I am glad I have the opportunity and I am going to make the most of it.”
“I’m so excited for the chance to go and play with such great players,” added Short. “It’s always nice to have teammates going as well. This is the first time being called in since the U-20’s so I’m really looking forward to this opportunity.”
While this is the first time for Short and Pressley, it will not be the first time for Huster who has previous experience with the U-23 team, playing with them last summer during the Four Nations Tournament held in Leicester, England. Following another successful season for the Seminoles, Huster was called up again for a training camp with the U-23’s this past December.
“I am really excited to get the call back again,” said Huster. “I know in December there was a ton of good players there, but I think a lot of them are with their WPS teams now, so I am excited to see who else they will bring in and see some new faces. I know this is Casey and Toni’s first call up, so I am really excited to be there with them.”
The opportunity to play against the best of the best is something that excites the players, who believe attending national team camps can really help develop their soccer skills.
“I think it is really beneficial because it creates such a competitive environment and there is so many good players out there, you realize you really need to step your game up or you will be overlooked,” said Pressley.
“Just the collection of players that they bring in to these kinds of camps allows you to progress so much more and it’s a different outlook with all the coaches that are there too, so you get some different views on soccer,” added Huster.
Looking ahead to 2011 when the Seminole team expects to return the majority of a talented roster that played in the Elite Eight for the sixth consecutive season, the Florida State coaches also realize experiences such as this can only help the team improve.
“Whenever one of our players has a chance to represent the country and play amongst many of the best players in this country, and the world, they cannot help but get better,” Krikorian said. “Anytime one of our kids gets called in we are excited for them and their teammates are excited for them, because it’s a chance for them to go and be part of a different environment. I think it’s an opportunity for them to learn different lessons, get different instructions from knowledgeable folks with differing views of the game and it can only help them in their quest to become better players.”
Kallman called up to U-20’s:
Freshman All-American Kassey Kallman has also been called back for a third time to train with the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team. The camp will be held at The Home Depot Center from April 23-30 in Carson, California. According to U.S Soccer.com, the U-20’s are still early in their preparations for qualifying for the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to be held in Uzbekistan.
“I think the training environment we are able to provide at FSU is giving these players an opportunity to grow in their game, and I think that obviously is being reflected in the national team call ups that our group is getting,” said Krikorian.
“Each of these players has experience playing within different national teams,” added Krikorian. “Casey and Toni were both a pretty important part of the U-20 national team during the World Cup last summer in Germany, Tori’s been to numerous camps with the U-23 national team, and now Kassey with the U-20’s, so they are all becoming fairly experienced with these national team camps.”
Edwards Named Flash Captain:
Former Florida State All-American Becky Edwards was a key part to the championship run by the Western NY Flash last year in the Women’s Professional Soccer League. Because of her leadership, this year Edwards has been named the team captain.
“It is an honor to be named captain of the Western NY Flash,” said Edwards. “It’s a unique year as players will be in and out with their national teams, so leadership and chemistry among our team is especially important. I have dreams and hopes of winning another WPS championship this year, and with the talent on this team, I think that our goal of winning is certainly possible. It is a long season and we will have to take it one game at a time.”
DaCosta Makes Final Roster:
The good times continue for former Seminole All-American Amanda DaCosta, who was drafted in the third round by the Washington Freedom with the 17th selection overall during the 2011 WPS draft. DaCosta, who became the first four-time All-ACC player in Florida State history, was named to team’s final roster this past week.
“Making the team is like a dream come true,” said DaCosta. “My job is to train and compete with some of the top players in the country every single day, and I’m already growing because of it. My goals for the season right now are to just make the best of every opportunity I have. Being the new kid surrounded by such talented veteran players is definitely a challenge but I’m certainly looking to make a statement. My other goal obviously is to win a season championship.”