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Berkeley’s Heaberlin named to U.S. Under-20 squad

Posted May 31, 2010 by Nick Murray

Updated May 31, 2010 at 10:40 PM

Berkeley Prep’s Bryane Heaberlin has been named to the U.S. Women’s Under-20 squad for this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Germany that begins on July 13.

Just 16 years-old, Heaberlin had been the starter for the U.S. Under-17 squad that competed earlier this year at the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying tournament in Costa Rica, but first made the jump up to the Under-18 squad following that tournament and then onto the Under-20 team after impressive performances when the Under-18 and Under-20 teams held training camps concurrently in early April. She was part of the U-20 squad that defeated the Mexican Under-20 team in a pair of games on May 22 and 24 after a two-week training camp in California, but despite that wasn’t expecting to be named to the squad.

“No, not at all,” Heaberlin said. “It was a really great surprise.”

Heaberlin, who plays club soccer for the Clearwater Chargers, helped Berkeley Prep reach the Class 3A state championship game in the spring where the Buccaneers fell to Plantation American Heritage. She is the youngest player on the U.S. squad, which is made up predominantly of college players.

“I think that me being able to have the opportunity to go to a World Cup before it was my age-group will give me some really great experience for when it’s my turn,” Heaberlin said. “

Heaberlin will be the third goalkeeper on the U.S. squad behind Adrianna French of Oklahoma State and Bianca Henninger of UC-Santa Clara. Heaberlin said that making the step up to the Under-20 team and learning from French and Henninger has been ‘an amazing experience’.

“I’ve learned so much from them just from the two-week camp I was with them,” Heaberlin said. “I think the biggest difference is definitely the mental aspect. They are so mentally sharp and so experienced and everything they do is amazing mentally. That’s definitely the biggest difference.”

Heaberlin won’t travel with the squad when it goes to Germany in a week for a pair of preparation matches against Japan on June 10 and Germany on June 13, but cannot wait to arrive in Dresden for the side’s opening game against Ghana on July 14 at what will be her first World Cup experience. The U.S. will also face Switzerland and South Korea in pool play.

“I’m so grateful that I’ve got this opportunity to be able to go to the U-20 World Cup,” she said. “I just want to take the experience and have a good time.”