South Florida Six Make Strong Bid for Reggae Girlz World Cup…

first_imgAshleigh ShimRounding out the midfield South Florida reps are the Jacksonville raised Ashleigh Shim, 25, a graduate of Florida International University who has played pro soccer for VfL Sindelfingen in Germany and FC Djursholm in Sweden. Marlo SweatmanThere is also the Virginia transplant Marlo Sweatman, 24, who attended Florida State University & University of Oregon. Sweatman currently plays professionally in Hungary for the top flight St. Mihaly FC. Shim is the current owner of Trained to Go Soccer Academy, which provides personal soccer training for players at all levels. When the Reggae Girlz’ next training camp gets underway on February 25th in Jamaica, ahead of their two-match friendly series against Chile on February 28 and March 3, South Florida will be strongly represented.Six players from the South Florida area will be among the women competing for a spot in the 35-player provisional squad to be selected in April for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, this summer.Nicole McClureGoalkeeper Nicole McClure, who saved the two penalty kicks from Panama’s Lineth Cedeno and Kenia Rangel to ensure Jamaica’s qualification for the Women’s World Cup, leads the South Florida six comprising of midfielders Christina Chang, Jadyn Matthews, Lauren Silver, Ashleigh Shim and Marlo Sweatman.The 29-year-old McClure who hails from Jamaica, Queens now calls Florida home after completing her undergraduate studies at the University of South Florida in 2011. Nicole began her professional career the following year in Iceland signing with UMF Selfoss and then HK-Vikingur in 2013.  She continued her pro soccer career making stops in Switzerland (FC Neunkirch in 2013), Sweden (Ostersunds DFF in 2014), Norway (Klepp Elite in 2015), Israel (Ramat Hasharon in 2015-16), France (ETG Ambilly in 2016-17), Croatia (Split in 2017) and most recently, Sweden (Sundsvall DFF in 2018).McClure, who is set to compete in the top flight of the Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) when she joins Sion Swifts FC in April, leads the South Florida contingent competing for a place in the final squad of 23 for the World Cup. She is elated to be given an opportunity to represent her country. ”I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity. It’s a dream come true and a great feeling to have the chance to represent my country on soccer’s biggest stage. I am overjoyed that I was able to play a role in helping Jamaica achieve this historic feat.” McClure began her early years playing in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) for the Auburndale Strikers from 1998 to 2003 and the East Meadow Shooting Stars from 2003 to 2007. With the Shooting Stars, she won the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) Girls-Under-15 State Open Cup final in 2005, before receiving an invitation to play for Eastern New York’s Olympic Development Program (ODP).Christina ChangVeteran midfielder Christina Chang, 33, an Air Traffic Controller at the busy Miami International Airport and Florida Atlantic University graduate who recently tied the knot with her husband Iko, is looking to lend her experience to the squad. Jadyn Matthews The squad is expected to be bolstered by Jadyn Matthews, 19, member of the Wellington Soccer Club and a freshman at Cornell University.Lauren SilverMidfielder Lauren Silver, 26, who honed her skills while a member of the Sunrise Soccer Club, currently plays professionally for SK Tronheims in Norway She has 18 caps and played college football for the Florida Gators from 2011-2014. last_img

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