UVA's Steve Swanson Coaches Under-20 National Team in World Cup
The UVA women's soccer team opens its season August 10 with an exhibition game at Notre Dame.
Virginia will be without its head coach and potentially two of the team's rising sophomore stars.
They'll be representing the red, white, and blue.
Steve Swanson was named the head coach of the United States Under-20 National Team last August. Since January, he's been traveling around the world with the team (to places like Spain, Panama, and training in California) as it qualified for the 16-team 2012 World Cup in Japan.
The qualifying team, which includes first-team All-American Morgan Brian and All-ACC Freshman Team selection Olivia Brannon, just got back from Japan a couple weeks back on a pre-World Cup tour.
The last training camp runs July 15-30 in Florida. The final roster of 21 will be named for the national team after that camp.
Swanson will be back in Charlottesville for the start of UVA's preseason camp in August, but the U-20 team leaves for the World Cup in Japan August 10th.
The World Cup final is September 8th, which means Swanson, Brian, and Brannon could miss up to ten Virginia games to start the season (two exhibition and eight regular season non-conference games) if the Americans make it to the championship match.
Swanson, who's been the head coach for the Under-16 and Under-18 U.S. National Teams from 2000-02, along with being an assistant with the U-17, U-18, U-19, and U-20 teams in the past, is confident in leaving the program with his two assistants, Ron Raab and Kerry Dziczkaniec, for an opportunity he couldn't pass up.
"It's an honor to coach our country, said Swanson. "I feel very privileged to be doing it. I think the experience that I had in the early 2000s has been helpful for me now. It's nice to be back in the fold. It's a little different to be experiencing a World Cup. Not everybody gets to do that. It's a great opportunity, very grateful, and happy that I have a university here at Virginia that really supports it and sees all the value in it, and fortunate to have a team that does as well."
Swanson has been Virginia's head coach since 2000.
Brannon is battling a knee injury. Along with Brian, the two Cavaliers are two of the 24 players competing for 21 spots on the U.S. U-20 World Cup roster.
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