Tournament kicked off in Costa Rica on Aug. 10
By Official Florida FC
The U-20 Women’s World Cup kicked off in Costa Rica on Wednesday night. It will feature more than a half dozen players with Florida ties are on rosters for the tournament that often serves as a feeder system for the full national teams.
The United States has three players with Florida ties. Goalkeeper Mia Justus and defender Lauren Flynn helped Florida State win a NCAA championship last fall. Carina Lageyre is an 18-year-old from Cooper City who has been a member of the U.S. Youth National Team pool for the last five years.
Of the trio of Americans, Justus has the most appearances this year with the U-20 team. She made three appearances at the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship in February as well as start against Mexico in the Sud Ladies Cup in June.
The Americans will look to win the tournament for the fourth time. Their first match is Thursday, Aug. 11 against Ghana.
Canada has three players on its World Cup roster who have Sunshine State connections, two of whom have made a name for themselves in Tampa. Vivianne Bessette is a defender at USF. Serita Thurton is a midfielder and forward for the Bulls. Olivia Smith is a highly touted attacking prospect who has committed to Florida State, but yet to step foot on campus.
Jacksonville University goalkeeper Murphy Sheaff is the seventh person with Florida ties who is on a roster.
Sheaff made nine saves on Wednesday afternoon to help New Zealand earn a 1-1 draw with Mexico. New Zealand was outplayed for large portions of the match, but was able to produce a result due to Sheaff’s saves and wayward finishing from the Mexicans.