Three Reign FC players — goalkeeper Casey Murphy, defender Schuyler DeBree, and forward Bethany Balcer — have been called up to the US U-23 Women’s National Team roster for the upcoming 2019 Nordic Tournament in England. The tournament will take place during the international break from August 26 – September 3, meaning they will not miss any league action.
The trio joins 13 other NWSL players, as well as two collegiate players and five players from European teams, on the 23-player US roster. The Americans will face Norway on August 28, England on August 30, and Sweden on September 2.
Murphy is one of two goalkeepers called in, and will be making an appearance with the U-23s for the third straight year. “I am honored to be called back and represent the USA,” Murphy said in a team release. “International competition excites me and makes me stronger. It presents different opponents/styles of football, and I’m someone who wants that challenge to deepen myself and reach one of my goals of being on the full team.”
DeBree also comes to the team with myriad youth national team experience, dating back to 2010 with the U-14 GNT. She also featured for the U-23s in the 2019 Thorns Spring Invitational, where she faced off against many of her current Reign FC teammates.
“I have learned something valuable from every coach I have had in my youth career. I always come away from camps with a new appreciation for the game, and with so many new things to develop in my own play,” said DeBree about her prior national team experience. “It’s fascinating to see how each coach sees the game differently, and how they think I can best contribute to their system. I’ve also learned that versatility and coachability are two of the best assets to have.”
Balcer’s call-up adds another accolade to her rapid rise from an undrafted rookie to becoming a frequent starter for Reign FC, where she has three goals and one assist in just over 1,200 minutes of NWSL play. This will be her first time representing the US at any level.
“It’s been a dream ever since I can remember. You grow up watching the U.S. Women’s National Team and hope that one day you can be a part of a legacy like that,” Balcer said. “It became more realistic after joining Reign FC and being able to continue to develop at a high level. I’m so blessed by this opportunity and grateful to both Vlatko and B.J. [Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski and US U-23 head coach B.J. Snow] for allowing me to fulfill this lifelong dream.”
The trio will depart after Saturday’s match against the North Carolina Courage, and will return to Tacoma prior to Reign FC’s next match against the Orlando Pride, which takes place on September 7 at Cheney Stadium.
Full U.S. U-23 WNT Roster – 2019 Nordic Tournament - England
GOALKEEPERS (2): Emily Boyd (Chicago Red Stars), Casey Murphy (Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (8): Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain), Schuyler Debree (Reign FC), Brooke Denesik (Biike Kazygurt), Emily Fox (UNC), Madison Pogarch (Portland Thorns FC), Erin Simon (West Ham United/), Samantha Staab (Washington, Spirit), Gabby Vincent (Utah Royals)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Carlyn Baldwin (Sporting CP), Jordan DiBiasi (Washington Spirit), Julie James Doyle (Sky Blue FC), Haley Hanson (Houston Dash), Cece Kizer (Houston Dash), Savannah McCaskill (Chicago Red Stars), Marisa Viggiano (Orlando Pride)
FORWARDS (6): Bethany Balcer (Reign FC), Imani Dorsey (Sky Blue FC), Kristen Hamilton (NC Courage), Hailie Mace (Rosengård FC), Paige Monaghan (Sky Blue FC), Sophia Smith (Stanford)