Pearl headed to FIFA U-20 World Cup for New Zealand

Aug. 1, 2012

By Stephanie Juncker
GoBulldogs.com

FRESNO, Calif. ---Fresno State rising sophomore Nadia Pearl has been named to New Zealand's Junior Football Ferns squad which will compete at the sixth FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan. The tournament will run from Aug. 19 to Sept. 8 and the Junior Football Ferns will take on Switzerland Aug. 19 to begin U-20 World Cup action.

The 21-day tournament will take place across five venues, including Hiroshima, Kobe, Miyagi, Saitama and Tokyo, with the historic Japanese capital playing host to the final.

Sixteen nations have qualified for the U-20 World Cup and they are divided into four groups of four, with the top two teams from each group progressing to the quarterfinals. Pearl and New Zealand are in Group A along with host country Japan, Mexico, and Switzerland.

"They are three very different opponents and on paper it's a good draw for us," said Aaron McFarland, head coach of the Junior Football Ferns, in the national team release. "Switzerland presents themselves as an orthodox, tough defending side. Japan is a team that will hurt us if we allow them a lot of possession and Mexico are a mix of Latin flair and pragmatism but we feel that each match presents an opportunity to collect points."

The Junior Football Ferns will be among the first nations to get underway at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup campaign when they face European outfit Switzerland before a crunch match with host nation Japan at the Miyagi Stadium in Rifu. Powerhouse Mexico awaits the Junior Football Ferns in their final group match in Kobe on Aug. 26.

Junior Football Ferns squad for FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Japan 2012

Goalkeepers

Erin NAYLER (Eastern Suburbs)

Corina BROWN (Three Kings United)

Jess REDDAWAY (Lynn-Avon United)

Defenders

Bridgette ARMSTRONG (Glenfield Rovers)

Tessa BERGER (Three Kings United)

Caitlin SMALLFIELD (Glenfield Rovers)

Ashleigh WARD (Glenfield Rovers)

Holly PATTERSON (Claudelands Rovers)

Midfielders

Rebecca BURROWS (Three Kings United)

Lucy CARTER (Fencibles United)

Kate LOYE (Claudelands Rovers)

Tayla O'BRIEN (Lynn-Avon United)

Nadia Pearl (Fresno State, USA)

Katie BOWEN (Glenfield Rovers)

Evie MILLYN (Eastern Suburbs)

Olivia CHANCE (Claudelands Rovers)

Rosie WHITE (UCLA, USA)

Strikers

Stephanie SKILTON (Glenfield Rovers)

Georgia BROWN (Three Kings United)

Hannah WILKINSON (Glenfield Rovers)

Katie ROOD (Lincoln Ladies, ENG)

"Discover Fresno State Athletics" - Be sure to LIKE Fresno State Athletics on Facebook and follow your Bulldogs on Twitter (@FSAthletics).