A pair of stars from the Crossfire Premier GU-16/17 DA team have been called into the the U.S. Under-16 Girls’ National Team for a training camp at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, CA. The camp kicked off March 4 and concludes March 10.
Burns has been a regular with the U.S. Under-16 GNT and is attending her third National Team training camp since November. It’s the first call-up for Menti, however, who received the honor after extensive scouting from U.S. Soccer National Team staff during the Girls Development Academy Winter Showcase this past December, as well as during several regular-season DA games.
“While it’s never a guarantee, this is something we’ve almost come to expect from Zoe,” said Crossfire Director Bernie James. “She’s a talented player, of course, but even more importantly, she’s never taken her success for granted. Her dedication on the training field, day after day, is exemplary. She is one of those few players in our program that we can point to on any given day and say, ’See, that is how you need to train if you want to play at an international level.'”
Menti is arriving on the national stage after an impressive season with the Crossfire Premier GU-16/17 DA, where she is also teammates with Burns. “Sally is a very talented player,” James explained. “She works hard day in and day out, and she’s extremely competitive. Regardless of how high the level, she’ll rise to it.”
To augment their personal growth, both Menti and Burns train with Crossfire Boys DA teams during the week, and that experience has helped them reach new heights in their individual development, according to James. “We want to provide more opportunity to our players, giving them every chance to become the best possible versions of themselves, and for our top young female athletes, that can mean opportunities to train with our boys’ Academy teams. There the pace of the game is a little quicker, the spaces a little smaller and decisions need to be made a little faster. For players like Sally and Zoe, it’s an ideal situation to help them take their games to the next level. Crossfire is a club—we are all here to support and help each other—and we are happy that we can provide these kinds of opportunities for our players.”
Burns and Menti will return to their Crossfire DA program on March 10, as the team prepares for the Girls DA Spring Showcase in Greensboro, North Carolina. The season culminates with the DA National Playoffs in June, where these players and their teammates have big plans to drive on towards a national title. Between now and then, however, lies a lot of hard work.
“As a club, we’re very excited for Sally and Zoe to be recognized on a national stage,” James concluded. “Obviously, we have long seen the potential each has to be great, and we are thrilled to be in a position to support them on their journeys. A call-up to the National Team is just one step along the way, but this week represents one more chance to get better, and knowing these two players, I’m sure they’ll take that chance and run with it.”
For more on Sally, Zoe and our other Crossfire Youth National Team players’ experiences, be sure to check out upcoming episodes of “Inside XF,” the club’s new video series, available here: http://www.crossfiresoccer.org/inside-xf/. You can also follow Crossfire Premier on Twitter at @crossfireprmr or on Instagram at crossfire.premier for more club highlights.