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Another Californian stands in USA's way
by Paul Kennedy, November 18th, 2010 11:42PM

TAGS:  italy, women's national team, women's world cup


[WOMEN'S WORLD CUP QUALIFYING] One Californian, Veronica Perez, scored the goal for Mexico that cost the USA at automatic berth into the 2011 Women's World Cup. Another Californian, goalkeeper Anna Picarelli, stands in the way of the USA and a trip to Germany next year.

The action begins Saturday in Padua, where Italy hosts the United States in the first leg of their playoff series (, 10:30 a.m. ET).

Picarelli, 26, attended Pepperdine and qualified to play for Italy thanks to her Italian-born father Angelo.

Despite her 5-foot-4 frame, Picarelli has stood out in goal for the Azzurre, helping them beat England, 2-1, at the 2009 European Championship and Ukraine and Switzerland in the European Women's World Cup playoff after Italy fell to France.

After the England game in Finland next year, she went into the stands to celebrate with her boyfriend, Cameron Thomas, who immediately got down on his knees and proposed.

Picarelli and Thomas now live in Southern California, where she plays for the WPSL's Ajax America.

This follows stints in Italy with Verona and Sweden with Kristianstads DFF.

  1. Margaret Manning
    commented on: November 19, 2010 at 3:55 p.m.
    Sorry, but an "American" would play for her national team. Go USA. And let us know where the Misses Perez and Picarelli are living, say, 10 years from now.
  1. PDX Pup
    commented on: November 19, 2010 at 10:49 p.m.
    Margaret, get the full story before making silly comments...both players were rejected by the US system. Picarelli did get a call into the US team with U23s, but Ellis told her she was too short to ever make it at the international level, and was a tactical disadvantage playing the likes of Germany and England. Both players will probably be happily living in Southern California in 10 years probably, having enjoyed fruitful careers playing for their families' countries after being snubbed by their own.
  1. Margaret Manning
    commented on: November 21, 2010 at 2:38 p.m.
    "Snubbed?" So play club ball, prove yourself. Don't play for another country.
  1. Stephanie Guaiumi
    commented on: November 23, 2010 at 4:11 p.m.
    If you have a love for the game and for whatever reasons, don't fit into what your country is looking for, but are skilfull enough that someone else wants you - why not? Especially true for women - the opportunities to play soccer at the highest level are extremely limited. Good for them for grabbing the brass ring!

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