[FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ...]Amber Munerlyn, who is battling for a starting job on the U.S. under-17 women's national team's frontline, is part of an exciting group of young Southern Californians who are headed to college in 2013. Like for so many of her U-17 teammates, the long road on the national team has required sacrifices. For four things to know about the So Cal Blues forward ...
QUICK FINISHER.After coming off the bench in the first two games this winter at the Ten Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain, Munerlyn started against the Netherlands' U-19s and scored the first goal in the U-17s' 2-0 win with a well-placed shot to the far post in the 18th minute. Next for the U-17s will be Concacaf qualifying in in Guatemala from May 2-12 for the 2012 Under-17 Women's World Cup.
SO CAL STANDOUT. Munerlyn is part of a quartet of players from Southern California, all high school juniors, who are contending for spots on the U-17 national team. The other three play for rival clubs: Kayla Mills(Slammers FC) and Arielle Ship (Real So Cal) are attacking players while Maddie Bauer (Slammers FC) is a key defender.
EARLY CARDINAL COMMIT. Munerlyn decided as a sophomore to play for Stanford after first thinking about going to North Carolina. She'll join Bauer on the Cardinal in 2013. "The academics are really good and its not too far away from home, it's only up north, and I love California," she told the Press-Enterprise. "And the soccer team is pretty good, too."
APPROACHING FINISH LINE. In mid-January, Munerlyn decided to forgo the rest of her junior season at Corona Santiago High School to be ready for U-17 commitments and prepare for the ACT test. Corona Santiago coach Mike Fleming said something had to give. "It's like she's run the 26 miles and with just 0.2 left," he said. "It's not worth it to jeopardize her future for a couple of high school games."