[FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ...]The USA opens play at the Concacaf Under-17 Women's Championship Thursday against Bahamas in Guatemala City. Northern California product Sarah Robinson is the youngest player on the team, the lone player born in 1996. The midfielder's soccer ambitions interrupted her career as a standout at cross-country and track & field. For four things to know about Robinson ...
MONTOYA PROTEGEE.Since the age of 8, Robinson has played for the MVLA Lightning, coached by U.S. under-17 national team coach Alberto Montoya. The Lightning won the 2010 U.S. Youth Soccer national championship in the under-14 age group.
NATIONAL CHAMPS.Robinson is one of five Lightning national champs to have attended national team camps. Gabrielle Matulichalso was in contention for a berth on the U-17 qualifying roster, and Jaye Boissiere, attended the girls national team program's mega-camp held this winter in Sunrise, Fla. Paige Crowley and Gabriella Kaplan attended national team camps in 2011. Zoe Pacalin, who also attended this winter's mega-camp, joined MVLA this season from PSV Union FC.
THREE-SPORT STAR.Robinson, a sophomore at Gunn High School, qualified for the 2011 Foot Locker National Championships in cross country in San Diego last fall but did not attend the prestigious event because of a U-17 national team training camp. She'll miss Gunn's conference track & field this week because she will be in Guatemala City.
SMALLEST PLAYER.At 5-foot-2, Robinson is the smallest player on the U.S. squad for Concacaf qualifying and its youngest player. She turned 16 on Saturday.
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