Virginia's Swanson will assist in qualifying preparations

[USA WOMEN] Virginia women’s head coach Steve Swanson, who led the USA to the 2012 Under-20 Women's World Cup title, will be assisting U.S. women’s national team head coach Jill Ellis as the team prepares for October's Concacaf Women’s Championship that serves as regional qualifying for the 2015 Women's World Cup. Swanson will continue to lead the No. 2 Cavaliers but may miss a few games.

“In terms of coaching, there is no higher honor than to represent your country at the international level," said Swanson, who is also the head coach of the U.S. U-23 women’s national team. "I am grateful to Jill and U.S. Soccer for providing this opportunity, and to the University of Virginia, the athletic department and especially the players and coaches in our program for being so supportive.”

During Swanson’s absences, associate head coach Ron Raab will serve as the interim head coach. Raab served in that role in 2012 when Swanson missed the first eight games of the season, coaching the United States to the U-20 championship in Japan.

“Obviously, the goal, especially in the fall with Concacaf qualifying, is to minimize my time away from the team," Swanson said. "We are very fortunate here to have such a qualified and experienced staff, who are not only great leaders, but are also well respected by all the players. Between Ron, [assistant coaches] Kerry [Dziczkaniec] and Jaime [Frias], the team will be in excellent hands when I am away, which is one of the main reasons this opportunity became a reality.”

The U.S. national team includes Virginia star Morgan Brian, the lone collegian likely to take part in qualifying. It will play two friendlies in September against Mexico (Sept. 13 in Sandy, Utah and Sept. 18 in Rochester, N.Y.) to prepare for  qualifying. The tournament will run Oct. 15-26 with games in four U.S. cities.
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