Twenty for Canada 2015: Netherlands' Vivianne Miedema

(Soccer America continues its countdown to the 2015 Women's World Cup with the ninth of 20 profiles of the women to watch in Canada.)

The Netherlands has lagged behind many of the traditional soccer-playing countries of Western Europe -- Germany, France, England and Italy -- and the Scandinavian countries when it comes to women's soccer, but Vivianne Miedema is working on changing that. Only 18, she may the best teenager in European women's soccer and will lead the Oranje to the Women's World Cup.

VIVIANNE MIEDEMA:
Country: Netherlands
Age: 18. Position: Forward
Club: Bayern Munich
Twitter: @VivianneMiedema



The Netherlands has struggled to develop a competitive women's league. A joint venture between the Dutch and Belgian federations resulted in the BeNe League but it was discontinued after three seasons. In two seasons in the BeNe League with Heerenveen, Miedema scored 68 goals in 52 games. She moved to Bayern Munich last summer and was instrumental in it winning the Frauen-Bundesliga with seven goals in seven games.

She led the Netherlands to the 2013 UEFA under-19 women's title with six goals in six games and single-handedly carried it through the Women's World Cup qualifying playoffs to the finals for the first time with all three goals against Italy.

Twenty for Canada 2015:
1. Veronica Boquete
2. Lara Dickenmann
3. Wendie Renard
4. Samantha Kerr
5. Ji So-Yun
6. Eugenie Le Sommer
7. Marta
8. Dzsenifer Marozsan

Her move to Bayern drew her comparisons to the men's team's Oranje great, Arjen Robben.

"Yeah, I get that a lot," she told FIFA.com. "But Arjen plays very differently to me. It's really cool to be compared to him but, as a woman, it's a bit strange to always be compared to a man. I'm Vivianne Miedema and I don't play like men do."

The Dutch find themselves in a tough group at the Women's World Cup, where they face host Canada, China and New Zealand, all teams loaded with international experience. The competition should be valuable for the young Dutch team that starts eight players 24 years old or younger. In 2017, the Netherlands will host the European Women's Championship.
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