Twenty for Canada 2015: New Zealand's Ali Riley

Ali Riley is about as American as you can get.

Born in Los Angeles. Product of the Southern California girls soccer scene. Star at Stanford University. WPS Rookie of the Year with  FC Gold Pride. Best XI selection in her two seasons in WPS.

ALI RILEY:
Country: New Zealand
Age: 27. Position: Defender
Club: FC Rosengard
Twitter: @rileythree

With speed, tenacity and durability, she is one of the best left backs in the world but she doesn't play for the United States, which is ironic because left back is a position the U.S. women have struggled to fill.

While Stanford grads like Christen Press and Kelley O'Hara will play for the USA (and fellow Americans Teresa Noyola and Alina Garciamendez will represent Mexico) at the Women's World Cup, Riley will represent New Zealand.

And while Press and O'Hara play in the NWSL on contracts subsidized by U.S. Soccer, Riley has played in Sweden since the collapse of WPS after the 2011 season.



Riley was something of a late bloomer and never got picked for any U.S. youth teams, so she joined the the Football Ferns for whom she qualified as the daughter of a New Zealander.

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
9. Vivianne Miedema
10. Aya Miyama
11. Asisat Oshoala
12. Lianne Sanderson
13. Louisa Necib

She missed out on a chance to play for the USA, but at the age of 27, she's had plenty of opportunities to participate on the international stage. She's already played in two Women's World Cups and two Olympics.

“There’s no point in dwelling on the past, on what could have been," she told ESPN.com during her Rookie of the Year season with FC Gold Pride. "I’m so thankful I’ve played in a World Cup and Olympics, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
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