DURHAM, N.C. – Coming off training with the United States Women’s National Team, Duke University recent graduate Christina Gibbons has been selected to travel to La Manga, Spain from Feb. 25 through March 7 to compete in three matches with the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team.
The squad will take on Japan March 2 followed by contests against England (March 4) and Norway (March 7). These will be the first international matches of the year for the U.S. U-23 squad.
One of the most decorated Duke women’s soccer standouts in school history, Gibbons was just the third Blue Devil to earn NSCAA First Team All-America honors and one of two Duke alumnae to be named a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy. The 5-6 defender/midfielder earned First Team All-ACC honors in each of her final three years and concluded her career starting 87-of-88 contests, including the final 73 in a row.
Seattle Reign head coach Laura Harvey will coach the 22-player squad that features 17 professionals (16 from the NWSL and one currently playing in Iceland), four collegiate players and high school senior.
A native of Raleigh, N.C., Gibbons was a two-time NSCAA All-America and concluded her collegiate career with NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year accolades. She finished her career with a Duke record seven penalty kick goals, while also logging 7,794 minutes, which was the second-most by a field player in Blue Devil history. Gibbons registered a 3.909 grade-point average and went on to be selected No. 5 overall in the NWSL College draft to FC Kansas City.
While this roster features mostly professional players, the rosters for the events for the remainder of the spring and summer will feature primarily collegiate players as the NWSL season will be in full swing.
Following the trip to La Manga, the next event for the U.S. U-23 WNT will see the team take part in the Thorns Spring Invitational from March 26-April 1 in Portland, Oregon. The USA will take on three NWSL teams at Providence Park, playing the Houston Dash on Sunday, March 26 at 2:30 p.m. PT followed by Portland taking on Chicago at 5 p.m. PT. On Wednesday, March 29, Chicago takes on Houston at 5 p.m. PT and the USA will face the Thorns at 7:30 p.m. PT. The USA closes out the tournament against the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday, April 1 at 5 p.m. and Portland ends the tournament against Houston at 7:30 p.m. PT.
The U-23 WNT will be in La Manga at the same time as the U-20 WNT, which will also be playing three matches.
U-23 Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Casey Murphy (Rutgers; Bridgewater, N.J.), Madalyn Schiffel (Seattle Reign; Citrus Heights, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7): Mandy Freeman (Sky Blue FC; West Covina, Calif.), Adrienne Jordan (IBV; Colorado Springs, Colo.), Kristen McNabb (Seattle Reign; Montville, N.J.), Kayla Mills (Sky Blue FC; West Covina, Calif.), Katie Naughton (Chicago Red Stars; Elgin, Ill.), Erica Skroski (Sky Blue FC; New Brunswick, N.J.), Samantha Witteman (NC Courage; Redondo Beach, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Andrews (Boston Breakers; Milford, N.H.), Tierna Davidson (Stanford; Menlo Park, Calif.), Christina Gibbons (FC Kansas City, Raleigh, N.C.), Tyler Lussi (Portland Thorns; Lutherville, Md.), Emily Ogle (Penn State; Strongsville, Ohio), Margaret Purce (Boston Breakers; Silver Spring, Md.), Ashley Sanchez (SoCal Blues; Monrovia, Calif.), Dani Weatherholt (Orlando Pride; San Clemente, Calif.)
FORWARDS (5): Celeste Boureille (Portland Thorns; San Francisco, Calif.), Makenzy Doniak (NC Courage; Chino Hills, Calif.), Ashley Hatch (NC Courage; Gilbert, Ariz.), Savannah McCaskill (South Carolina; Chapin, S.C.), Arielle Ship (Washington Spirit; Westlake Village, Calif.)