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Civana Kuhlmann, A New 99er
The United States last won the World Cup in 1999, on July 10 to be exact, in a penalty shootout with China. Civana Kuhlmann, a member of the United States Women’s National Under-17 Team, was a few days under 3 months old at the time, so it’s hard to blame her for not being able to easily name the United States roster this that year.
As fellow “new 99er” Frankie Tagliaferri says of the original 99ers, “They’re the ones who paved the way for us and they’re the reasons we’re here today.”
This team along with all current and former players have set a very high benchmark for current young players. Kuhlmann of Littleton, Colorado is definitely one of those players. First playing around a ball when she was only 3 or 4 years old, she states that there is nothing she would rather do than play football. When she began to realize that playing football was her calling, she was ready to put in hours of practice to be the best. She would soon use her talents to play for her hometown club, Colorado Rush Soccer Club, and the United States National Youth Team program. Her first game appearance was with WNT U17, where aged just 14, she scored in the second half in a game against Trinidad and Tobago in October 2013.
Since playing with club and country since the age of 14, Kuhlmann has been placed in the top echelon of rising American young girls who could take over in the future for those like Abby Wambach or Alex. Morgan. As for the next stage of his development, in October 2014 Kuhlmann signed his letter of intent to play at Stanford University. This decision to play at Stanford is a bit of a shock considering that at the age of 16 she knew exactly what she wanted in college as well as what she needed to do to maintain her long-term goal. to continue playing for the United States.
Kuhlmann says there were three factors that helped her decide Stanford was the right place for her once she graduated in 2017. Those three factors were: academics, football and the culture of school. “While I was at Stanford, the girls were great, the culture was even better while I was walking around campus, and the football program speaks for itself,” Kuhlmann said.
However, if you consider Stanford University’s pedigree, it might not be such a big shock.
Stanford led and developed the young lives of several women’s soccer stars from Christen Press and Kelley O’Hara of the current US Women’s National Team, Ali Riley of the New Zealand Women’s National Team, including the great Julie Foudy of the USWNT who were part of that legendary 1999 World Cup winning team. So at the time of Civana Kuhlmann’s decision, she knew that Stanford was where she needed to be constantly challenged in hopes of to one day achieve the goal of becoming a member of the United States Women’s National Team.
Most recently, Kuhlmann was part of the U.S. Women’s National Under-17 Team’s final training camp held in May under head coach BJ Snow at the Olympic training from Chula Vista, California. Snow called up 28 players for the event, including six born in 2000 and the rest in 1999, as the team continued their long-term preparation to qualify for the 2016 U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan. The top three teams from the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship to be held next March will qualify.
Although she is already playing for the U.S. national youth team program and committed to Stanford, Kuhlmann always knows she still has a lot to do.
“I have recognized what I have already achieved, but I will never be satisfied. This is how I have always been,” she said.
She also points out that for young players, you need to have fun and spend time working on your game and playing style while you’re young, but never forget to have fun.
It’s safe to say that Kuhlmann has never had a hard time having fun when it comes to football. With an impressive resume at this point in his football career, we could very well be about to see the evolution of another Stanford Cardinal in the mix for future USWNT play, as does Press, O’Hara, Foudy and others before her. .
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