With the September friendlies that the USWNT have coming up against New Zealand, Jill Ellis recently announced the 22 player Roster for the two games. Surprising everyone, Ellis called up Stanford sophomore Tierna Davidson. Again, only a sophomore, a few people have been wondering what can Davidson bring to the table for the National Team- can she be on the same level as Julie Ertz and Becky Sauerbrunn? Obviously not on her first call up, but this could be the start of a long journey that ends with a new regular defender for the U.S. Team- something that is much needed.
So, what exactly has Tierna Davidson been doing to earn her first call up? She’s started all of her games at Stanford- 21 games as a freshman, and all 6 games in her sophomore and current year. Seeing as Davidson is a defender, she’s already netted three goals in her Stanford career along with earning three assists. She’s been incredible during her college games, and a massive part of Stanford’s success this season- helping her team hold a clean sheet for all games except one. The Cardinals have outscored their opponents 30-3, while Davidson has been solid in the backline. Other than having a fantastic two seasons at Stanford, Davidson has had quite an impressive run with the youth programs of the National Team- being involved in the U18, U19, and U20 U.S. Team. Davidson’s been called into quite a few handfuls for youth national team camps, and more importantly, the U20 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers in December, 2015.
This isn’t the first time that Davidson has been admired by her amazing work as part of the backline. In just two years, Davidson has made the 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, the 2017 TopDrawerSoccer Preseason Best XI Second Team, 2016 All-Pac-12 Second Team, 2016 Pac-12 All Freshman Team, and the 2016 TopDrawerSoccer Freshman Best XI First Team. Anyone who’s doubting Davidson’s call up to the USWNT needs to take a look at the long list of awards and achievements that Davidson has earned in only two years of playing at Stanford. If this is what Davidson can earn in her two years, I’m sure that all fans of women’s soccer are looking forward to what she can do her junior and senior year for the Cardinals- and possibly the USA.
While I’m not expecting Davidson to start in either game, it’s going to be exciting to watch her development knowing that she’s in the back of Ellis’ mind. While Davidson is not going to come out as the same level as Sauerbrunn or O’Hara, it’s going to be thrilling to watch this young player in training with the USWNT, and possibly coming on as a sub for either game. While the USWNT has been in a shaky form recently, the main solution are players like Davidson. Young players with a lot to prove and nothing to lose are exactly the kind of performers that Ellis needs to look at. They’re going to play like they have something to prove- and they do. They need to prove that they belong on the National Team, and that they’re good enough to play alongside footballers like Alex Morgan or Tobin Heath. That’s something that this USWNT needs to be looking for- players that will come out and do everything in their power to prove to Ellis and the nation that they deserve to wear the crest- players like Tierna Davidson.