SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Rising senior soccer player Taylor Earle will travel to Sweden with her NorCal State Player Development Program (PDP) team to play in the Gothia Cup starting on Monday, July 15. The Gothia Cup is the world's largest and most international youth football tournament. Each year, around 1700 teams from 80 nations take part and they play 4500 games on 110 fields.
"I am super excited to be playing in the Gothia Cup," said Earle. "It has my dream to go on this trip for two years since the first team went. I am really glad I made the team."
St. Francis Alumnae Jackie Koerwitz '19 and Marlee Nicolos '18 were part of the winning team in 2017. Koerwitz is an incoming freshman at the University of Miami this fall and Nicolos will be a redshirt freshman at Santa Clara.
"We are playing in a Group stage against teams from Sweden and Germany," said Earle. "Hopefully we will move on from there and are planning on playing six games. We are ready to play."
Opening ceremonies are scheduled for Sunday. Earlehas been part of the NorCal State PDP program since age 12, practicing once a month.
Gothia Cup was first held in 1975. The tournament was started by the football associations BK Häcken, GAIS and a local newspaper but has been owned since the early 80's entirely and solely by BK Häcken.
"Any time you can travel internationally for the game I think is amazing," said St. Francis Head Coach Maryclaire Robinson, who participated in the Gothia Cup during her career. "When you go to another country and realize how global the game is, it opens your eyes to how our sport is common thread that unites so many people and backgrounds. It is an event."
Through the years, almost a million players from a total of 146 countries have participated in the tournament.
Earle scored six goals and had four assists for the Troubadours as junior on the varsity team last year, helping the program to the CIF NorCal Division II team title.