• Sunday Aug 28, 2016

    Fishel, U.S. U15 girls look to make their own futures

    Mia Fishel (pictured) captained the USA to the 2016 CONCACAF U-15 Girls' Championship title and was named the tournament's Golden Ball winner.

    ORLANDO, Florida – In football, fans and media members are always looking for the next big thing, comparing players of one generation to those of another.

    It is a fun exercise that keeps the flames of debate stoked. At the least, interest is built and the sport's history is shared.

    You may have noticed, however, that players active in competition rarely chime in on the discussion. They are too busy working and helping their teams succeed.

    After watching the United States win the 2016 CONCACAF U-15 Girls’ Championship (CU15G) last week, you can begin to understand why that is the case.

    When asked if she and her teammates ever see themselves as becoming the next Mia Hamm, Carli Lloyd or even 18-year-old Mallory Pugh, U.S. captain Mia Fishel gave the perfect answer: “We want to be ourselves. We going to make our legacy. Just showing our country what we’re made of, showing how we develop from younger to growing older."

    They are off to a great start on their CONCACAF journey, which could ultimately lead to global triumphs. 

    “We’ve been practicing 18 months and we knew that we were going to do well in this tournament,” said Fishel, who was named the CU15G’s Golden Ball winner. “We just had to play our game and not think about anything else.”

    The Americans defeated defending champion Canada, 2-0, in the final to complete the competition with a mark of 7-0-0, scoring an extraordinary 49 goals and conceding none.

    “It just feels amazing,” Fishel continued. “I feel like all our hard work showed on the field and we never gave up. We come from all over the place. It’s feels amazing seeing everyone happy.”

    Don’t let the perfect record and goal difference fool you, the U.S. was tested at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It won twice by the score of 1-0, edging Mexico and Haiti in close contests. Losses in those matches would have meant first-round elimination.

    “Just staying together as a team and fighting it together, not just individually, but together as a team and overcoming every challenge,” commented Fishel on how she and her teammates persevered through difficult moments. 

    Fishel enjoyed her first foray into the world of CONCACAF football and believes that the CU15G was just as important to the other 22 participating sides as it was to the USA.

    “[They] should keep working and getting belief that anything is possible,” the San Diego Surf standout encouraged. “We had a lot of challenges and so did they. They should keep working hard.”

    And you can be sure that Fishel will be doing the same.

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