Eddy among 21 who make FIFA team

Elizabeth Eddy, a junior at Newport Harbor High, was one of 21 to be named to the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team that will play at the 2008 FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand Oct. 28-Nov. 16.

She will represent the U.S. in the tournament that will have a world championship for the under-17 level for the first time.

Since August, Eddy has been sparingly training with the team and Coach Kazbek Tambi in New Jersey. Eddy was told at a dinner after a practice that she made the team. She called her family late Monday night to tell them the good news, her mother, Linda, said.

“She was so excited,” Linda Eddy said of her daughter. “She was very happy.”

Linda Eddy called it a blessing that Elizabeth made the team. A standout player for the Sailors and the Southern California Blues Soccer Club of San Juan Capistrano, Elizabeth Eddy also excelled while in the Olympic Development Program. In the spring of 2007 she was scouted by Tambi, but the Eddys didn’t think much of it until they heard from him again this past August. Elizabeth was asked to train with Tambi and his team.

“Not hearing from them for a whole year, I think it’s a miracle,” Linda Eddy said.

Elizabeth Eddy, who will travel out of the U.S. for the first time, endured an Achilles injury that sidelined her for two weeks, last month.

Her ability to bounce back gave Newport Harbor Coach Larry Draluck another reason to believe she belonged on the team.

Draluck, who also coaches the So Cal Blues, said Eddy is, “a dream, a talent, who has outstanding character and an indefatigable work rate.”

Eddy was named first-team All-Sunset League last year. As a freshman she was named Orange Coast League Most Valuable Player while playing for Calvary Chapel.

The U.S. team will open the tournament against Japan on Oct. 30 and will face Paraguay on Nov. 2, playing at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.

The Americans will then move to Auckland for the third group match on Nov. 5, taking on France at North Harbour Stadium.

STEVE VIRGEN may be reached at (714) 966-4616 or by e-mail at