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U15 PDP Girls again face tough opposition, learn about other cultures in annual Japan game

Over the years, NorCal’s elite Premier Development Program’s girls side has established a strong bond with several contacts from Japan, which also is among the world’s best in producing female players.

That bond has both taken PDP to Japan and hosted a Japanese selection four times, with the most recent meeting coming this past Sunday at Las Positas College in Livermore in a U15 contest.

Though the Japanese side came out with a 3-1 victory, the game was competitive for both sides and featured the strong, attacking play that both countries are known for.

In a match played in three periods, the visitors broke the deadlock early, scoring on a chip from 30 yards to give Japan a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

Shortly after the break, PDP forward Lauren Kenny beat the offside trap to find herself unmarked with acres of space bearing down on the opposing goal.

The Pleasanton Rage forward proved calm in her finish, simply passing the ball into the lower left hand corner of the goal to equalize.

While the match entered the third period level and both teams traded chances, to the victor went the spoils as the Japanese side scored on a pair of long-range efforts to put the game away.

Still, though the game was a competitive matchup between two high-quality sides, it was just as much about bringing different cultures together and learning about one-another.

“Every time the Japanese are here, it’s always one of the best days we have for PDP and our girls program,” said PDP girls head coach Justin Selander. “It’s a great time for our players’ development to play in games like that to start to learn about the tactical side of the game.”

“The Japanese players are so intelligent in their movement and every one of them is a master with the ball and technically very, very strong. For our players to get to see the technique and the insight is fantastic,” he added. “The smiles that those players bring and the bonds that our players make with them in such a short time is incredible.”

“It encapsulates all the things that we want our players to experience, learning about other cultures and making new friends from around the world.”

Below is a list of the players who participated in the game:

First Last Club
Layla Armas Mustang Soccer Club
Aliah Avila Atlas Academy
Isabella Ayers San Juan Soccer Club
Savannah Cordero West Coast
Kaila Ehrlich SFEA
Stella Etcheverry SFEA
Megan Gover San Juan Soccer Club
Devin Greer Davis Legacy
Jadyn Holdenried Santa Rosa United
Lauren Kenny Pleasanton Rage
Amelia Khouri MVLA
Mia McSweeney San Juan Soccer Club
Miri O’Donnell Mustang SC
Jacqueline Peacock Pleasanton Rage
Reese Quick Davis Legacy
Elle Quinn San Juan Soccer Club
Samantha Sanchez MVLA
Lauren Sphabmixay California Cougars
Elizabeth Vranesh Mustang Soccer Club
Kate Zimmerman San Juan Soccer Club
Sarah Granno San Juan Soccer Club
Elsa Nolen Santa Rosa United
Cami Silva Mustang SC