As promised, here’s our brief list of five teenagers to watch out for at the World Cup this summer.
Jody Brown (17), Jamaica
A bit of a, “great things come in small packages” the diminutive Jody Brown has been rather forgotten about in all the (warranted) talk about Khadija Shaw. Yet the young Brown has already proved her worth on the senior stage, taking home the Young Player of the Tournament award at the CONCACAF Women’s Championships. A proficient goalscorer who still has a long way to go in her development, Brown is a name to remember for years to come.
Ellie Carpenter (19), Australia
A former attacker who was repurposed as a fullback, Ellie Carpenter has made waves in NWSL with Portland Thorns as well as Canberra United in her native Australia in the W-League. Carpenter already plays with a maturity beyond her years and although she’s a little too gung-ho sometimes – leaving Australia exposed on the left side of defence – her development potential is through the roof.
One of the younger players in the Matildas team, Carpenter is too young to be considered part of the Golden Generation of Sam Kerr, Elise Kellond-Knight, Emily Van Egmond, et all, however she’s slotted right in with the team as soon as she graduated to the seniors.
Anam Imo (18), Nigeria
A bit of a wildcard for Nigeria, the young Anam Imo comes into the tournament with moderate experience of European football having spent half a season in Damallsvenskan with Rosengård. The current Nigerian Young Player of the Year, the attacker who can play further back up the pitch, has added another dimension to Rosengård when she’s featured, adding more bite to the attack. A little bit of a whirling dervish, the 18-year-old is a bubbling ball of energy, keen to track the ball down and get involved in moving FCR forward.
Frida Maanum (19), Norway
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Frida Maanum is still just in her teens, the midfielder having featured for Norway at Euros two years ago. A composed centre mid’, Maanum already looks like she’ll be anchoring Norway for years to come, her reading of the game and relaxed nature on the pitch something the Football Girls can lean on. A player happy to sit in but one that wants to help out in attack, there’s always a good chance the teen will rip a shot from outside the box and thunder it into the back of the net. She’s smart and she’s fun, categorically a player to watch.
Jayde Riviere (18), Canada
Like Carpenter, Jayde Riviere’s history is based in the attack with a switch to full back more of a recent one that’s coincided with her promotion to the senior national team. Taking to the new role like a duck to water, Riviere has slotted right into a defensive mindset, picking up the rhythm for clean tackling along the way. As a former attacker, it’s clear the teenager wants to get up the pitch and drive Canada on, her crossing ability a boost for the North Americans, if she plays, Riviere will always be one to watch as she races up and down the flanks.
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