Mandy McGlynn is now one step closer to becoming Jacksonville’s latest soccer star on the world stage.
The former Sandalwood High School standout was selected Wednesday to represent United States Under-20 women’s national team at the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 championship from Jan. 18-28 in Trinidad and Tobago.
The top three teams qualify for the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, which will be held in August in France.
McGlynn, 19, recently completed her sophomore season as the starting goalkeeper for Virginia Tech. She has previously represented the U.S. squad at several youth levels, but this will be her first continental championship.
The Americans will play Nicaragua on Jan. 19, Jamaica on Jan. 21 and Mexico on Jan. 23. The top two teams in the group advance to the semifinals Jan. 26, with the championship game Jan. 28.
Unlike the U.S. men’s team, which last October missed out on the World Cup for the first time since 1986, the Under-20 women aren’t expected to have trouble qualifying. They’ve won the last four North American titles and have never placed worse than second.
If the Americans qualify for France and McGlynn makes the final roster this summer, she would join St. Simons Island’s Morgan Brian as local players at the Under-20 finals. Brian, now an experienced starter on the full women’s national team, helped the U.S. to the championship in 2012 in Japan.