The conflict between club and country has long been a major flashpoint in European professional story. Now, it appears that it may be matched here in the U.S., where at least one school that was a legitimate contender for a state title had its progression held up by their star goalie’s sudden departure for the U.S. Women’s U-20 national team training sessions.
As noted by the Dallas Morning News, the San Antonio (Tex.) Johnson High girls soccer team reached the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Class 5A largely on the back of top goaltender Morgan Stearns. There’s good reason for that; Stearns happens to be one of the best girls goaltenders in the entire nation, even if she is still a high school senior.
That has earned Stearns a series of call ups to different levels of the national squad, with the most recent – a trip to train with the U-20 national team – coming at a particularly unfortunate time: According to the Dallas Morning News, the training camp, where Stearns is competing against two other goalies, is all but certain to keep Stearns from playing any part in the state championships.
Johnson reached the Class 5A semifinals, thanks in part to the playoff stability provided by Stearns in the cage.
So far, the national team has gotten the lion’s share of Stearns’ time when the two teams are in conflict, though the teen is insistent that she is committed to both her school and country, even if she has thus far prioritized her nation.
That’s even true when one team is competing for a state title and the other is only holding practice sessions.