"Ninja" a blossoming star on soccer pitch

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Her friends call her "Ninja."  Katie Cousins gets that nickname from her love of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but the 16-year-old soccer phenom could also get it from her incredible instincts and lightning fast reflexes on the soccer pitch.

A true U-16 player, who currently plays an age group up with the Kickers U-17 Girls Elite, Cousins is ranked the number two player in the nation according to Topdrawersoccer.com. This week she was selected to the initial roster for the upcoming U.S. Soccer U-18 Women's National Team training camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, October 21-28, 2012.

The midfielder caught the eye of the U.S. technical staff, having previously attended several U.S. Girls National Team camps at the U-15 level last year and traveling with her Virginia Olympic Development Program (ODP) team to Texas last March for the U.S. Youth Soccer ODP Championships. The high school sophomore plays basketball and soccer at Jefferson Forest High School in Lynchburg, Virginia and recently verbally committed to attend the University of Tennessee upon graduation.

The Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California will host the selected players for seven days of training and evaluation. The camp generally consists of training in the morning and matches in the afternoon. The evening includes programming designed to introduce the athletes to the National Team environment and how to prepare themselves for potential call-ups to national teams in the future. The players for the training camp are selected by U.S. Soccer's Technical Advisors and the national scouting network, a select group of scouts from throughout the United States.

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