March 22, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. -- Senior forward Whitney Palmer recently completed a week-long training camp in Sunrise, Fla., with the U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team. The training included games against Washington Freedom (Women's Professional Soccer) and the University of Miami.
The camp ran from March 7-14 and marked the second such stint for Palmer who participated with the U-23 select team the spring prior to arriving on campus in the fall of 2007.
"I was a little more nervous this time around because this was the actual U-23 national team camp," said Palmer. "I was afraid to make mistakes because I knew the girls I was playing with were some of the top players in the nation. But I knew I was there for a reason and that I could compete with these girls.
"You have to be willing to go in and make mistakes, and learn from them, because if you don't you wont be willing to try new things which could possibly make you even better."
The U.S. U-23 Women's National Team is coached by Bill Irwin and Palmer was joined by 23 of the top underclassmen in the college game, including five members of the U.S. team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile.
Palmer was one of four players from the Big 12 represented on the U-23 team. Despite leading the Sooners in goals scored each of the last three seasons, Palmer seized the opportunity last week to improve her game.
"I wanted to be able to compete with some of the top players in the nation, and be one of the top players in the nation," added Palmer. "I wanted to be sure that I could compete at the next level and not have a problem with it. I was able to compete day in and day out here and I know this is where I belong."
The Sooners are currently in the middle of their exhibition schedule in the spring with a 1-0-2 record thanks to two goals by Palmer. OU has three games remaining, two of which come at home on March 27 against UCO (5 p.m.) and April 24 versus SMU (7 p.m.). The Sooners will also play against Arizona State in Phoenix on April 17.