The FIFA Women's World Cup starts Friday in France and four University of Central Florida Knights are playing on the international stage.
UCF women’s head soccer coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak came on the News 6 at Nine show ahead of the World Cup kickoff to talk about the four UCF Knights representing their home countries.
Two UCF Knights play for Brazil, one is from Jamaica and one plays for Scotland’s team. This is the first time Jamaican and Scottish women’s teams have played in the Women’s World Cup.
Jamaica was ranked No. 53 in the world.
“It was huge for Jamaica to qualify,” Roberts Sahaydak said. “That was a first for them.”
Hue Menzies, Jamaica's coach, has ties to Orlando, too, said Roberts Sahaydak. He coaches in Orlando for the Florida Craze Crush youth soccer organization.
Roberts Sahaydak, who was part of the 1999 U.S. Women’s World Cup team, said she has tried to prepare her players to compete on the biggest stage with millions of people watching.
"I try and boost them with a little bit of confidence and tell them they are prepared, they are ready," she said.
Seven players from the Orlando Pride roster will also compete in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, some competing against each other.
Marta and Camila were assigned to the Brazil squad. This will be Camila’s first World Cup and Marta’s fifth.
Pride players Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond were named to the Australian national team.
Alex Morgan, Ali Kreiger and Ashlyn Harris will all play for team USA. Kreiger and Harris are recently engaged, it's likely a first that two World Cup teammates are also an engaged couple, reports ProsoccerUSA.com.
The FIFA Women's World Cup begins Friday at Parc des Princes in Paris with France vs. South Korea. Games continue for a month and take place in nine French cities: Paris, Grenoble, Le Havre, Lyon, Montpellier, Nice, Reims, Rennes and Valenciennes.
Roberts Sahaydak said spectators can watch UCF players in the games as soon as Saturday.
The U.S. team plays Tuesday against Thailand.
Watch Roberts Sahaydak's full interview at the top of this story.
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