In June, Orlando Pride midfielder Dani Weatherholt earned a call up for the U-23 U.S Women’s National Team in the Four Nations Nordic Tournament. The U.S went undefeated in that tournament, playing to a scoreless draw with England, defeating Norway 3-0, and beating Sweden 2-1. Weatherholt started in two of those matches and came on as a substitute in the third, serving as the captain in the match against Norway.
Weatherholt is currently in her second year with the Orlando Pride. At the end of last season, due to injuries and the 2016 Rio Olympics, Weatherholt had to step up and show her versatility, playing in roles across the midfield and defense. This season, she’s settled into a role as a defensive midfielder, starting in eight matches and earning ten appearances.
Currently, Weatherholt has been playing alongside Australian international Alanna Kennedy in the midfield.
“I think Dani played great tonight,” Kennedy said after the match against FC Kansas City. “She was good for us, and I think our partnership is growing each game we have together.”
According to Kennedy, neither her nor Weatherholt are flashy midfielders. But they know how to possess the ball and challenge opposing players. It also helps that Weatherholt is getting playing time next to such an experienced international.
Defensive midfield is not the most glamorous role on the pitch. But Weatherholt is quietly making her case for a senior national team call-up. At a time when U.S Head Coach Jill Ellis is looking at the NWSL to find the future of her squad, Weatherholt is proving that she has something to bring.