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Defender Madison Pogarch of Hartland, who plays with the first-tier National Women's Soccer League Portland Thorns, has been named to the United States under-23 women's team that will play in the upcoming 2019 Nordic Tournament.

The call-up is the first for the 5-foot-6 backliner, who played her youth soccer with the Michigan Jaguars with her teams hoisting state cups in 2013 and '15.

The U.S. plays Norway Aug. 28, England Aug. 30 and Sweden Sept. 2 in the tournament, which takes place at Loughborough University in Loughborough, England.

Pogarch was thrilled by her first national selection.

"On top of that, I've never really been out of the States, so it's bit of a cultural experience for me as well," said Pogarch, who was one of 16 NWSL players named to B.J. Snow's 23-player roster. "To be able to get the opportunity after being in training and playing for Portland for a little while, it's really cool, it's very humbling."

Pogarch, 21, played three years at Central Michigan before transferring to Rutgers. She had three goals in 58 appearances with the Chippewas from 2015-17 and was First Team All-MAC in 2017. She appeared in 20 matches for the Scarlet Knights in 2018.

She also helped Grand Rapids FC win a national 2017 United Womens Soccer title in 2017 and played with the Pontiac-based UWS Detroit Sun in 2018.

Pogarch led Hartland High to consecutive KLAA championships in 2013 and 2014 while becoming the first female kicker on the school's football team.

Pogarch made her professional debut for the Thorn May 25 against Sky Blue FC and earned her first professional start on June 15 against the North Carolina Courage.

Thorn FC leads the nine-team NWSL with a 9-3-6 record while averaging a league-high 20,072 in attendance at Providence Park. That's nearly double the Utah Royals' average of 10,992, which ranks second.

She is one of eight defenders in the U.S. squad, which includes three overseas players:  Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain, France),  Brooke Denesik (Biike Kazygurt, Kazakhstan) and Erin Simon (West Ham United, England). 

"(I am) hoping that it is not the last call-up," Pogarch said. "Everybody likes the first one, but hopefully they continue to grow into future call-ups as well. So I kind of just want to get a good experience out of this, learn a lot, get to meet a lot more people who are in the league as well and learn quite from B.J. (Snow) and the coaching staff.

"I'd love to be able to stay here obviously at the end of the season as well. So, hopefully those two translate moving forward."

loconnor@detroitnews.com

Twitter @larryo1961 

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