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04-13-14 07:00 PM
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Abby Wambach's Secret to Success
Abby MSN 4 14 Article

Abby Wambach's Secret to Success

Women's Soccer News: Hard Work is Abby Wambach's Secret to Success
What does it take to become one of the best players of all time? Abby Wambach has certainly done that, through a combination of hard work, natural talent, and iron determination. She has been recognized at every level of the game, and continues to lead the U.S. Women’s National Team on the field and off. Wambach was gracious enough to take time out recently to talk about her success and what young players can do to reach the top of their game – whatever that might be.
When Abby Wambach first took the field for the U.S. Women’s National Team, it was clear that there was something special about her. At 5’11” she towered over most of her teammates as well as the opposition – an advantage she has put to good use as one of the best “aerialists” in the game. She is undoubtedly one of, if not the most famous female player on the pitch today and is one of only two Americans, along with Mia Hamm, to have been named FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. Her 165 career international goals rank as best in the world, surpassing Hamm in late 2013, and her 215 caps put her at No. 6 on the U.S. WNT.
Wambach is at ease on the field and talking to reporters off the pitch. In San Diego for the USA v China PR match, SoccerNation News editor Diane Scavuzzo had the opportunity to chat about passion for the beautiful game and what if the “Holy Grail” of player development exists.
Diane Scavuzzo: You have had an amazing career with the U.S. Women’s National Team. What advice would you give to a young player who would like to one day grow up to be like you and represent the United States?
Abby Wambach: Basically, it’s not something that just happens overnight. You have to work hard at something that you are passionate about, especially if you choose to go down the athletic road. You have to train hard and you have to eat right.
In order to get to these ranks you have to study hard, go to school – and it’s a process. It just doesn’t happen with a snap of your fingers.
You have to dedicate yourself, even when you don’t even know it’s a possibility that it could happen.
Even when you think that never in a million years could you dream of playing for your own country in the World Cup and Olympics. Those are the moments that define the people who have that passion and are willing to lose everything for it. And those are also the moments that separate the people who choose to go in a different direction in life.
Diane Scavuzzo: When you were 10 or 12 years old, did you have that passion?
Abby Wambach: Yes, Absolutely. Of course, as a young kid you want to have that normal life where you get to go to all your friends’ birthday parties, but no, you’re off in a car going to soccer camps.
Of course you have to have some talent; you have to be good enough to get to where you need to go. You have to be able to manage that and be critical when you need to be critical, and be easy on yourself when you need to be easy on yourself. There are so many factors, and I wish I knew the equation.
Diane Scavuzzo: Was there any one coach who made a big difference, or was it just the path you took?
Abby Wambach: I think it was a compilation of many coaches. My high school coach was awesome – she taught me about life, not necessarily the game. As I went on in my college career and into the Youth National Teams I found I gained more knowledge. Then with my athleticism and my natural talent I was able turn that into what seems like a lifelong career.
Diane Scavuzzo: Everybody wants to know if there’s a Holy Grail of success. What would you say to that?
Abby Wambach: I would say work ethic, for sure.
I think in anything that you do, if you work hard at it and you stick to it, then even if you don’t make it to the World Cup or the Olympic level, it doesn’t mean you failed.
If you work hard at something and you believe in yourself, you can look at yourself at the end of the day and say you did the very best you could. Sometimes that’s what life is really about.

NEW Patches

At the latest coaches clinic we attended recently one of the older clinicians started talking about younger coaches. He went off, saying they all have tattoos on their arm; they have one for their mom, their dad, their girl and their favorite band.

But . . . he went on to ask, “What would you have for a tattoo on your arm if you had one for soccer and your players. “

And he got me thinking.

What would I want my players to know?

I came up with two things.

First, I want them to know that this is a risk free environment. Soccer is a creative game and in order to become the best you can be you have to be willing to take a risk. I want them to do that and more importantly I want to them to feel encouraged to do so. I wholeheartedly support a player stepping out of their comfort zone and try to do something, anything; that will help them to become a better soccer player.

And, secondly, I want you to have FUN!

But . . . like Mary Poppins says, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.”

To become a good soccer player or to become good at anything in life you have to work at it. I will do my best to try and make it fun. I also need the player to discover what makes it fun for them. I ask them to seek that out and help me understand what that is for them. I will then do my best to try and assure them that they can continue to work at their game and have some FUN along the way.

In delivering that message to them I offered them some OPTIONAL homework. They could make a new patch for us which would show that their coach had those values and what that meant for them.

Below are the patches they submitted.

Our New Patches

Off To See The Wizards
Mohegan Sun Image

Coach Rob and Tom are off with Tom's old coaching buddy Ron (we hope) and new coaching buddy Daryl next week for some soccer learning and motivation. We will be meeting up with Velocity coaches and old coaching friends in the ballroom at the beautiful Mohegan Sun. We won't be dancing but there will be some young athletes taking the floor under the leadership of some very good soccer minds to help us all learn a little more about the dance of the beautiful game. Team events will go on as scheduled and be lead by other Velocity coaches.                    

While I don't gamble (except for an occasional meal at Margaritaville) you can bet that at dinnertime I will be headed to some of the wonderful restaurants which will hopefully include Big Bubba's Barbecue and Bobby Flay's Hamburger Place.

We will be learning from the best at the 2014 Soccer Champions Coaches' Clinic. This clinic features multiple days of cutting-edge instruction and on-field demos by some of the world's top soccer minds. 2014 presenters include: Martin Vasquez - U.S. Men's National Team Asst. Coach & Past MLS Head Coach and Bayern Munich Asst. Coach; Dick Bate - Cardiff City FC Academy Manager and former FA Coaching Director; Cat Whitehill - NWSL Boston Breakers Player/Coach & Gold Medalist U.S. National Team Player; Jeff Cook - Academy Coach/Technical Staff for the MLS' Philadelphia Union; Paul Buckle - former Manager of England's Luton Town FC & Bristol Rovers; Ian Barker, the NSCAA Director of Coaching Education; and, of course, clinic hosts Ray Reid - Four-Time National Coach of the Year - and World Cup Champion & U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Coach Tony DiCicco.

Mohegan Sun Ballroom

National Women's Soccer League 2014 College Draft
Crystal Dunn MSN Jan14
UNC’s Crystal Dunn was first pick overall as expected

Crystal Dunn goes first

Thirty-six picks concluded a speedy 2014 NWSL college draft in Philadelpia today, and fans were able to attend as the event rolled out throughout the morning, starting with No. 1 draft pick UNC’s Crystal Dunn.

First Round

No. 1 - Washington Spirit: Crystal Dunn (UNC)

No. 2 - Houston Dash: Kealia Ohai (UNC)

No. 3 - Chicago Red Stars: Julie Johnston (Santa Clara)

No. 4 - Chicago Red Stars: Vanessa DiBernardo (Univ of Illinois)

No. 5 - FC Kansas City: Kassey Kallman (Florida State University)

No. 6 - Sky Blue FC: Maya Hayes (Penn State)

No. 7 - Seattle Reign FC: Amanda Frisbie (Univ of Portland)

No. 8 - Boston Breakers: Nkem Ezurike (Univ of Michigan)

No. 9 - Western New York Flash: Courtney Verloo (Stanford)


Second Round

No. 10 - Houston Dash: Rafaelle Souza (Ole Miss)

No. 11 - Houston Dash*: Marissa Diggs (UCF)

No. 12 - FC Kansas City: Morgan Marlborough (Santa Clara)

No. 13 - Boston Breakers: Natasha Anasi (Duke University)

No. 14 - Western New York Flash: Cloee Colohan (BYU)

No. 15 - Sky Blue FC: Hayley Haagsma (Texas Tech)

No. 16 - FC Kansas City: Jenna Richmond (UCLA)

No. 17 - Seattle Reign FC: Megan Brigman (UNC)

No. 18 - Western New York Flash: Kelsey Wys (Florida State University)

Third Round

No. 19 - FC Kansas City: Frances Silva (WVU)

No. 20 - FC Kansas City: Mandy Laddish (Notre Dame)

No. 21 - Boston Breakers: Jazmine Reeves (Virginia Tech)

No. 22 - Chicago Red Stars: Hayley Brock (Univ of Maryland)

No. 23 - Boston Breakers: Mollie Pathman (Duke)

No. 24 - Sky Blue FC: Michelle Pao (Pepperdine)

No. 25 - Portland Thorns FC: Emily Menges (Georgetown)

No. 26 - Washington Spirit: Molly Menchel (Univ of Virginia)

No. 27 - Western New York Flash: Annie Steinlage (Univ of Virginia)

Fourth Round

No. 28 - Houston Dash: Jordan Jackson (Univ of Nebraska)

No. 29 - Washington Spirit: Shasta Fisher (Univ of Virginia)

No. 30 - Seattle Reign FC: Ellen Parker (Univ of Portland)

No. 31 - Portland Thorns FC*: Elisabeth Sullivan (Mississippi State)

No. 32 - Boston Breakers: Jami Kranich (Villanova)

No. 33 - Sky Blue FC: Elizabeth Eddy (USC)

No. 34 - Boston Breakers: Kim DeCesare (Duke)

No. 35 - FC Kansas City: Maegan Kelly (Marquette)

No. 36 - Western New York Flash: Kristen Hamilton (Denver)


The Portland Thorns FC traded their second round pick (#11) plus Nikki Washington to the Houston Dash in exchange for Meleana Shim.

The Portland Thorns FC traded their 34th pick and a 2015 2nd round pick to the Boston Breakers for Michelle Betos.

The Portland Thorns FC traded Tiffany Weimer to the Washington Spirit in exchange for the 31st overall pick in the draft.

by Courtney Lamber for GotSoccer Report 

U.S. Soccer Announces All-Time Women's National Team Best XI

Fawcett and Hamm Receive Unanimous Ballot Selections as U.S. Soccer Winds Down Centennial Celebration

CHICAGO - U.S. Soccer’s All-Time Women's National Team Best XI was revealed today as the Federation wraps up the celebration of its Centennial anniversary in 2013.

The Women's Best XI features two unanimous ballot selections in defender Joy Biefeld (Fawcett) and forward Mia Hamm. Midfielders Michelle Akers and Kristine Lilly were near unanimous ballot selections as both were one vote shy.

Three active players – defender Christie Rampone (Pearce) and forwards Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach – were voted to the Women’s Best XI, with Morgan the youngest selection at 24 years old.

Calculated by total votes, U.S. Soccer’s All-Time Women’s Best XI is arranged in a 4-3-3 formation and listed below in alphabetical order by position:

Goalkeeper – Briana Scurry 1994-2008 (31 votes)

Defender – Brandi Chastain 1988-2004 (31)
Defender – Joy Biefeld (Fawcett) 1987-2004 (56)
Defender – Carla Werden (Overbeck) 1988-2000 (49)
Defender – Christie Rampone (Pearce) 1997-present (46)

Midfielder – Michelle Akers 1985-2000 (55)
Midfielder – Julie Foudy 1988-2004 (40)
Midfielder – Kristine Lilly 1987-2010 (55)

Forward – Mia Hamm 1987-2004 (56)
Forward – Alex Morgan 2010-present (15)
Forward – Abby Wambach 2001-present (52)

In an effort to create a fair and reasonable process to determine the All-Time Best XI, U.S. Soccer appointed a committee of soccer historians and former players, coaches, media members and administrators at the National Team level.

The committee determined the list of eligible players for selection to the Best XI, as well as the criteria to be considered by the list of voters. Voters for the Best XI included 56 former players and administrators, as well as media members. The criteria the voters considered in determining their All-Time Best XI:

1) Starter or key contributor to overall success on the field, especially in World Cups
2) Longevity, overall performance and talent on the field with the U.S. Men’s or Women’s National Team
3) Impact on the legacy of the U.S. Men’s or Women’s National Team program

Members of the voting committee include, in alphabetical order:

Roger Allaway (historian), Christine Brennan (media), Jeff Carlisle (media), Cindy Parlow Cone (former player), Dr. Bob Contiguglia (administrator), John Daly (coach), JP Dellacamera (media), Tony DiCicco (coach), Anson Dorrance (coach), Beau Dure (media), Jill Ellis (coach), Julie Foudy (former player), Carin Gabarra (former player), Jim Gabarra (coach), Leslie Gallimore (coach), Steve Goff (media), Lauren Gregg (coach), Mia Hamm (former player), April Heinrichs (former player/coach), Phil Hersh (media), Ted Howard (administrator), Sandra Hunt (referee), Cobi Jones (former player), Grahame Jones (media), Colin Jose (historian), Jeff Kassouf (media), Paul Kennedy (media), Ann Killion (media), Mark Krikorian (coach), Tracy Leone (coach), Michael Lewis (media), Bob Ley (media), Carli Lloyd (player), Rebecca Lowe (media), Shannon MacMillan (former player), Marcia McDermott (coach), Ridge Mahoney (media), Kevin Payne (administrator), Christie Rampone (player), Tiffany Roberts (former player), Alan Rothenberg (administrator), Steve Sampson (coach), Kari Seitz (referee), Tom Sermanni (coach), Jerry Smith (coach), Hope Solo (player), Hank Steinbrecher (administrator), Rob Stone (media), Jamie Trecker (media), Jerry Trecker (media), Jim Trecker (administrator), Lori Walker (coach), Kelly Whiteside (media), Barry Wilner (media), Mike Woitalla (media) and Mark Ziegler (media).

Listed below are the full voting results for all eligible players. The final vote tally for each player is provided in parentheses.

Briana Scurry (31), Hope Solo (24), Mary Harvey (1)

Joy Biefeld Fawcett (56), Carla Werden Overbeck (49), Christie Rampone Pearce (46), Brandi Chastain (31), Kate Markgraf Sobrero (9), Lori Chalupny (5), Ali Krieger (2), Rachel Buehler (1), Linda Hamilton (1), Heather Mitts (1), Cat Reddick Whitehill (1), Stephanie Cox Lopez (0), Lori Henry (0), Amy LePeilbet (0), Kelly O’Hara (0)

Michelle Akers (55), Kristine Lilly (55), Julie Foudy (40), Shannon Boxx (13), Carli Lloyd (13), Shannon MacMillan (8), Megan Rapinoe (6), Heather O’Reilly (5), Shannon Higgins (4), Tobin Heath (1), Tiffany Roberts (1), Tisha Venturini (1), Lauren Holiday Cheney (0), Lorrie Fair (0), Angela Hucles (0), Lindsay Tarpley (0), Aly Wagner (0) FORWARDS : Mia Hamm (56), Abby Wambach (52), Alex Morgan (15), Carin Gabarra Jennings (13), April Heinrichs (12), Tiffeny Milbrett (10), Cindy Parlow Cone (1), Sydney Leroux (0), Amy Rodriguez (0

Here they come!!!!

We are Extremely fortunate to have two of the U17s who would LOVE to work out with us. Joining us on Monday nights will be Skye and Gracie. They will be leading the the touch drills every Monday, participating in the tactical and technical activities and from time to time lead other activities along the way. They will at some point lead an entire session. 

These are two great role models who should enhance our sessions and increase the fun! 

Please note in the pictures that neither of them have to walk on the pitch, sometimes they just cruise above everyone else. 

Ms Skye

Live Your Goals
live your goals fifa msn page

Today there are 29 million women and girls playing football worldwide.

Football is a sport for you too – come along with your friends and help us to grow this number!

The game is fun, easy and fair. If you are interested in keeping fit, healthy and cool then football is the sport for you.

Join a local team and who knows – maybe you will be representing your country at the next FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in Canada in 2015!

Live Your Goals

The Live Your Goals campaign features a number of women’s football’s best players who are living their dreams by having competed in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany and other top international competitions.

The goal of these women and girls was to become a top international footballer. Achieving this goal has given them the chance to travel all over the world and enjoy many amazing experiences on their way to the top! But of course, football is for everybody, whatever your goals!

Live Your Goals shows that dreams can come true, no matter what obstacles stand in the way.

Check out the stories of top players such as Germany’s Kim Kulig, Canada’s Christine Sinclair and New Zealand’s Rebecca Smith amongst many others and see what you too could achieve if you show the same enthusiasm and commitment to football. Click on the Live Your Goals Headline to go to the FIFA website.

With this campaign, FIFA aims to inspire the next generation of female footballers all over the world.

On the Way to Play -- Kids Take Cues from Parents
Ride to the Game Article

by John O'Sullivan

Many a big game has been lost, and many a performance has been ruined, before a single player even steps on the field. It's called the car ride to the game!

As a coach I waged many a battle against the “statistics dad.” He was the guy who told the vanload of kids on the way to the game how their upcoming opponent scored 62 goals and only gave up 3, had not lost in two years, and how their smallest player was bigger than him and had already committed to Stanford at age 12.

Stats Dad soon realized that the kids in the van were no longer smiling but scared to death, so he closed with “Oh, but you guys will be fine, you can win.” And then he handed them off to me with a quick “Go get ’em, coach, these girls are ready!” Ready to what, puke?

Your kids take cues from you, plain and simple, and when you make it clear that this moment is so huge, so important, and so impossible a task, how do you think a 12-year-old is going to react?

Do you work well if you are told that if you mess up you are fired? Could you complete a task at work if you knew that your coworkers and boss were going to yell at you constantly and micromanage your work? If you have to talk before or during the game, then fill kids’ tanks with belief, with confidence, and talk them through ways they can be successful. Better yet, just leave them alone and let them figure it out. They might just surprise you.

Your kids hear what you say, but they are more likely to believe what they see. While being a fan and being a coach are quite different in many regards, one aspect where they are the same is in how players perceive your reactions to certain events during competition.

Next time you are at a youth sporting event, take a look at what players do after a big mistake, a strikeout, or a missed scoring opportunity. They often put their head down, then look at their coach, and then look for their parents. They are looking to see how mom and dad reacted to their error.

If mom and dad are sitting there, holding their heads in shame, faces buried in their hands, they are visually telling their child that what he has done is not good. They are reinforcing all the negative thoughts that are going through his own head in that moment. They are telling him that it is OK to dwell on his mistake because that is exactly what they are doing.

Ultimately, and most damaging, they are telling him that his value is tied to athletic performance. It is sad to hear many young athletes talk about “that look on my mom’s face when I didn’t do well.”

What if your daughter turned to you during the game and saw you clapping and mouthing “great effort” to her as she jogged by. What if she saw you smile, or wink, or give a thumbs-up, telling her it’s OK, to get on with it, to play the next play and forget about the last one. What if she saw you laughing and giggling before the big game instead of looking like you were shipping her off to war?

This simple little switch in your actions and reactions can play a huge role in your child’s love of the game and an even bigger role in her ability to perform in competition.

Coaches know there is no way to know if a player can make the gamewinning shot, or perform in the close game, unless they give her that chance. As a parent, I am often amazed at what my kids can accomplish if I just give them the opportunity to figure it out. It is crucially important that we convey this to our kids through our actions and reactions.

In my coaching I have always adhered to the famous Henry Ford quote: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Let’s make sure that when our kids look at us, they know that we believe in them, and that we think they can succeed!

(John O'Sullivan is the author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High-Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids,” from which this was excerpted. His book is available on Kindle and paperback. John O'Sullivan's blogs at

The Ride Home: Not a Teachable Moment
Ride Home Article

by John O'Sullivan

Numerous researchers have asked athletes of all ages and abilities what was their least favorite sports moment, and their answer was nearly unanimous: after the game and the conversation on the ride home.

Emotions are high, disappointment, frustration, and exhaustion are heightened for both player and parent, yet many parents choose this moment to confront their child about a play, criticize them for having a poor game, and chastise their child, their teammates, their coach, and their opponents. There could not be a less teachable moment in your child’s sporting life than the ride home.

One of the biggest problems on the ride home is that a simple question from you, often meant to encourage your own child, can be construed as an attack on a teammate or coach by your child. Our kids do not need us to question their actions or those of their teammates or coaches in the emotional moments after games.

A simple comment such as “Why does Jenny get all the shots?” may be meant to imply that you think she is a good shooter who should also take shots, but it is interpreted by your daughter as meaning “Jenny is a ball hog!” Questions such as “Why does Billy always play goalie?” or “Why does your team always play zone?” can just as easily undermine the coach’s authority and again cause confusion and uncertainty for your child.

Many children have indicated that parental actions and conversations after games made them feel as though their value and worth was tied to their athletic performance and the wins and losses of their team. Ask yourself whether you are quieter after a hard loss, or happier and more buoyant after a big win. Do you tend to criticize and dissect your child’s performance after a loss but overlook many of the same mistakes because she won? If you see that you are doing this, even though your intentions may be well-meaning, your child’s perceptions of your words and actions can be quite detrimental to her performance and to your relationship.

Parents need to be a source of confidence and comfort in all situations, such as when your child has played well in a loss, when your child has played poorly, and especially when your child has played very little or not at all. Even then, it is critically important that you do not bring the game up for them, as uninvited conversations may cause resentment.

Give kids the time and space to digest the game and recover physically and emotionally from a match. When your child is ready to bring the game up and talk about it, be a quiet and reflective listener, and make sure she can see the big picture and not just the outcome of a single event. Help her work through the game, and facilitate her growth and education by guiding her toward her own answers. Kids learn a lot when they realize things such as “we had a bad week of practice and coach told us this was coming.” If you need to say something, tell them how much you enjoy watching them play.

The only exception to the above “ride home” rule is when your child engages in behavior that you would not accept at home, such as spitting, cursing, assaulting an opponent, or disrespecting a coach or authority figure. In these cases you should initiate the conversation, not as a parent to an athlete, but as a parent to a child. Even then you must be careful and considerate of the emotions of the match and choose your words wisely. Deal with the issue and then put it to bed; do not use it as a segue to a discussion of the entire game.

(John O'Sullivan is the author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High-Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to our Kids,” from which this was excerpted. His book is available on Kindle and paperback. John O'Sullivan's blogs at


One Cap, One Touch, One Goal: The Legend Of Caroline Putz
Caroline Putz my site news 9 02 13
Caroline and family with the game ball from her only cap with WNT

While her U.S. Women’s National Team career was brief – all of four minutes – no player ever did more with her 240 seconds in a U.S. jersey than Caroline Putz.

Exactly 200 women have earned a cap with the full U.S. Women’s National Team, but it’s safe to say none of them had a career like Caroline Putz, a skillful and graceful forward who hails from a town that sounds like the setting for a fairytale…Bountiful. It’s in Utah.

Although Putz’s Women’s National Team career may not be a fairytale, it certainly was a short story.

In the summer of 2000, the U.S. Women’s National Team was in the middle of the busiest year in its history. The team played 41 matches from January through December and won an Olympic silver medal in Australia.

In July, the squad had a match scheduled against Italy on Long Island, N.Y., and as the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions were coming off a championship run at the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, then-head coach April Heinrichs decided to give most of her veterans the match off to rest.

The squad that took on Italy at a minor league baseball stadium in Central Islip, N.Y., included two 1999 World Cup champions in Christie Pearce (Rampone), who is from New Jersey, and Long Island native Sara Whalen, but the rest of the players were youngsters who previously had seen most of their international experience while playing with the U.S. Under-21s.

The starting lineup in front of a sold-out, standing-room-only crowd of 6,022 fans at newly built EAB Park (now Bethpage Park, home of the Long Island Ducks) did feature current U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team head coach Michelle French, who would be a member of the USA’s Olympic Team that year, as well as future national team stand-outs Aly Wagner and Cat Reddick.

On the bench that balmy night was a 19-year-old Putz, who would turn 20 in just a few days. She was enjoying the summer before her junior season at the University of Washington, and although she had played for the USA at the younger national team levels, this was her first call-up to the senior side.

The USA went ahead in the 24th minute on a goal from Wagner, but Italy tied the game through striker Rita Guarino just minutes into the second half. The young Americans put the match away with scores from Whalen in the 54th and Susan Bush in the 76th minute.

The USA had already made four substitutes when Putz was sent on for Bush in the 87th minute.

“Caroline was a good player,” said U.S. Soccer Women’s Development Director Jill Ellis, who as head coach of the U.S. U-21s that year was on the bench for the match with Heinrichs. “She was smooth on the ball, had great vision and was an excellent U-21 player. As far as her goal, we were just trying to get as many players on the field as we could that day and fortunately we were able to give a few minutes to Caroline. She certainly made the most of them.”

Putz says those four minutes went by in a blur because she was so focused. Then one minute of stoppage time was added, which would turn out to be the minute in which Putz would seal her legend as the most efficient goal scorer in U.S. history.

As the match moved into stoppage time, Wagner burst free down the right flank and played a perfect bending ball behind the defense to the crashing Putz. With a first-time touch she blasted the ball into the roof of the net to make it 4-1. Seconds later, the match was over.

One cap, one touch, one goal.

As for that efficiency stat, well, her career projection based on that one appearance would give her an average of 22.5 goals for every 90 minutes.

“They could have put me in during the 90th minute and I wouldn’t have cared,” said Putz. “I just wanted to play. I went into the game filled with adrenaline and excitement. It felt like seconds later when Aly played me a hard bending ball from the right end line. The ball seemed to land directly on my left foot and find the back of the net.”

Those would be the first and last minutes Putz would spend in a U.S. jersey for the senior side. She would go on to finish a stellar career at Washington, where she was a three-time All-Pac 10 selection and four-year starter for the Huskies. She scored 22 career goals with 27 assists (playing two seasons with U.S. WNT goalkeeper Hope Solo) and finished fifth all-time in goals and second all-time in assists in Washington history.

She had aspirations of playing in the WUSA, the USA’s first pro league, but a severe ankle injury a week before the combine contributed to a poor performance in front of the pro scouts and coaches, and she was not drafted.

At that point, the pivotal moment every elite athlete experiences was upon her. Was this the end? Putz was at a crossroads.

“Soccer was all I knew, and all I had been known for,” said Putz. “I had been playing competitively since I was eight years old. Growing up playing on youth national teams there is little time to work or do internships. So, the decision to leave the game was extremely difficult. I had to choose a whole new direction for my life.”

She went back home and earned her MBA at Utah State, where she was also an assistant women’s soccer coach, and then joined the work force, returning to Seattle, where she worked four years for Pacific Coast Feather Co.

After that, she again headed back to her home state and worked five years for an architectural materials and hardware company, 3form, Inc. That’s where she met her husband Galen. The family now resides in Sandy, Utah, and they have two daughters – Sawyer, who is two and a half, and one-year-old Dylan – with one on the way. Speaking of efficiency, when her third is born this December she will have had three children in four years.

Soccer has not played a big part in her life since she left Utah State, and although she does do some private coaching, she has turned her athletic passions to distance running. Now Caroline Leith, despite limited time to train (see: three kids in three years), has completed 10 marathons with a best time of three hours and 23 minutes.

If you saw her at the gym or running on the street, one would certainly identify her as one of those super-fit moms, but hardly anyone who knows her nowadays would know that she holds a highly unusual and obscure U.S. WNT record.

“When I stopped playing in 2002, I retreated a little from the game,” she admitted. “I was always known around (Utah) as the girl who played soccer. I wanted to have a professional career [outside of soccer] and have a happy family life. I never stopped loving the game I just kept my accomplishments within my close circle of family and friends.”

That is, of course, until U.S. Soccer’s Centennial Celebration unearthed this classic Hidden Cap.

July 7, 2000, will always be with her, in her memory. A special memento, a ball from that game sits on her desk at home, inscribed with her name, the score, date and “first cap, first goal.”

“When the ball went into the back of the net that day, it encapsulated my entire career,” said Putz, who was the second – and most recent -- player from Utah to earn a cap with the full WNT. “At that moment, all the hard work I had put into soccer over the years came together. All the hours I worked, all the time I put in, everyone I played with and all the teams I played on contributed to my being on the field on that day. Even though I only played a few minutes, I was proud to earn a cap at the highest level. I never thought that game would be my last time with the national team, but it actually was. The ball is not only a reminder of the game itself, it’s a reminder of years of dedication.”

So to all the future National Team players out there, when you make your debut, hopefully it will be the first of many games. If it turns out to be your only cap and you want to make a Putz-like impact, you’re on the clock.

You’ve got four minutes.

Just a Little Soccer Girl
She runs toward the goal with her heart pounding fast.
The fullbacks are coming; the die has been cast.
Mom and Dad cannot help her, she moves all alone.
A score at this moment would send the team home.
The ball meets her boot; she kicks and she misses.
There is a groan from the crowd, with some boos and hisses.
A thoughtless voice cries, "Take her out."
Tears fill her eyes; the games no longer fun.
From this point on her soccer could be done.
So open your heart and give her a break.
For it's moments like this, a woman you can make.
Keep this in mind when you hear someone forget.
She's just a little girl and not a woman yet.

Rich Randall 

and Kristine says

Kristine says hello and gives the soccer secret from tsh on Vimeo.

Patch Iron-on Instructions

1. Preheat the iron for a minimum of 5 minutes on a medium (silk/wool) setting.

2. Place the patch ...

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              evidently the room service folks were eating at the Longhorn 'short service' Steakhouse too


Baby Ball

2013 14 Artist Playlist

Pretty Maids All In A Row,  Eagles 7/22

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Velocity SC 00/01 Girls
Velocity SC 00/01 Girls

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