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Blog 16: Ironic twist of fate
by Christen Press, June 23rd, 2012 5PM

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TAGS:  americans abroad, sweden, video, women's national team

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[THE PITCH] The U.S. women's national team's trip to Sweden gave U.S. Soccer's Studio 90 crew a chance to catch up with Christen Press, the top scorer for FC Gothenburg with 10 goals in eight Damallsvenskan matches. The former Hermann Trophy winner talks about her adjustment to life and soccer in Sweden. She admits she was a little overwhelmed at first, though never scared. But her success with FC Gothenburg helped earn her a call-up to the national team and a place as an alternate on the 2012 Olympic team, an ironic twist of fate, she says, at a time she feels she was distancing herself from the national team. Watch the Studio 90 video ...



Stoppage Time

I spent the last two weeks training with the United States Women’s National team, coincidentally and quite conveniently, in Sweden! The first week was pure training in my new city of residence, Gothenburg; and the second week included two matches (wins) versus Sweden and Japan in Halmstad.

My short time with the team has been unique (getting to join after such limited experience with the team), exciting (finally getting the opportunity to play at the international level), and enlightening (figuring out everything new, which of course is everything).

Obviously, there is much to report! But, all in all, stepping into this new environment has given me a glimpse of what I hope will be my future as well as providing me a chance to step back to appreciate exactly where I am today.  I am doing my best to pull the reigns back on over-analyzing every comment, pass, and look exchanged so that I can fully enjoy and appreciate these moments … but as I’m sure you know by now, that’s not really my style!

Off The Post!

I spent this sunny Thursday afternoon with some teammates making midsommarkrans. Midsommar is a Swedish holiday, a celebration that is centered on the summer solstice where people rejoice in nature, sunshine, and summer in general. Krans, flower head wreaths, are a typical accessory for the day, and as someone desperate to experience all things Swedish, I set out to make my own. I sat, relaxing on the grass, wrapping flowers around wire. The scene took me back in time and place to my earliest krans making days…

When I was 4 years old, I was a flower-jeweler of sorts. I started playing soccer began my first soccer experience in co-ed, full-field 11v11. You noticed that "starting playing soccer" was crossed out? That’s because in 1993 my time on the pitch was filled cart-wheeling, blowing kisses toward my mom’s video camera, and of course perfecting a rather elaborate daisy-chain, while my teammates played the proverbial swarm-ball soccer around me.

After a season of flower crowns, necklaces and bracelets, my mom, who had filled her last tape with my shenanigans, asked me why I didn’t try to go to the ball. Stunned, I replied, “Mommy…They are kicking by the ball!”  Did I say Rookie For Life? Make that Diva For Life! ... My little princess self had no idea just how many kicks I would suffer in the future on my quest for goals.



2 comments
  1. William McGlockton
    commented on: June 24, 2012 at 12:23 p.m.
    Enjoyed the interview Mo...must have been great to have the US National team visit Sweden...keep "Pressing" (pun very much intended, of course, and enjoy the experience...whatever it brings. DC Crew
  1. Carlos Thys
    commented on: June 27, 2012 at 5:28 a.m.
    Ma'am, I too have had the fine privilege of being in Sweden during the Summer Solstice and its various fine folk celebrations. I was in a much smaller town about two hours north of your present home city. It was a very fine cultural moment and they did not mind "strangers;" we were treated so well and hospitably as guests. It would be interesting to hear if there were any concurrent events involving your club (or teammates) and the recent games that the Swedish men's team played in the Ukraine. For example, did your team at any point gather to watch a match together? Now, more to what concerns you: Is there talk among your teammates about crossing paths at the Summer Olympics? It is possible, as I am sure that you know. Please don't fret or over-analyze a phone call or call up. If you are doing your best, you are certainly in a very good place for a national team coach to want to give you every consideration. However, as you know, there are only 18! slots on the team allowed. So few. Just do please enjoy the opportunity to ply your trade (and get to be paid some for it) while having this fine opportunity abroad. Most good athletes -- even really, really good ones -- never again get to compete (in anything) once they've hit their 21st or 22d birthday. Thank you for the glimpses of things in Svierge. (And enjoy all that sunlight while you still have it!)

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