[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 ...
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 soccerbegan 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.