Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Happy Feet
by Christen Press, January 31st, 2013 5:38PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  americans abroad, spain, sweden, women's national team

MOST COMMENTED

[THE PITCH 2013: Blog 2]I hear the whistle: a penalty kick in double overtime. I see two of my teammates both go for the ball. It’s the same thing that happened before! They fight to take the PK. But now, one girl takes the ball out of the other girl’s hands, and turns and gives it to me. She looks in my eyes and says, “This is yours.” At that moment, I know I score it for sure. It’s the biggest game of my career. This is the most important moment. Back home, my mom locks herself in the bedroom and tells my father to only come get her if we win the game. “If not, just don’t come in.”
 
I shoot, and the keeper takes it. I can’t believe it. I turn around to meet someone’s eyes, anyone’s eyes, but nobody looks at me. The bench is crying. The people in the stands are crying. My teammates on the field are crying.
 
Normally, I would just start crying too. It’s over! There is only one minute left. But something tells me there is going to be one more chance. So, I just run and run and run. I see the ball in the air coming across the goal. Everything freezes. I think “This is it,” and I just shoot and score. And then, I just keep running and running and running. And my teammates are running. And I slide to the ground. The referee blows the final whistle right then. I think, “This is the best feeling in the world.” I know I only feel like this once in my life.
 

-Verónica Boquete on scoring the winning goal in the final play of the game, qualifying Spain for this summer’s European Championship.

 

Veronica Boquete: 'I know I only feel like this once in my life'



One day on the bus home from training, she recounts this event. “In that moment my luck changed. I went from losing everything, to winning everything. I went from being dead to the feeling of most being alive.”
 
Vero smiled the whole way home. I’ve only known my new roommate/teammate for a week, but even a stranger could see the sparkle in her expression when she talks about that goal. I can hear her passion for the game in her words, spoken in a thick Spanish accent -- always in the present tense -- but I can feel her soccer fervor even stronger in  the words that were not said.
 

Vero celebrates after sending Spain to the Euros



Just three years ago, Vero could be found in Spain, playing in the Primera División de la Liga de Fútbol Femenino (scoring 39 goals), but unknown to most the football world. In 2010, she came to the USA to play for a month for the then second-division WNY Flash. After being scouted in the WPSL final, she was picked up by the Chicago Red Stars and simply, “couldn’t believe it.” The next year, she would go on to be a star player for WPS finalist Philadelphia Independence, earning the Player of the Year award and the ample, well-deserved respect from the professional women’s football world.
 
Flash-forward to today. Vero is coming off of a championship season last year, where she was honored as Damallsvenskan’s most valuable midfielder. There isn’t a women’s pro player in the game that doesn’t know her name and her quick feet. Not a bad three years! She is an attacking midfielder with rare technical prowess and an authority over the game at a mere 5-foot-1. I can still see her running up the field, seemingly moving faster with the ball at her foot, when I played against her at both Magicjack and Göteborg. 
 
Before my arrival at Tyresö, I got a message from my soon-to-be teammate: “Are you ready for the penguins?” And when I walked through the door at the House of Happiness she pointed to the snow, “Here, only the penguins can live.” But Vero, like the little penguin Mumble, has managed to thrive with her “happy feet.”
 
I found her in the locker room the other day, lathering her leather cleats in body lotion. In response to my quizzical look, she explained, “These are THE cleats…” (meaning the cleats she wore when she scored that Euro-qualifying-luck-changing goal)… “They love the lotion. It’s very great for you to come to this team. Because you have me, and I have the lucky cleats. And so, we win everything.”
 

Veronica Boquete's cleats love Nivea



I smile, a knowing smile … I have lucky cleats myself. Their studs are worn down, their soles full of holes, and they are a size or two too small. I don’t have them with me anymore. My father has kept them over the years for sentimental reasons. Looking at Vero now, massaging her “lucky cleats,” I can't help but wonder … just how much time she spent in those boots, running, juggling, finishing, and lotioning to make them so lucky.
 
Stoppage Time:
 
The below freezing temperatures here in Stockholm don’t keep us from training, running, lifting and meeting in full-swing, pre-season mode. Our possession-oriented sessions with this attacking-minded team keep me on my toes and my head on a swivel. The ball moves quickly and smoothly. I’m enjoying learning our style of play as well as my new team’s personality. The "new" is always fun and the football here is serious, just the way I like it. My feet are happy here, too.
 
We have our pre-season opener at home this Saturday against the Norwegian team Stabaek FK. I leave for camp with the USWNT squad early Sunday.

The Pitch 2013: Blog 1
The Pitch 2012:Blogs 1-36



2 comments
  1. Allison Herbert
    commented on: February 1, 2013 at 9:18 a.m.
    I will share your definition of lucky with the girls. Great story!
  1. James Madison
    commented on: February 2, 2013 at 10:15 p.m.
    As always, the highlight of Soccer America Daily

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
NWSL: Olympians back in fold, mostly    
Off for 26 days because of the Olympics -- except for one make-up game -- the ...
What They're Saying: Laura Harvey    
"It's about someone's livelihood. It's about their career. Irrelevant of what the decision is and who ...
What They're Saying: Alex Morgan    
"The players don't control any of the consequences that happen, that are enforced by U.S. Soccer. ...
TV Report: MLS and NFL to air joint lineup    
MLS Countdown: Timbers' health improving    
Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle and Portland meet Sunday at Providence Park for the second time in ...
WCQ: T&T goes heavy on U.S.-based players    
Nine U.S.-based players -- five in MLS, three in the USL and one in the NASL ...
Video Pick: And the winner is ... Messi    
Add 2015-16 UEFA Goal of the Season to Lionel Messi's large collection of honors. His goal ...
'Past incidents' catch up with Hope Solo    
If 35-year-old Hope Solo, suspended for six months on Wednesday for her comments after the USA-Sweden ...
CCL: FC Dallas takes point in Nicaragua    
MLS Supporters' Shield leader FC Dallas escaped with a 2-1 win over Nicaragua's Real Esteli at ...
MLS Talking Points: Morris' finishing must get better    
In five games, the Seattle Sounders have made up nine of the 10-point deficit they had ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives