I am proud to have been able to play so many games for my country but, I've never been one who likes attention. More than any number of caps, I’m proud to have been able to play so long because of the experiences I've had in the game and the fact that I've been able to keep learning along the way on this amazing journey. Since I played my first game for the National Team in 1997, I've grown tremendously as a person, as a mom, and as a player. Even approaching 300 caps, I’m still learning about the game. I’m playing for my fifth head coach and I’m glad to be able to embrace change.
People often ask me to look back over all these caps, but I’m a person who likes to look forward. You can always think back and say ‘I wish I was this fit or this confident 10 years ago,’ but you learn from those experiences and move forward; that’s part of being successful. I will say, sometimes when I have a bad game, I stop and think, ‘I have almost 300 caps, how could I have a bad game!’ That’s soccer – nothing is given, everything is earned.
My family will likely be at my 300th cap, and my oldest daughter Rylie is starting to understand what I've done in my career, although she probably has no idea what a cap is. She knows about the big events, the World Cups and the Olympics, and all the players she’s been able to hang out with and places she’s gone. Someday, I’ll try to explain to her how I've gotten to this point in my career.
While the U-13/14 age division focuses on its Central regional event this weekend in Westfield, Indiana, the older age groups continue to forge ahead through the 2014-15 regular season.
Several teams will face some difficult road challenges over the Oct. 25-26 weekend, which could potentially set the tone within their respective divisions.
Out West, De Anza Force heads north for two tough road tests in Northwest Division play. On Saturday, De Anza Force takes on Vancouver Whitecaps FC, followed by Crossfire Premier on Sunday. The Whitecaps U-17/18s are 7-0-0 (3.00 points per game) and their U-15/16 team is 5-1-1 (2.29 points per game), good for second place behind the San Jose Earthquakes. Both De Anza Force teams are in third place in the division, with the U-17/18s at 4-1-0 (2.40 points per game) and the U-15/16s as 2-1-2 (1.60 points per game). Crossfire Premier’s U-17/18 team is off to a good start this season with a 4-2-2 record and 1.75 points per game, in fifth place.
In the East, a highly anticipated matchup at the U-17/18 age group features Weston FC traveling to face Kendall SC. Kendall leads the Southeast Division with a 6-1-1 record and 2.38 points per game, and Weston is in fifth place at 4-2-2 (1.75 points per game).
One of the toughest road trips among the Central teams is in the Frontier Division. Sporting Kansas City heads to Texas to face FC Dallas, which is in first place at the U-15/16 level at 4-0-0 and 3.00 points per game and third at the U-17/18s at 3-1-0 (2.25 points per game). Sporting’s U-17/18s are right on FC Dallas’ heels in fourth place (3-1-1, 2.00 points per game).