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Meghan Klingenberg

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Meghan Klingenberg's Story - One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.

The only thing small about Meghan Klingenberg – just call her Kling -- is her height. Her personality, toughness, competitive desire and talent on the soccer field certainly loom large, so much so that the third-degree black belt in taekwondo has molded herself into one of the best attacking outside backs in the world. Who would have known that a girl from Pittsburgh, who did a demo with Nunchucks to NSYNC’s “Here We Go” in her fifth grade talent show, would one day rise to the U.S. Women’s National Team? Kling would -- that’s who.

NOT A NATURAL

At six-years-old, Meghan was not a starter – ever. “The coach would be like, ‘We’re going to put in Meghan’ – and everybody would be like, ‘Great, now we’re going to lose.’ I was that bad,” says Klingenberg.

She blames it on being timid and shy, on not understanding anything about the game. “It was embarrassing. I was shut out from the team because I wasn’t good enough. Those are hard feelings to deal with regardless of what age you are,” says Klingenberg. “I basically thought, I have to be better at this if I want friends.”

Meghan Klingenberg

KARATE CHOP

In an effort to make her less timid, Klingenberg’s father signed her up for Taekwondo. “People kind of looked at you funny if you’re a girl, but I liked it so much that I just threw all inhibitions to the wind. It was so good for my confidence across the board. I was like, ‘Why do I care, if it really makes me this happy?’” She’s now a third-degree black belt and is definitely no longer shy. “I used to hide behind my mom’s leg – now my mom’s like, ‘What happened to you?’ I think she liked me better back then,” jokes Klingenberg, affectionately known as ‘Kling’ by those close to her.

Meghan Klingenberg

SIBLING WARS

Kling and her younger brother Drew constantly played in the basement. “I always beat him; except this one time. I was losing… and I was a very competitive little kid, and I got so ticked off that I pushed him into the wall. Unfortunately, the wall had a corner – his head just cracked open. It was bleeding and I was like, ‘You cannot tell mom about this.’ But we did, and we had to take him to the hospital. Nothing ever really changed after that. I was competitive, which made him competitive, which made me more competitive – it was just kind of this cycle.” Drew, an incoming senior on Penn State’s soccer team, who is still Kling’s go-to training partner, credits his sister with his own success. “I completely attribute me playing soccer to her,” says Drew. 


U.S. National Team: An industrious defender with the ability to make quality contributions on offense, Klingenberg earned her way onto the National Team after a successful stint in Scandinavia to play her club football. Broke into the WNT consistently upon her return to play in the NWLS when the new league launched in 2013.

2015: 

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Champion... Named to the 2015 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup roster, her first World Cup selection... Has played in all 17 games for the WNT so far this year, starting 16 and playing the fourth-most minutes on the team with 1306... Scored her first goal of 2015 and second of her international career, during the USA's 4-0 victory against New Zealand on April 4 in St. Louis... Was one of three defenders to score in the victory... Key piece of the USA's back line during the Algarve Cup, appearing in all four matches and starting three to help the USA capture its 10th title after defeating France 2-0 in the final on March 11... Assisted the equalizing goal to preserve the unbeaten streak for the WNT on home soil against Brazil on October 21 in Seattle...



2014: Cemented herself as a candidate at left or right back, started 17 of 18 games played, both career highs in a calendar year … Was sixth on the team for field players in minutes played with 1,325 … Notched her first international goal at the senior level with a goal-of-the-year level long-distance strike against Haiti during World Cup Qualifying … 2013: Played in four matches, starting three … Foot injuries kept her out of action toward the end of the year … 2012: Did not play a match for the U.S. WNT, but was named an alternate for the 2012 Olympic Team and traveled to the U.K. with the squad … Had shoulder surgery at the end of the year … 2011: First call-up to the senior team came for a training camp in January of 2011, and she earned a spot on the roster for the Four Nations Tournament in China … She earned her first two senior team caps at the Four Nations, playing against Canada and China off the bench as a late-game sub … Youth National Teams: Played for the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team in 2009 and 2010 … A key member of the USA’s 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup champions … Played every minute of her five starts in the tournament including all 90 during the World Cup Final victory against Korea DPR … Ended her U-20 career with 16 caps and one goal, that scored against Costa Rica in the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament … She played every minute of all five matches at the U-20 Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament … Played for the USA at the U-17 and U-16 levels in 2005 and 2004 … First Appearance: Jan. 23, 2011 vs. Canada … First Goal: Oct. 20, 2014


Professional / Club – Allocated to the Boston Breakers for the 2014 NWSL season, but was then taken with the sixth selection of the 2014 NWSL Expansion Draft by the Houston Dash … 2014: Started all seven games in which she appeared for the Houston Dash, playing a total of 607 minutes after returning from her Swedish club … 2013: Played her second season with Tyresö, starting 17 of the 20 matches in which she appeared while scoring once … Helped the club win its Round of 32 UEFA Women’s Champions League series against French power Paris Saint-German and Round of 16 series against Danish club Fortuna … In the second leg against Fortuna, her free kick service led to a back-heel flick volley goal for U.S. teammate Whitney Engen … 2012: Played eight matches for Tyresö in Damallsvenskan in Sweden and in her first season with the club, Tyresö won the league and qualified for Champion’s League … Tyresö won the league in the last game of the season over rivals LdB Malmö … 2011: Taken third overall in the 2011 WPS Draft by magicJack, but after seeing action in just two games, she was traded in early June to the Boston Breakers for Nikki Washington … She played 10 matches for Boston, starting them all and totaled 961 minutes for the season … It didn’t take Klingenberg long to make an impact on the field once she came to Boston, as four days after the trade, and in her first game as a Breaker, she scored what proved to be the game-winner in a 2-1 victory at home over her former club and also assisted on the first goal of the game … She totaled one goal and two assists on the season …Youth: Played youth club for Penns Forest FC from U-15 through U-19 … Won state titles with PFFC at U-15 and U-17 levels.

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