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w/ WNT midfielder Angela Hucles

Off-the-wall Questions and Answers, Queries and Anecdotes from U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Angela Hucles.

Angela Hucles has come a long way in the last four years. From college standout for the underrated University of Virginia women’s soccer team, to star on the W-League’s Hampton Roads Piranhas, to dynamic player over the WUSA’s first two years for the Boston Breakers, she’s impressed enough to warrant a call-up and a good, hard look from U.S. Women’s National Team head coach April Heinrichs as she eyes the players that can help the U.S. defend their world title. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind for the Virginia Beach, Va., native, but she’s ready for whatever comes next in 2003.

Center Circle: Did you ever think you'd get called in to the full National Team after competing as an Under-20 way back way in 1997-99?
Angela Hucles: “It was always a goal and a dream of mine, but I wasn't ever sure if or how it would happen, so I've just let my life run its course and I'm enjoying the experience right now. I graduated from college in 2000 and there was no WUSA at the time, so obviously, I owe a great debt to the WUSA and the Boston Breakers."

CC: If you could pick one spot in the U.S. midfield, which role would you rather fulfill? Attacking, defensive or flank?
AH: “I've had more experience recently as a flank midfielder, and I think I have the qualities to play that position, but I always try to keep my options open and try to be versatile in the positions that I can play so I can help the team the most. Any position on the field is better than any position off the field.”

CC: How exciting is it to be in this first camp of 2003 with the Women's World Cup less than nine months away?
AH: “It's thrilling. To know that the Women's World Cup is only nine months away and that I'm training with a team that is going to be there just reminds me of how fortunate I am. I know that every time I am in a training camp or at home, I will be working towards the goal of making that team. It is going to be a huge challenge for the USA to win in China, but I know all of these players are looking forward it.”

CC:How has playing in the WUSA helped you, both on and off the field?
AH: “First of all, just being able to play with international stars every day has been invaluable in my development. It has also given April (Heinrichs) the environment in which to watch and evaluate players, and she has given a number of players like myself the chance to prove ourselves at the next level.”

CC:What was your impression of the W-League when you played in your backyard for the Hampton Roads Piranhas back in 2000?
AH: “It was great to be able to continue my soccer career after college, especially because we had a good team. Being able to keep playing at a high level in my hometown was not only a fun experience, but as I look back, extremely valuable in helping me get where I am today.”

CC:The success of the Men's Soccer program at UVa is well-documented with a relative dynasty in the early 90's. Tell us something we don't know about how good the Cavs women’s team is?
AH: “Virginia is a wonderful place to play college soccer. The university is so supportive of their athletes and the focus on academics is also first rate. We've had some great players come through the program and I know one day, you'll see the Orange and Blue in the Final Four again.”

CC:Having grown up in the Virginia Beach area, have you ever had to "batten down the hatches" to prepare for a nasty Hurricane?
AH: “One time when I was 10, I can remember that we boarded up the windows because there was a hurricane coming. My mom actually put my brother and I in the bathroom because that was the only room without windows. We slept in the bathroom that night.”

CC: How does Virginia Beach compare with say ... Miami Beach?
AH: “Although I have never ‘experienced’ the true Miami Beach, Virginia Beach can get its party on now and then, for sure.”

CC:How are the guitar lessons coming? Know your power chords yet?
AH: “What's a power chord? I did teach myself how to play Jingle Bells so I will be ready to go next Christmas.”

CC: If you're going to have a band, you've got to have a catchy name. So...?
AH: “If you remember the Church scene in the Eddie Murphy movie ‘Coming to America’ then you know the name of my band.”

CC:Who's the hardest rocking chick in music today? And Avril Lavigne does not qualify.
AH: “Gotta go with Pink. The girl is doing her own thing, and I admire that. She would pound Avril.”

CC:When did you become such a electronics freak, with the Palm Pilot, MP3, etc?
AH: “With all the traveling I've done in the past couple of years, you have to have something to keep you busy and well-connected, so I've turned to technology.”

CC:How cold is Boston in January?
AH: “Let's just say, I spent the WUSA off-season in the South.”

CC:Is there any story behind your middle name (Khalia)?
AH: “My parents were going to name me Khalila Angela Hucles, but as you can tell, it doesn't flow nicely, so they flip-floped it and dropped the ‘li’ in the middle.”

CC:You wrote recurring columns on women's sports for the Boston Metro during the 2002 season. Is sports journalism something that comes naturally to you or is it a work in progress?
AH: “I've always enjoyed English and writing, but it's definitely a work in progress. But it's something I can do to balance the athletic part of myself and get the brain muscles moving again. It's refreshing to be able to express myself through that avenue.”

CC:You worked for the Mass. state Treasury Department's "Saving Makes Cents" program. What investing advice would you give someone your age looking to get into the market? Stocks, bonds or under the mattress?
AH: “Definitely the first thing you should do if you haven't already is start an IRA or a 401K. But after that, in this day and age, the mattress might be your best bet.” 

Table of Contents
1) Armchair Midfielder (What's to be in 2003)
2) In Threes (w/ MNT goalkeeper Tim Howard)
3) D.J. for a Day (w/ U-20 MNT defender Chad Marshall)
4) Queries and Anecdotes (w/ WNT midfielder Angela Hucles)
5) Mark That Calendar (Back to Bidness…)
6) Superstar!!! (w/ MNT goalkeeper Brad Friedel)
7) FAN Point/Counterpoint (Reviews of "Our Way")
8) "You Don't Know Jack (Marshall)" (2002 WNT Trivia)

Download this issue of Center Circle (.pdf).

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