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Postcard from Kate Markgraf in Shenzhen, China

Every so often when the U.S. Women’s National Team plays out of the country, a player will write an e-postcard, filling in the fans back home on the happenings of the team, off field activities, and anything else on their mind.  Today, the former Kate Sobrero shares her thoughts on her new name, her new role as an offensive force and her love for Easy Mac.

Hello from Shenzhen.  In case you aren’t currently taking a class in Chinese geography, Shenzhen is a fairly new city (about 30 years old they tell us) located just above Hong Kong in Southern China. Out of my four trips to China, this is by FAR the warmest city we’ve been to as in the past I’ve worn a hat and gloves every day. I actually think I might have gotten a suntan today.

The team is in good spirits due to the weather, the favorable currency exchange rate, and of course the low, low prices of goods here in China, as well the endless supply of Easy Mac that we brought from the United States. The food here is not exactly what we are used to back home, and the Easy Mac has been a staple of my meals. I’ll eat (the instant macaroni and cheese dish) at least once day.

My roommate on this trip is Abby Wambach. During the day, she is tons of fun, but let’s just say she’s not the quietest sleeper in the world and leave it at that. Otherwise, we hang out and watch tons of movies on the DVD player my husband gave me for Christmas, which was the best gift ever. We’re working our way through the first season of “Alias,” but have also watched a bunch of movies. Let’s just say we don’t move around a lot in the afternoons.

This is my first tournament with my married name on the back of my jersey and several of the other coaches at the tournament thought we had a new defender. No, just me!  Everyone is having a bit of difficulty pronouncing it smoothly, even though you’d think it would be easy. It’s Markgraf. You see the Mark flows right into the graf.  It’s not separate syllables like MARK-GRAF. 

In our first game against Sweden, I got an assist, which trust me, doesn’t happen very often. Everyone was so excited for me, which was cool.  It was almost like I’d scored a goal myself.  I think I expended more energy on my celebration than I did during the game. Everyone ran over to give me a hug, so that was a nice moment.

Well, I’ve had my Easy Mac for the evening, now it’s time go watch another episode of “Alias.” Goodbye from sunny Shenzhen!

- Kate Markgraf