Off-the-wall Questions and Answers, Queries and Anecdotes from U.S. Women’s National Team defender Kylie Bivens.CC: What was it like stepping onto the field in the Women's World Cup after making the team as somewhat of a surprise selection?
KB: "Somewhat of a surprise? It was a total surprise. The first game, even though I didn't play, it probably hit me the hardest. With all that was going on with the WUSA, with all the ‘Save the WUSA’ signs that were in the stands, and everyone clapping and screaming for the team I always dreamed of playing for…it was like accomplishing part of my dream."
CC: What was your best memory from the tournament, on or off the field?
KB: "The World Cup hadn't started yet and I was rooming with Abby Wambach. I was pretty much a new player, and I didn't know how the team would react to me. Then I get roomed with Abby, whose team just beat us in the WUSA championship game, and who scored the winning goal past me. I woke up in the middle night talking in my sleep, and we both just started laughing hysterically for 15 minutes until someone banged on the wall in the room next door. From then on, I felt a bit more comfortable."
CC: You were fortunate to reach two of the three Founders Cup finals from 2001-03. How good was the Atlanta Beat?
KB: "All of us had a winning mentality, but as far as winning the final game, we lacked a little something to go all the way. Still, we had so many talented players and I couldn't imagine playing for any other team."
CC: Will the WUSA be back strong in 2005?
KB: "I hope so, but I am making plans just in case it doesn't. I'm trying to get into grad school in Sports Marketing, so if anyone has any internships or job leads, please e-mail them to ussoccer.com."
CC: How difficult is it being a 5'5" defender and trying to shut down the likes of Abby Wambach, Cindy Parlow or some of those huge Germans?
KB: "The hardest part about playing against players that tall is not their height, it's how wide they are. I am not so concerned with beating them in the air. You might not win every header, but you can stop them from winning the ball. It's just their strength in holding you off the ball that's tough to deal with, and it's hard to see around them."
CC: Your fellow back line mate Kate Markgraf is still waiting for her first goal after over 100 appearances with the U.S. WNT, while defensive midfielder Shannon Boxx has scored like 10 in 20 matches. [Editor’s Note: She actually has nine goals in her 20 international appearances.] Do you think you'll be more on Kate's path or Boxxy's?
KB: "Probably more on Kate's path, but I would like to be more on Boxxy's path. I think that if one day I get to be a consistent player on this team, I'll get a goal or two and fall somewhere in between them. I got to play forward for one year at Santa Clara, so I am not totally unfamiliar with what goes on inside the other team's penalty area."
KB: "It's just very, very sweaty there. Living there three summers, you just sweat like crazy. Your hands, your knees, it's just sticky. It's not that it's so hot, it's just so humid. It's like you are underneath a down comforter with the heat turned up."
CC: Your bio tells us that sushi is your favorite food. But be honest, can the sushi you find in Atlanta even compare to that of your home state of California?
KB: "Yes, easy. Harry & Sons in Virginia Highlands is some of the best sushi I've ever had. During the season, I ate there at least three or four times a month, but it's expensive, so on WUSA salaries, you can't go there too often. I tried making my own sushi once and it didn't work out too well, so I'll still be letting the professionals make it for me."
CC: How long have you been rocking the retro Atlanta Braves hat?
KB: "Every since I cut my hair short and didn't like it. I got the hat after I found out I made the World Cup team in San Diego, so I guess I wore it a lot during the Women's World Cup. As a matter of fact, I don't think I ever took it off except for games. I would have played in it if they would have let me."
CC: What makes a bad hair day?
KB: "I wouldn't know, because I've never had one…Yeah, right!!! When do I have a good hair day? You know what? Every day is a bad hair day, especially when I wake up and my hair is three feet above my head. Also having your hair 20 different colors and 20 different layers like always seems to happen to me."
CC: We hear you're a bit of an artist, with sculpture and woodwork being your most common mediums. Could you make a whistle out of a short tree branch?
KB: "That's a really stupid question, but I guess I have to answer it. That's the rules, right? I guess I could make something that looks like a whistle, but I can't guarantee that it will work."
CC: Who is your favorite artist of all time?
KB: "I'm more of a fan of painters. I'm not really into other people's sculpture, I'm more into artists who paint in oils. No one famous really, but I would go to art shows in the Bay Area when I was in college and a painter named Emily Long is someone I really enjoyed. She used bright oils and her work was very uplifting."
CC: Are you serious enough about art that you go to museum and gallery openings, or is it just a hobby?
KB: "I would say both. I'm not on the mailing list for the major museums, but Atlanta has a lot of art festivals that I would go to. I wouldn't buy anything because it was too expensive, and I really didn't have anywhere to put stuff."
CC: Which character do you most identify with from your favorite movie, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”: Charlie (the main character), Mike Teevee, Veruca Salt, Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregarde or one of the Oompa-Loompas?
KB: "No one really; I just loved the movie because I love chocolate. I can't watch the movie without a pile of candy bars in front of me. I so want one of those huge teddy-bear sized gummy bears just to chomp on."
CC: And finally, who's your favorite big-haired member of Bon Jovi and why?
KB: "I'd say Jon himself. We were both styling the same mullet hair cut the day we met him at the Women's World Cup. He also had beautiful hands, teeth, and let's just say, he wore his jeans well."
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