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10 Questions with Courtney Verloo

Tall, blonde, smiley and friendly, Courtney Verloo is an excellent representative of the U.S. Women’s National Teams as well as one of the top forwards in the country for her age. She scored her first FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup goal against Paraguay on Nov. 2 and now focuses on a critical match with France on Nov. 5 to finish Group C. The Tualatin, Ore., product sat down with the to answer 10 Questions about the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, why she’s really not that soft-spoken and what it’s like being taller than most girls (and boys). Can you give us your thoughts about the first two matches, against Japan and Paraguay?

Courtney Verloo: “I thought that the first game we came out a little nervous. It seems like so long ago even though it was only a week ago, but I am learning that every game in the World Cup is so big that it takes a lot of energy no matter who you are playing. Japan was an excellent team, but it was a great learning experience for us because we are team used to winning and that was a huge lesson for us about what it takes to win at this level. In the second game, we had another rocky start, but the best thing about that game was coming back in the second half and getting the result we needed, which sometimes in a World Cup is the most important thing.” What are your thoughts about the life of a forward?

CV: “I think you have to focus on the positives. You are going to fail most of the time, but the one time you put the ball away it can make the difference between winning a losing. It is a rough life, but a glorious life at the same time. You just have to have a stubborn spirit and keep trying to find ways to score.” You are the middle child of three sisters. What perks does the middle sister get?

CV: “I was the youngest for a long time, as my sister is just nine, so I got the baby treatment for a long time, which was nice. Now, I get to steal clothes from my older sister and my younger sister is still too small to wear mine. So there are some perks.” You are 5-foot-9. Do you like being the tall girl?

CV: “I do like it. It’s fun. Clothes fit well and I can reach things that are high. My boyfriend is 6-feet tall so I don’t feel tall next to him, but in the past when short boys would ask me out, I would have to think twice about it.” What do you think are the main strengths of your game?

CV: “I think I still have a lot of areas I need to improve in. I want to improve my finishing and my ability to connect with midfielders and the other forwards, giving them passes that have the correct weight and speed so they are easy to play. Some coaches tell me that I am good with my back to the goal and that I’m a good finisher, but I have a long way to go to get to where I want to be as a player.” You are sort of a soft-spoken person. Would you say you are one of the quieter players on the team?

CV: “I think I can be quiet at first if I don’t know you, but I’m pretty loud and outgoing when you get to know me. If you ask any of my friends if I was quiet, they would probably laugh. I think there are just some big personalities on this team so I like to sit back and be amused by them.” Tell us about your goal against Paraguay?

CV: “It was exciting to score in a World Cup. Vicki (DiMartino) put a nice ball through to me and I had to do a bit of work to get by a few defenders, but when I saw the ‘keeper shifting to the one side, I just hit as hard as I could and it caught the corner. It was a good moment for team and a good goal for our confidence.” What lessons have you learned so far about playing in a World Cup?

CV: “I’ve learned that soccer is very unpredictable and that you need to focus on the game at hand. Every game has its own challenges and you just never know what they are going to be so you have to be ready for anything. Any moment in a game can make a big difference in the outcome.” What would be your advice to the 15-year-olds out there who want to play in the next U-17 Women’s World Cup?

CV: “My best advice would be to really take what your coaches critique you on and work on it at home. I would tell them to go into the camps confident and play like you do at home. Don’t be intimidated. If you got called into a national team camp, it must be because you played well somewhere. Playing with the best players in the country is always hard, but if you are ready for the speed and competitiveness, you can excel in that environment.” Can you give us three reasons why Oregon is the best state?

CV: “Well there are many reasons, but if I had to pick three…No. 1 would be that it has all four seasons and so many trees that it’s beautiful all year and everyone has a plentiful amount of fresh air and oxygen. No. 2 is the people are really down to earth and so friendly. And No. 3 is all the great places to eat in Portland.”