Whenever any U.S. National Team is traveling the world in exotic places, they like to send e-postcards back to the fans of U.S. Soccer in the United States. Today's postcard is from U.S. WNT defender Christie Pearce, who is in China with the U.S. Women participating in the Four Nations Tournament featuring Norway, Germany and China. The U.S. Women begin the tournament on Thursday (Jan. 23) against Norway in Yiwu. This just in: Christie has been spending much of her time shopping.
Position: Defender / Height: 5-6 / Born: June 24, 1975
Hometown: Point Pleasant, N.J. / Club: New York Power (WUSA)
We’ve been in China about five days now and I still have not totally adjusted to the time difference, which is 13 hours from the New Jersey shore. The time has gone fast, though, as the team has definitely been able to keep busy. (Shopping = busy). We spent the first few days in Shanghai before bussing to Yiwu, where we will play our first game against Norway on Thursday. Shanghai was a blast. Being a Jersey girl, I love New York, and Shanghai is a lot like NYC, except with about 10 million more people.
You think cab drivers in New York are crazy? You should take a ride in a Shanghai cab, that is, if you want to put your life on the line. And trying to cross a busy street? That’s a whole other story. Two days ago, I tried to get to the other side of the street right in front of our hotel and it turned into a huge human Frogger game. I spun totally around and ran back to the curb I came from. And this was with a crosswalk. One of our goalkeepers LaKaysia Beene was on the ground laughing, but I didn’t see her putting her life on the line to get us a cab.
My hotel roommate in Shanghai was Kate Sobrero. After the 1999 Women’s World Cup, we lived together in Hoboken, New Jersey, for a year and it was fun to relive those memories. Back then she was one of the messiest people I’ve ever known, but somehow she has turned full circle (much like me on a Shanghai street) and she is now super clean. Our lives have changed a lot since then. We were both single, and now I am married, and she is on her way.
This is just my third time back with the national team since I hurt my knee at the end of 2001 WUSA season. Getting back into the rhythm of this team and getting used to the level during my first two camps was definitely a struggle. It was a long road back, but I think I’m starting to feel more comfortable and confident on the field, and hopefully, I will get to play some this tournament.
Even though we have been here just a short time, I really miss my boys: my husband Chris and our black lab Tiger. Both of them were my rocks during my rehabilitation after my knee surgery and helped me through the toughest time in my career. I wouldn’t be back with the national team without them, and my mom and dad, so if I do get some game action, I really want to play well to thank them. We are in Yiwu now, but since we arrived at night, we haven’t got the lay of the land yet. I am pretty sure the shopping won’t be as good, but we have three days back in Shanghai before we leave, so I am sure we’ll make up for it then.
Christie Pearce has played 91 times for the U.S. Women’s National Team. The athletic defender is still the only player from a small soccer school – Monmouth University – to make an impact on the national team. She started and played every minute of all five matches at the 2000 Olympics in Australia and is a Founding Player for the New York Power in the WUSA. She married Chris Rampone in November of 2001.
MEDIA NOTE: Please courtesy ussoccer.com when using any excerpts from this report.