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11 Questions with Cloee Colohan

When the 2008 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup kicks off for the USA on Oct. 30 against Japan, Cloee Colohan will likely be in the center of the U.S. defense. The 5-feet-8-inch defender is the most capped U.S. player at the U-17 level with 11 international games to her credit. The West Point, Utah, product, who is a hammer in the tackle and dominating in the air, took some time to answer 11 Questions for, ranging from playing in the first U-17 WWC, to her resemblance to a major motion picture star and why the USA is ready for this historic event. What have been your impressions of New Zealand thus far?

Cloee Colohan: “Oh my gosh, I love it. It’s so pretty and clean and green. It reminds me of home back in Utah. So far, everyone has been really helpful and so nice to us. They are really trying to give us the best experience possible.” You are from Utah, which is not historically a hotbed for girls soccer players, but more and more talented players are starting to come out of the state.

CC: “Yeah, it’s starting to get really big in Utah. There are more competitive clubs and Utah and BYU have really good college programs so girls there can aspire to play for a college in their home state. Some girls are even going out of state to play at some big soccer schools, including myself. I think we are going to see more and more girls in the national team programs coming out of Utah.” You are one of the team leaders, especially playing in the center of the defense in a three-woman back line. What are some of your thoughts on leadership?

CC: “I know that I have to be a leader back there because I can see the whole field when I am playing center back. It’s up to me to keep the whole team organized and focused, but we have leaders all over the field on this team and I really feel like anyone, whether it be a starter or someone coming off the bench, can give us a spark when we need it, either through their play or their voice.” You were in an out of training camps at the beginning of this process to make the U-17 World Cup. What kept you motivated to keep working hard to earn your spot?

CC: “Basically, this World Cup and wanting to be a part of the team that played in it. I’ve always known since I was little that I wanted to take soccer as far as I could, and this of course is a goal for the girls my age. I’m just thankful that things worked out and Kaz has given me this chance.” How do you think you’ve improved most as a player during the past year?

CC: “Probably maturity is a big one. Just knowing that to earn a spot on the team I had to put in the work necessary to improve, not only during training camps, but also at home. It’s easy to let down when you are in your home environment, so pushing yourself to improve your weaknesses is, I think, a sign of maturity.” Can you talk about the excitement of getting to play in the first U-17 Women’s World Cup?

CC: “It’s super exciting. I can’t wait. I’ll probably be shaking and so nervous that I want to throw up, but after the game starts, I think I’ll be fine. It’s an honor and a great learning experience for all of us.” What are the strengths of this team?

CC: “We have girls who are fast. Girls that can run forever. Girls that are good in the air. Girls that can score. We just have players that are really good fits for their positions. I’m really excited to see how the team comes together during the tournament.” Are there any players on the full Women’s National Team who you look up to or would like to model your game after?

CC: “Both center backs, of course, Christie Rampone and Kate Markgraf. Lori Chalupny is just plain sick. Christie and Kate are such great defenders, especially one-on-one and they seem like such great leaders on the field. And they are both moms. Any young player in America should admire them.” Your teammates sometimes call you Dory because they think you look like Dory from “Finding Nemo.” A fair comparison?

CC: “Unfortunately (sighs), yes. First of all, I guess I have sort of a long face and big eyes, like Dory. I’d like to think that that I don’t act like her. I’m not that spacey, but some of the girls say I sound like her. I guess there could be worse cartoon characters to be associated with, like Erika Tymrak, who is a dead on match to Lucifer, that cat in Cinderella.” You’ve said that you and your family go out for ice cream every Monday night. What is your favorite flavor?

CC: “Oh my gosh, I have so many. One thing you should know is that I used to work at Baskin-Robbins, so I am a bit of an ice cream expert. My No. 1 favorite is from Cold Stone. I get the Cotton Candy mixed with French Vanilla mixed with Gummi Bears. Second, there is Baseball Nut. It’s vanilla with raspberry swirls with nuts in it. It’s really, really good. Finally, I could also go for pralines and cream. That’s just a solid ice cream any way you cut it.” How do you think the team is coming together for the first match in the World Cup? It will be a big moment for you all.

CC: “We are coming together so well. Once the roster was named, we really started coming together as a team and I can feel that chemistry building. We’re also closer as a team off the field and I couldn’t be happier with such a great bunch of teammates.”