U.S. Soccer

MLK Day: One Nation. One Team.


Castle.Proxies.IInterstitialGalleryImageProxy

“I have a Dream.” These four words, simple yet profound, echo especially loud today. In an era of great need, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s timeless message of equality and love animated a world previously stuck in black and white. On this MLK Day, U.S. Men’s National Team players took a moment to share how Dr. King’s words left an imprint on their lives, and to honor a man who made it possible for a team of all colors, languages, cultures and creeds to come together to represent one nation as one team.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
 
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Castle.Proxies.IInterstitialGalleryImageProxy

“He fought for equal rights for everybody. To be on a team made up of so many different ethnicities and religions, and that we’re able to get along, is a beautiful thing. So we owe a lot to Martin Luther King for the way he changed people and how they view things, allowing people to embrace one another for who they are on the inside and not what’s on the outside.”
- Clint Dempsey

“Let freedom ring!”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Growing up in Georgia and with Dr. Martin Luther King being from there, in the early stages of my life my parents would tell me about him, and how when they grew up and came to the country times were different. There’s a lot of history in the South with the movement for racial equality, and raising me on the principles of his vision and learning what he went through gave me insight into how I should be as an individual.”
- Sean Johnson 

“The ultimate measure of a man is
not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Whether you lose people in your life, whether you get injuries, or you get cut from teams, just the highs and lows, it’s something that everybody deals with – that rollercoaster of the ups and downs. Just try to keep a level head, keep fighting and grinding. I think the things that you work the hardest toward hold the most value in the end. He definitely had that fighting spirit to be able to stand up and speak when his life was threatened.”

- Clint Dempsey 

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

“Courage is what we need to show when we travel to other countries and hostile environments needing to get results. So you can make similarities there, but at the same time, it’s easier to go out and play a sport that you love to do than it is to go out there and try to change the world like he did.”
- Clint Dempsey 

“Deep down in our nonviolent creed is the conviction there are
some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true,
that they’re worth dying for.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“We’re still climbing and trying to get better, and we’ve taken a lot of strides from when he was alive, but I still think we’ve got a long way to go. To be able to play next to somebody from a different walk of life though, I think, is special. I think Dr. King would be proud.”
- Sean Johnson 

#1N1T


IN PHOTOS: A Day in the Life of Ashlyn Harris

Ever wondered what a day in the life of a U.S. Women’s National Team player is like? We followed WNT goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris to get an inside look at a day inside WNT training camp, a day that included a weight session and on-field practice.

After a grabbing a quick coffee, the busy day starts early for Harris and the WNT, as they are headed to a weight lifting, the first of two trainings sessions that day.

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

“The bus ride is always total shenanigans with the people I sit around with. Usually that group is Allie Long, Megan Rapinoe and Ali Krieger. It’s just fun and good vibes heading into our workout.”

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

First stop of the day: weightlifting. The WNT usually spends about 90 minutes at the gym, and each player has a specialized workout sheet that is tailored to their needs.

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

“At lifting I usually spend time on my shoulders and continue to strengthen my back; things I need as goalkeeper. Every day I hit the ground, so I have to make sure my arms are strong. Shoulder strength and shoulder stability are key to make sure my arms are moving well and to prevent any injuries.”

As the team exits the gym, several fans await them by the bus and most players, including Harris, stop to sign a few autographs and pose for a few selfies. 

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

“It’s always just really cool to stop and have a chat with the younger generation after or before training sessions. They’re just awesome.”

“Our van leaves the hotel about 45 minutes before the field players whenever we go to the training. I always have a pre-training and pre-game routine of taping my fingers and hands. It’s a personal preference and to be honest, I’ve always done it. Being at training earlier helps us get some good stretching in, stay focused and it allows us to nail down techniques and work individually and collectively as a small group before we jump in with everyone else.”

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

For afternoon training, Harris, along with Alyssa Naeher and Jane Campbell, as well as goalkeeper coach Graeme Abel, all pile into a team van and head to training earlier than the field players to spend some time working on their technique and specific areas before the rest of the team arrives.

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

“Alyssa and I have very good communication and no one has a better view or can critique one another better than each other. If we see something we tell each other and help each other out.”

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris, Alyssa Naeher

After training, the players all cool down, chat with each other, hydrate and reflect on the session they just completed.

“We tend to immediately grab our protein shakes. We talk about the day, what we saw on the field, what we can fix, what wasn’t good, what was good and we just overall critique the game in every way we can to become better.”

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris

“Once we’re back in the hotel, it’s all about treatment. Like true professionals, we must take care of our bodies and be responsible to get the treatment we need. Our bodies take a beating from all the impact at training so we take care of it to do it all over again the day after.”

U.S. WNT - Ashlyn Harris


Read more
WNT Apr 5, 2017
×