You’ve had a busy few months…
Well, I’ve been training with the team a lot. We won the Algarve Cup in Portugal, which was great for us moving forward into the World Cup. I’ve had a lot of great opportunities on and off the field. So it’s just been having great opportunities in the last couple of months and leading up to the world cup and trying to manage my body and my mental state of mind.
And you got married!
(Laughs) Oh that! Yeah, I pretty much told my husband that when we were planning the wedding, it either has to be this past winter or wait two more years after the Olympics, because I want absolutely no distractions between the World Cup and the Olympics. It was an awesome off-season with getting married in Santa Barbara. It was kind of a fun second job for me. I haven’t gotten to se my husband too much.
Will you be based in Kansas City now?
My husband (Servando Carrasco) got traded to Sporting KC, so that’s where we will be based. I’m still with the Portland Thorns, so I’ll be with Portland during the season.
What’s changed in women’s pro soccer over the last two years?
I think there are flows in every sport, for women’s soccer especially. When we really grab people’s attention like we did in the 2011 World Cup and the 2012 Olympics, I think people pay more attention, We see a big crowd of people drawing in. Now you’re seeing that momentum and you’re seeing Fox Sports advertise this year’s World Cup. It’s great to see so many people supporting us. I think you will start to see more people coming to National Women’s Soccer League games. Having the World Cup in Canada will only help us grow the game in the US and our fan base.
Is it easier or harder preparing for the Cup, not that you’ve been through it before and come so close to winning?
I don’t know if it gets easier or harder. It’s just different. If I had to choose one, I would say it is almost harder, because although you know how to prepare since you’ve been through it before, you take that preparation and you want to perfect it. So for me, it’s making sure that there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel like I haven’t accomplished what I needed to do. I don’t want to regret anything about the World Cup. I am fully prepared. The first time, I was just trying to make the roster and get minutes on the field everyday. I wasn’t really thinking too much about the future. Now I have a greater responsibility.
Do you feel like a younger player on the team or a veteran?
I think I am in the middle phase. I’m not quite in the younger group or veteran group. It’s hard to say that, when we have so many more players with so many more caps then I have. I think I’m taking on a greater role and having more responsibility. The team has made me come into that veteran role. Abby is still here and I’m still learning from her. It’s great having that and having those times I am feeling like a younger player. If Abby isn’t on the field or if Christy is injured, then I need to step up.
Obviously the goal is to win the World Cup. But beyond that bigger picture, what would you personally like to see happen in the next few years for yourself?
For me personally, there is definitely another level to get to as a player. I think it would be fun to play abroad. It would be good to experience a different style of soccer, whether that’s in France, Sweden or England. I would really enjoy playing a season in another country. The focus now is winning the World Cup. We’ve won the Olympics, but for us the pinnacle of football is the World Cup. We want to be standing on top of the podium. It’s crazy to think players like Abby Wambach don’t have a World Cup yet. It’s winning for not only this country and myself. but winning for my teammates.
You’re also a really successful author now. What has that experience been like?
It’s really exciting to relate to young girls and have them excited about the Kicks. I just did a bunch of camps with Tampax Pearl Active, and it was amazing being able to interact with so many young girls that are going to be the future of the sport. A lot of girls ask what I did to get where I am, and it’s hard to answer that in 30 seconds. I have a new book called Breakaway that will give girls more of an opening as to when I was younger and what I needed to do to get to this point.
Who was your role model growing up?
When I was younger I played so many sports. I didn’t watch the men’s game until I was 18 or 19. For me it was Kristine Lilly, Mia Hamm and the entire 1999 team that had 80,000 fans watching them. Not only that, but I also wanted to make my parents proud. They came to every single game I played in basketball, softball, and soccer. They traveled all around with me. I wanted to show them that their time wasn’t wasted I guess (laughs).