Above – two of the best players in the world, enjoying some time outside the soccer kit –
– More wins than 2009
– Two wins in a row (ouch but a STEP)
– Me FINALLY scoring (slap hand)
To name a few . . .
They seem minimal to some, monumental to us.
It’s been two grinding years for us in Chicago. The frustrations have been apparent from everyone in the organization. From the owners to the equipment managers, the pressure has felt overwhelming at times.
Yet, we stood our ground. I have learned many lessons through the last two years. One of those realizations is how trivial the 22 (maybe more like 18, after all our injuries ha) roster really is. Maybe that is a bit harsh, however, when you look at the larger scheme of things – it’s the truth.
We might be the ones that it comes down to but we are replaceable. Do not take this in a bad way; it’s just the way the business runs. I mean this year alone I have had three different #5’s sit next to me. That does not even begin to talk about our 10 plus roster changes throughout the season and coaching staff.
Needless to say, it is not personal, but it proves that the pressure affects us all. I actually think we have one of the easiest jobs in the organization. The workload that the staff has to accomplish daily is extraordinary. This goes from the hours they put in – to the numerous different jobs they all possess.
All we have to do is show up and play the thing we love. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard how lucky I am. This last weekend alone, as I headed home to say goodbye to my family and watch my brother play in his alumni game, I had every single one of his teammates tell me how they wish they were in my position. Granted these are men who greatly still love the game and have to work behind a desk all day.
It just puts things into perspective on how blessed I am. To think there were days it was hard for me to get amped up for practice when I could be heading to sit at a desk all day seems ridiculous.
Bottom line, I am so thankful for the Chicago Red Star organization. They work so incredibly hard for me to be able to fulfill my dream with the place I hold closest to my heart; Illinois. Without their constant sacrifice and dedication, we would simply not be around.
The records were broken, the roster was turned/flipped upside down, and the excitement for next year is in the air. Yes, even over here in beautiful Norway.
We ended the season on a high and will carry that with us throughout these next 5 months. We all made a promise a long time ago that we would make Chicago a winning establishment and we do not plan on stopping now.
We have the best fans in the world, an organization that has and will stand behind us through everything, and a dream to change history in the women’s game.
Before I sign off and head to get some lunch, since its about 330 pm here. I wanted to let you all know that my GOAL is to update my blog at least once a week. Already in a day in a half, I have plenty of material and some interesting (questionable, funny) stories for next weeks, so stay tuned!!! Woop woop
oh yeah and one more thing –
As I ran on the field to celebrate our 2nd win in a row against Washington Freedom, I could not help and feel a bit of sorrow. Kate Markgraf has “said” this will be her last game. I refuse to say retire because I know that WE all hope she will come back for one more year!!! (yes that is for you to ponder, read over and over Kate 😉
I have gotten the privilege to play with many great players, yet Kate is among the top. She is far more than a USA veteran. Her work ethic is matched with a fiery and competitive spirit. To think she has three kids – two of those being 15 month old twins – and still kicked all of our butts in fitness, is incredible. The sacrifices she made to be a part of this team are evident and will forever be remembered.
Kate, if you are reading this, thank you. Thank you for putting your life on hold to make this program better. You taught me that the decisions we make are not always easy. That, when times get hard you always have a choice. When your back is against the wall you can either give up or find a way to begin to move your foot for that next step. And last but not least, that when you make a mistake, the hardest part is admitting when you’re wrong and finding a way to make it right…
Best of luck ….