I looked at the table and saw the water in my glass spilling over the side. I was shaking my legs so much that the whole table was moving! So much anxiety building up inside of me . . .
When you are a little girl growing up watching Mia Hamm play, your dream is to be like her, to be able to play on the National Team and win a World Cup and a gold medal. As I was sitting in our pregame meeting the night before we (U.S. Women’s National Team) had our second friendly against Mexico, the thoughts of the little girl inside me were running through my head. I could not sit still and finally Pia turned the paper over to show the starting line up and the players who were going to be rostered. During our training session earlier that day she had already told us the starting line up, so I knew I was not starting, but I wanted to be rostered. I scanned the paper and found my initials, BT, under the list of players on the sideline. There was a huge smile across my face that I could not control. At that moment one of my dreams came true and I reached one of my goals in life. The rest of the meeting seemed like it lasted forever because I could not wait to run upstairs and tell Jesse (boyfriend) that I had been rostered. I opened the door of the room and tried to pretend that I was not on the roster, but I couldn’t hold back my smile and I screamed and was jumping up and down. He started laughing and I sat there taking in the moment. I called my family and told them the news and within a couple of minutes all my friends were texting and saying they were going to be watching!
After I woke up on game day I looked outside to find snow falling, which was really odd to me since I had been in San Diego for five days and Florida for two weeks before I got to Utah, so winter had been over for me. As the day went on the snow was still falling and we were starting to wonder if the game was going to be postponed. We left for the game and did not know what to expect when we got to the stadium. As we pulled in we looked at the field covered in snow and all looked at each other in awe. We got into the locker room where we found our jersey’s hanging with our winter jackets, hats, gloves, hand and toe warmers, and our Nike thermals. It was a big change from playing in 80 degrees in San Diego.
I walked up to my locker and held the jersey in my hands. I turned it over and stared at the back of it that had TAYLOR across the top. I was holding the National Team jersey with the U.S. crest on the left side so it was over my heart. It was the proudest moment in my soccer career, to represent the United States of America. As I put it on and got ready I thought about a saying that Jesse always tells his teams: Respect your jersey. That was the thought that I kept in my head throughout the game.
When we walked onto the snow covered field to start warming up we couldn’t help but to start throwing snowballs at each other. After a few minutes, we settled down into our warm up, but it was challenging to get used to the surface.
It was the 60th minute when we finally scored and got to do our goal celebration that we were so excited about! SNOW ANGELS! Check it out on ussoccer.com for highlights!
As great as it was to be rostered, that was only a small goal and a stepping-stone to get to my goal of playing in a World Cup and Olympics. I was patient and hoped that I would get a chance to go in, but if I didn’t I knew I was going in the right direction. We had to keep warming up on the sideline throughout the game to stay loose and ready to go when they needed us. When Paul (GK Coach) came up to me and said when you are ready you are going in for Cat Whitehill, the uncontrollable smile returned to my face. I took a deep breath and walked up to the sideline ready to go into my first international game with the Women’s National Team. It was better than I ever dreamed of and I was so excited to go in!
This Sunday April 11, will be another first for my soccer career when we (Sky Blue FC) have our season opener against Chicago at 6 p.m. This is another goal I set for myself when I was a little kid; to play on the Women’s National Team and to be a professional soccer player. After getting drafted in January, it was one step toward that goal. Signing a contract with Sky Blue FC, was another step, but this Sunday will be another day I will never forget. Check back in next week to read about the game!
I leave you with another quote . . .
“Remember today, for it is the beginning of always. Today marks the start of a brave new future filled with all your dreams can hold. Think truly to the future and make those dreams come true.”
BrittanyTaylor is a defender for Sky Blue FC and made her first appearance for the U.S. Women’s National Team March 31. She has experience at theU-17, U-20 and U-23 Women’s National Team levels and was named the 2009W-League Defender of the Year while playing for the Hudson ValleyQuickstrike Lady Blues. TheCampbell Hall, NY native was drafted No. 6-overall in the 2010 WPSDraft by Sky Blue FC after playing collegiately with UCONN.
Taylorwill be blogging all season for The Equalizer and providing insightinto her time with Sky Blue FC, the U.S. Women’s National Team and lifehow she sees it. Check back for continued updates, and follow www.Twitter.com/JeffKassouf for all of the latest posts.
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