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Up Close: Orlando Pride and Canada WNT defender Shelina Zadorsky

It’s 2018 and Shelina Zadorsky is a mainstay in the back lines of both the Orlando Pride of the NWSL and Canada’s women’s national team. She’s an NWSL starter and has earned an Olympic bronze medal. But it wasn’t always so clearly cut. The 25-year old Canadian, after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Michigan, went undrafted as she looked to start her professional career in 2014. Without the chance to play professionally in the U.S, she took opportunities abroad in both Australia and Sweden which, in her eyes, got her to where she is today — a three year NWSL professional who is now a constant Canada WNT member in a year that’s pivotal for her country as they prepare for next summer’s World Cup. I talked with her this week about her journey to Orlando and what her journey with Canada looks like over the next year.

Hannah Kronick: To kick things off, tell me how you first fell in love with soccer?

Shelina Zadorsky: I was about four years old and I was a very high energy child. I have two older sisters who played a lot of sports and played soccer as well so it kind of became natural for me to get into it as well in Canada. I loved it really ever since then.

HK: Growing up, was it the one sport you were really focused on?

SZ: I played a little bit of basketball and volleyball too but it wasn’t competitively, just in school. So, soccer was my main sport in terms of playing club soccer. I really focused on soccer from a pretty early age.

HK: From that point, did you know playing Division 1 college soccer in the United States was where you would be headed come that time in your life?

SZ: I am trying to think when it really became evident that I wanted to go to the U.S. I think timing is kind of everything. I was fortunate to work with our youth national team in Canada so…

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