Beverly Yanez retired from professional soccer in early 2020 after a decade of playing at the highest level. She was drafted by the Washington Freedom in 2010, won a WPS title with the Western New York Flash in 2011, and then went to play in Japan after WPS folded. She had a week to sign that contract, drive across the U.S., get married and get to Japan.
Beverly details that story and how playing for INAC Kobe Leonessa in Japan changed her career and her outlook on life. She returned to the U.S. in 2014 and played for the Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League for six seasons. Now, she’s exploring her new passion for coaching the next generation.
Thanks to Beverly for Kickin’ Back for this fun conversation. We hope you enjoy it!
Listen to the entire episode here:
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Editing and production: Claire Watkins.
Here are rough timestamps of the topics Beverly and I spoke about in this episode:
2:00 — Transitioning to coaching at COPA Soccer Training Center, including using the COPA Cube (see below)
8:00 — The tactical understanding she brought back from Japan and wants to pass on to the next generation
15:30 — How the NWSL and the sport has progressed during her time
17:45 — Changing positions in Japan, winning a golden boot, the chaos of getting to Japan, and Naho Kawasumi making team t-shirts for Yanez’s traditional Japanese wedding
32:00 — Favorite memories from the Reign (shout-out Memorial Stadium seagulls) and why she loves the club
37:30 — Seeing the 1999 World Cup final live and how it sparked the professional dream for her
For reference, this is Beverly in the COPA Cube a few hours after we chatted!
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