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Student, player, coach: Angela Salem’s bi-coastal juggling act was worth it

Photo Copyright Lucas Muller

Graduate school is daunting for anyone. Add in being a professional athlete, and it presents a different set of challenges entirely. Angela Salem also added one more balancing act to the schoolwork and workouts: coaching.

Salem recently earned a master’s in education in clinical mental health from Springfield College, which is located in Massachusetts, about 90 minutes away from Boston. Her professional team, Portland Thorns FC, plays 3,000 miles away.

When Salem had the opportunity to enroll in graduate school, a longtime goal of hers, she couldn’t pass it up. She was playing for the Boston Breakers at the time and Springfield was a local, viable option. But the Breakers folded in early 2018 after a prospective new investor pulled out, and Salem was at a crossroads which she assumed would see her need to choose between soccer and studies.

“When Boston folded, I thought nobody would want to pick me up, because I couldn’t fully commit to a season,” Salem said to The Equalizer. “The program I enrolled in was a two-year program. Portland knew I was in grad school when they picked me up. So, I feel fortunate that they were willing to work with my schedule.”

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