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Crystal Thomas just wants to keep getting better

Photo copyright by Lewis Gettier/The Equalizer.

The National Women’s Soccer League has long had a reputation for being one of the most physical leagues in the world. For Crystal Thomas, her time in Scandanavia proved even more physical than the NWSL, and she used it to become more comfortable playing her trade in the U.S.

“When you go play in Scandanavia,” Thomas said in a recent phone interview with The Equalizer, “they are tough, and extremely physical. And you don’t get a ton of calls. I had to continue to get stronger and faster and use my body well, and that is definitely something that playing over there added to my game.”

It was that time overseas which eventually served as a springboard for her career in the U.S. In 2020, Thomas further showed her potential — and the growth of her game.

“I think that the emphasis on physicality is greater, or can be greater, overseas,” she said. “And here, it’s extremely physical, but it’s not necessarily the biggest focus. It’s more of a given, and then you have players that are also taking into account everything. The average player here might be strong, and savvy, and doing all these other things. And it’s expected. But I definitely think over there the style of play is more physical.”

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