I would first like to start out by introducing myself a bit. I am a 29 year old professional soccer player living in Munich, Germany. I grew up in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania and attended Lehigh University from 2003-2007.
After graduating, I explored the idea of playing soccer overseas since there was no women’s professional soccer league in the US at the time. With the help of relatives living in Germany, I landed a gig with 1.FFC Frankfurt in the summer of 2007. I played there for 5 years until moving in 2012 to FC Bayern München where I am currently finishing out my second season. In 2011, I was also fortunate to play one season with the WNY Flash in between my seasons with 1.FFC Frankfurt. As for my future plans, that is still in the works.
My hope for this blog is to share a part of myself and some of my experiences I have had living and playing overseas for the last 7 years, as well as to keep you updated on my current season. Naturally, I am also open to any requests or topics that may come across as of interest to you. So feel free to contact me at any point.
When I briefly reflect on the past 7 years spent here so far, I can immediately say that I have experienced a huge amount of growth both on and off the field that will forever accompany me for the rest of my life. I have been blessed to be exposed to many different cultures, people, lifestyles, as well as various styles of the beautiful game of soccer we all so love.
Being introduced to a completely different environment and out of your comfort zone, you discover more about the world we live in and most importantly to grow and expand your own horizons and capabilities. Growing up we all are somewhat sheltered within our own surroundings at home and it is not until we branch out away from that when we encounter that our own little world is just not the same everywhere else. You often experience things you have never been introduced to and may even find yourself stuck in a lot of uncomfortable and awkward situations. Although language and culture barriers can leave you hung out to dry at times in a loss of words and understanding with those around you, they can also create a whole new level of humor as you tried to express yourself with hands and a tiny bit of the language you tried to learn before you arrived. With these exposures, you gain a respect for other cultures, opinions, attitudes and ways of life. The most rewarding for me, however, is just the opportunity to explore a whole new world.
Soccer has been for me an avenue to reach that whole new world and to enlarge my little world that I once knew to an even larger ever-expanding one. I have also been able to learn and understand more about the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components that make up the human person. Within this environment I have already and even continue to reach certain limits but then realize that if my mind is put to something anything is possible and I can see all that I may be capable of. Soccer has introduced me to all these aspects and brought me to a deeper knowledge of myself and those around me. As mentioned before, my hope with this blog is share more about my European encounters.
Here is a short update of my FC Bayern München team and our position within the Bundesliga here in Germany. We are a very international squad, if not the most international one within the league, with 3 Americans, 3 Austrians, 2 Italians, 1 Swiss, 1 Norwegian, 1 Swedish, 1 German/American, 1 German/Croatian, and the rest German. As you can see, I have been exposed to a multitude of cultures and ways of life without even leaving the country. Though a mixture of nationalities can lead to small misunderstandings and culture barriers, we are a team with great chemistry that comprises heaps of humorous situations. At times in the beginning, our trainings and meetings have incorporated a great amount of English to help us all get on the same page. Slowly now we are able to have everything held in German as us foreigners grasp more and more of the language. We are currently 4th place with 4 games left to play. Though hopes of reaching a position of Champions League play for the next season, finishing 1st or 2nd, are pretty slim we are still working weekly to perform our best and build a team that strives to compete for a higher seed in the future.
Below is our website if you care to follow us! Weekly updates are posted as well as photos and highlights of our games. http://www.fcbayern-frauenfussball.de/