It has been some time since my last blog entry so there is quite a bit that has occurred since then. I will try to sum it up in a nutshell.
After our winter break we started into the second part of our season with a training camp in warm sunny Florida at the University of Florida in Gainesville. We spent about a week right off the campus, training at their facilities as well as scrimmaging against the Gators, women’s university team. We also had the opportunity to play the U-20 US Women’s National Team.
For me and Katie Stengel, the other American on the team, and even a bit for Dagny Brynjardsdóttir, the Icelandic girl who played 4 years at Florida State University, it was a special treat for us to be back in our country, in our comfort zone and encircled by our language of choice again. For Katie, it has only been about a year since she was in school playing in the US surrounded by her family and friends, whereas for me, it has been almost 8 years. Even though I have been in Germany a bit longer than Katie, I think we each have our own degrees and types of homesickness being so far away from home. Therefore a week in the US was naturally an extra special trip.
Overall it was an amazing experience as the facilities and resources were top class as well as the two scrimmages being great tests for us. We were able to implement a lot of our goals and tactics as we prepared for the second half of our season. So a huge thanks again to UF, the U-20 WNT, as well as the Allianz for sponsoring our trip and making the journey a memorable one. Also a big thanks to all the fans in the US who came out to our games and trainings to support us! It is great to know that we have fans all over the world, without you it would never have been possible 🙂
So now onto the season… Up to this point we have had some ups and downs in our season so far but like any other team, we push forward to our overall goal of becoming the best we can be. With 3 regular season games left within the Bundesliga, there is a never before race to the league title, the Meisterschaft. As the top teams within one point of each other and only a few games left, the Bundesliga has become the most exciting it has ever been. The competition is huge making every game a final for us and each team involved.
As we have now gone into a small break for national team duties, the table is extremely close both towards the top and also at the bottom. For those teams playing on a relegation spot, it is also a massive fight to the end. Looking at the standings, what more can you ask for in a league, to compete and play weekly in an extremely competitive environment knowing that nothing is simply given to you. Each game day is a new day, a new game where anything is possible. And that is simply what the sport is about. Continuous excitement and challenges are created which push and pull us and teach us that we must never stay content at where we are at the moment. To strive for more in our sport and be the best we can be. That is also simply what life is all about. Rising up to challenges, sometimes defeating them sometimes not right away, but giving all you have for a belief in something greater than yourself. Each of us has been given a talent and what more can we do than use that gift to the best of our ability. And not only for ourselves but for those around us. Being a part of a team, we do learn the individual skills needed but most importantly we learn team dynamics, capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, and teamwork. We will all struggle individually and also collectively at times, even fail, but how we get up, learn, and continue is all that matters. Life is a journey of experiencing, learning, and moving forward… so the greater the fight the greater the reward.
This small game break in the league is used for the national teams to all meet up for some friendly international competitions to continue to prepare for the World Cup this summer in Canada. As we at Bayern Munich had already been disqualified from the German Cup competition, we entered our break a bit earlier, allowing us to take advantage of the down time, possibly even having been able to enjoy Easter with family, to recover well, and therefore focus on the next tasks at hand. Those in their respective national teams have departed us last week and we are ‘druecken die daumen’ (wishing the best) for them that they are successful but most importantly stay fit and healthy.
So with 3 games left, we will give all we have to finish off the season well. Once the season comes to an end, we will all then depart our own ways, some to the World Cup in Canada while others head home to simply rest and take on other interests. Then when the time comes, we will re-join yet once again to continue our life’s passion of the beautiful game we all so love and believe in.
And a HAPPY EASTER!!
Professional soccer player currently playing for FC Bayern München in Germany. Previously played for 1.FFC Frankfurt and WNY Flash.