Here’s proof, once again, that soccer karma doesn’t exist:
Through the Spirit office, I asked several players (not all, so don’t go accusing people) a few follow-up questions about the 2014 season, thinking I would publish a short epilogue to the tale of their 2013 season, Enduring Spirit. The epilogue didn’t come to pass, and I wound up passing along what I had gathered in a blog post providing a snapshot of the team at a late-season practice.
The one player who responded was Diana Matheson. And now she’s hurt. Again — no such thing as soccer karma.
She responded before she was injured, which just goes to show how negligent I’ve been in posting her comments. I figured the least I could do was go ahead and post them here with apologies for being so late. I really appreciate her taking the time she did here and over the past two seasons with the Spirit, and I think all women’s soccer fans are rooting for her to recuperate in time for the World Cup.
1. What was different this season compared to last year? (Besides the record!)
This season had a very different feel in almost every way. We knew from the beginning that we were a team that could compete with any other team in the league and we put higher expectations on ourselves. We had a more experienced group and every player brought their own professionalism to the club.
2. Were practices different with more veterans and few rookies on the roster?
I think training was overall at a higher level than last year. I think that speaks to a different group of players and also the fact that Mark had us for the whole year.
3. Who was the most improved player on the team from 2013 to 2014?
I’m not sure who the most improved player is, but the most unsung player on the team both seasons for me has been Tori Huster. She does the job in any position she’s asked to play.
4. Did you feel in 2013 that defenses were focused on shutting you down, figuring that you didn’t have much help on offense? Was it different in 2014 when Jodie Taylor established herself as a goal-scorer?
It was a lot of fun playing with players like Jodie Taylor this year. I think we had a good connection on the field and we worked well together. It’s always good to have many people scoring goals, which we were glad to have this year.
5. Did Rapinoe foul Toni Pressley when she swiped the ball for the winning goal in the semifinal?
6. I know your living arrangement changed this year. Where were you?
I was in a townhouse with Robyn, Danesha and Jodie. Robyn and I both missed Ingleside at King Farm and we went to visit our friends a few times for lunch or dinner throughout the season. It was nice to be in a more independent living situation with our peers as well!