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Lisa-Marie Woods: A whole new focus

As I write this, I am sitting on the ferry on my way from Denmark to Norway. We have just beaten Brondby, 2-1, in a well-played game that was broadcast on national television. As you might know by now, Brondby won the league this year, and we came in second. I feel that is a fair result after all. We won two games against them and they won two games against us. We had the chances to come out as number one, but we failed when it counted most. Silver is not bad, even though it only is best of the losers. My journey with the team has been up and down. While I have been on the team, we have played some fantastic games, but unfortunally we have also played some
terrible games. That’s also what separates a number one team from a number two team. (more…)


Jordan Angeli: ‘I won’t let an injury determine my fate’

4, 1.5, 2, and 20. These numbers have been running through my mind lately and here is why…

4 – It’s been 4 days since my 25th birthday. Twenty-five, wow what a milestone. A quarter of a century. Halfway through my 20s. Alright, I better stop before I start getting down. I can’t explain why, but after I hit this milestone, I almost had a quarter-life crisis! Luckily for me, I soon realized that you don’t have to have life figured out by 25, just as long as you are trying to find your way. I will be fine, right?!

1.5 – It has been 1.5 weeks since my surgery. Everything went well the day of surgery. I was pumped to get my journey started up until I actually started driving over to the surgery center on May24th. On that rainy Colorado morning, I got very quiet. Something you may not know about me is that is not a very normal thing. (more…)


Maria Karlsson: Home sweet home

I love to travel, to be abroad, meet new people and new cultures, to taste new food and get new experiences, and since January all that has been a big part of my life. I’ve really enjoyed my first four months in England and all the new experiences I’ve had and all new people I’ve met.

Last week, Kylla Sjoman and I were in Barcelona and Rome. It was a lovely week with sun, ice cream, sea, tapas, FC Barcelona, new friends, pizza, Colosseum, and espresso. The foreign girls in Doncaster (Kylla, Aine, and I) have had a good time at Ramada Hotel, but Kylla and I didn’t miss the hotel food when we ate home cooked pasta in Italy. It was lovely! In Barcelona, we watched FC Barcelona’s last home game for the season. The game was average, but the celebrations after were the most amazing I’ve ever seen. More than 70,000 people congratulated the Spanish Champions, and I really look forward to tonight’s Champions League game. I feel prepared after being at both Old Trafford and Camp Nou the last months. I hope we’ll see a well played game between two tactical teams that want to attack. (more…)


Stephanie Labbe: Guess who’s back?

Well, today was officially the first day back between the pipes today with my gloves on since I tore my PCL three and a half weeks ago! The fact that I am moving the way I am, with no feeling of pain or weakness still amazes me. Back on May 1, when I suffered my injury, naturally, I NEVER thought I would be doing as much as I am at this time. Since I woke up on May 2, I had a goal to be back for World Cup, and I haven’t looked back once. (more…)


Lisa-Marie Woods: Yes or No?

Yesssssss!

I have been anxious to write this blog, as I knew I would wait until the roster for the WWC got released. It could have been a day of joy or a day of misery. As I told you in the last blog, I had an exciting week ahead of me, which was last week. It was the week where I had the national team camp as well as the cup final against Brondby. We all knew that this was our last chance to prove ourselves good enough for the World Cup team, and I had to give everything to prove that I would be the right selection. (more…)


Stephanie Labbe: Just believe …

For the first time in my life, I have been faced with an injury that has kept me out of play for longer than a week and a half. On May 1, in our game vs Kristianstad, I suffered a knee injury 25 minutes into the game. I did everything I could to keep playing, but two corners and five minutes later, I had to come out. It was no longer possible for me to continue, and it was only fair to the rest of the team. I got an MRI, and I am just waiting on our doctor to confirm the results before announcing it, but what I can say is this is something I am determined to fight through, and I wont let it hold me back. (more…)


Maria Karlsson: First half of FA Women’s Super League season comes to a close

We have now played seven games, and the first part of the season has passed by far too quickly. My personal opinion is that the league could have been played another three weeks, and then continue after the Women’s World Cup from end of July to October. I know it’s only eight teams, but why not play every team three times instead of two? I like when it’s intense between the games, but the
training suffers, and it’s hard for the clubs to get time to advertise each big game. Especially for our club, which has had three home games in the last eight days. I’m sure that the clubs and the FA have the same goal – that the players, teams and the game should develop. That will bring a bigger crowd to the games and more sponsors and money to the clubs. It would be a win-win situation for all parts. This of course is something that takes time and is a long-term project, and I think that this first season will teach a lot about how the future will look.
(more…)


Lisa-Marie Woods: National Team and the upcoming World Cup

The Norwegian National team started their preparations a long time ago, and soon it will all be put to the test. We haven’t had as many days in camp as many of the other nations have, but we have gotten individual follow-up and gotten to play good games for our clubs. I wrote a blog from the Algarve Cup, saying we have a lot to work on before we consider ourselves ready for the World Cup, and when the team met up earlier this month, it was obvious that many had taken this to heart. (more…)


Lisa-Marie Woods: The ups and downs in the life of a soccer player

Soccer is serious, and some claim it is more important than life and death. I am not going to debate that statement here, but I will ensure you that it IS life, when you dedicate yourself to the game 100 percent. Maybe it is not healthy, I don’t know. Sometimes it is the healthiest thing on earth, as the pleasure it gives is something you will carry with you and hold your head high. At times though, it can be the most devastating and stressful. Yes, like any other life choice, it carries its ups and downs with it. (more…)


Life After Soccer: Vanja Stefanovic

Life After Soccer is a blog series featuring former professional and national team players from around the world, talking about taking the next step in life after their playing careers are over.

Life After Soccer By Vanja Stefanovic

I started to play with other girls when I was 13 years old. Before that, I played just with guys on a local team. I can still remember the first soccer training. Since that, soccer has been the center of my life. Everything came really fast for me. My first senior game at the top level was at age 16.  National team was at17. When I look back, it was an amazing journey. I lived my dream every single day. I felt that the field was the place where I could express myself, all I am, (and) my love for the game. I lived for that moment when you put the jersey on and let the show go on. That passion, excitement, and most of all, self-accomplishment, is something that gives another dimension to life. In 1999, the war started at home. Everything stopped. Our dreams, hopes, everything was taken away, but not the passion for the game. (more…)


Maria Karlsson: My best supporter, a big win, and a meeting with a legendary manager

Maria Karlsson with Sven-Göran Eriksson (Photo by Tim Sweed)

I hate to lose, but I’m not a bad loser. There’s a big difference. But I’m definitely a worse blog writer after a loss. So today I’m happy to write this blog after our great and important victory over Liverpool on Wednesday. It was a game when we had decided to fight from the first to the last minute, together, as a team. We created a lot of chances, but still struggled to put away a second and third goal. At least it must be exciting for the audience. Our goalie Helen Alderson, who I feel I should pronounce Andersson, because that’s makes her more Swedish, had a brilliant save off a penalty in the second half and then a great save (for the cameras) in the last minute of the game. (more…)


Life After Soccer

Life After Soccer is a blog series featuring former professional and national team players from around the world, talking about taking the next step in life after their playing careers are over.

Life After Soccer By Christie Welsh

You can take the player out of the game, but you can’t take the game out of the player.

Soccer has always been the center of my life. I used to walk around thinking I would play forever or at least into my late 30s. I couldn’t imagine not being part of a team, getting up every day and going to practice. What could possibly be better? Whenever I was asked what I would do after soccer I was always stumped. I couldn’t see beyond my career. I knew nothing else and didn’t want to. I feared the day I wouldn’t be able to play anymore. The idea seemed foreign to me. (more…)


Maria Karlsson: Two important weeks

Aine, Maria, and Kylla, and a upcoming Doncaster star (photo by Shaun Flannery)

Every year before the season starts there’s a lot of excitement and anticipation in the air and then suddenly you’re in the midst of everything. The weeks pass quickly and we play game after game. Last weekend we lost our consistency that is so important. We definitely played a game with two halves when we played Chelsea at Keepmoat Stadium. Our first half was good, but in the second we lost our game and Chelsea took advantage. (more…)


Stephanie Labbe: Canadian teammates/friends visit Piteå

After the game in Stockholm with my three great Canadian friends/biggest fans

It has been a very interesting week here in Piteå. Something I never thought would happen happened! My double lives collided, head on! The Canadian team has been on break for the past week and a half, and fortunately for me, three of my close friends from the team decided Sweden was where they wanted to spend their break! Carmelina, Kaylyn, and Marie-Eve hopped on the plane and began their trip to the north. (more…)


Maria Karlsson: Super start for Doncaster

I think everyone who has ever been involved with sports can agree with me that winning is great. The feeling you get when you have three points after a football game is awesome, and it’s even better when it’s after the first game, of a new league, in a historic game for women’s football in England. We came out with three points against Lincoln last week and the goal came, well-deserved, from our experienced midfielder Vicky Exley. It was a great game and a really good team effort. It was all about that game. This week we have two new games. First, we play Everton away on Wednesday, and then Chelsea in our first home game, Easter Sunday. I hope that we can be consistent and have the same buzz as we had last week, and that all our Doncaster fans will be backing us up in the stands. (more…)


Stephanie Labbe: The “double life” of a national team keeper

Since the end of the 2009 Damallsvenskan season, we, Piteå IF, have been looking forward to our first game back in the Damallsvenskan. We had a very successful 2009, winning Division 1, and earning our spot back in the top league. It was a year of very hard work, but it paid off, and our moment is here. We had our first game back in the league on Wednesday vs. Linköping, away. They finished among the top of the table last year, and were recently knocked out of the Champions League in the semifinal. They are a strong, fast, talented team, that we knew would be very tough, not only from their recent successes, but from playing them two years ago. (more…)


Maria Karlsson: Start of FA WSL season getting closer

Maria Karlsson at Old Trafford

There are only three days left to the kickoff for FA WSL now! The Belles had a really good session today in the sun at Balby Carr. We’re buzzing and prepared for the first game against Lincoln away Wednesday night. Can’t wait. A lot of players have improved over the last few weeks, and I will give a special shout for our tall striker Millie, only 17, but give her some time, and with her power and vision, she can be really, really good.

My soulmate and friend Sofia has been in town last week and so has the lovely weather. Both make me happy. It’s almost summer in Doncaster, and I love it. Just being out in the sun wearing shorts and a T-shirt makes this time of the year so wonderful. And every year at this time I wonder how I can live in a country where it’s dark and cold six months of the year. Maybe it’s time for a change.
Now that I am living in a new country for the first time, I feel that I should try to visit as many cities as a can. Last Friday, I went to Nottingham to celebrate our captain Katie Holtham turning 25. On Saturday, I went to Manchester for a presentation for various Swedish building companies. I spoke about my football career, my life abroad, and the new FA WSL. After my presentation, I met Aine and Kylla, and we went to the “theatre of dreams,” Old Trafford, to watch Man U vs. Fulham. An amazing stadium, crowd of 75,300 people, glorious weather, excited kids, and happy families all around.  I’ll be back!

Soon it’s bedtime for me. Tomorrow is a bright and early morning. It’s time for the launch of the league at Wembley Stadium. All the ambassadors, managers, FA people, media, the league mascot, the girl band, parade, and so on will be there to kick off FA WSL 2011. Here we go…

Maria Karlsson is a defender for Doncaster Rovers Belles and the first Swedish international in the FA Women’s Super League.


Jordan Angeli: Using Free Time for a Great Cause

So, for this post, I have to go backwards in time and lead you up to what is happening now in the present … so bear with me! After the end of last season, my teammate, and fellow Coloradan, Taryn Hemmings and I were offered an amazing opportunity to go and train with a team in Japan for a month. We were stoked! The Japanese women are known to be very technical players, and we both were excited to work on that part of our game. After many emails back and forth with a member of the TEPCO Mareeze club, we finally all agreed we would go in February, just in time to prep for our preseason with Boston. (more…)

Stephanie Labbe Video Blog: When in Rome Part 2

This is part two of Stephanie Labbe’s video blog from Rome. She continues her tour of Italy with some of her Canadian teammates, and even drops by a Serie A game with keeper Karina LeBlanc. Marie-Eve Nault provides the footage again. Enjoy part two, and if you missed it click here for part one.


Stephanie Labbe Video Blog: When in Rome Part 1

Stephanie Labbe checks in from Rome where the Canadian Women’s National Team is currently training. She takes us on a tour of Italy with some of her Canadian teammates, including Carmelina Moscato and Karina LeBlanc, while Marie-Eve Nault makes her directorial debut behind the camera. Here’s part one of Stephanie’s video blog.


Maria Karlsson: Canada + Sweden – Ireland

Maria Karlsson, right, in action against Liverpool in the FA Cup

I have had a very eventful week here in Doncaster. My parents came into town, and it was really nice to see them again. I had a great time showing them around Doncaster and having them meet the people I’ve gotten to know here. Unfortunately the weekend did not end very well when we lost against Liverpool in the FA Cup. We didn’t play to our potential, so Liverpool deserved to win this time. Hopefully this will make us hungry for revenge when the league starts. There is only a week and a half left until we play Lincoln, away April 13th. (more…)


Jordan Angeli: In Boston and back with the Breakers

Hey all you Our Game Magazine viewers, my name is Jordan Angeli, and I am excited to start blogging for the best women’s soccer magazine out there! Since it is my first blog, I thought it’s only appropriate to introduce myself and hopefully make a good first impression. I grew up playing soccer in Colorado for what I claim to be the best club in the world – the Colorado Rush. I then attended Santa Clara University for six years. Yes, I am sure all of you are thinking, “Whoa, she flunked a few too many classes!” In actuality, I took a medical red shirt and a red shirt year my senior and fifth years due to injuries (I still claim they just didn’t want to get rid of me). My time at SCU lasted a bit longer than I imagined, but I am very thankful for it because I don’t believe I would be where I am now if it weren’t for all I learned and experienced there. (more…)


Allie Long – saving the “Canine Pitch Invader”

It absolutely amazes me that in two days almost 55,000 views on YouTube have hit on the video the “Canine Pitch Invader.” If you haven’t seen it, then you probably should so that what I am saying makes sense. Anyways, I have been playing professional soccer for three years, won a national championship at the University of North Carolina and have been involved with many other things that in my opinion are noteworthy. Never in my right mind would I ever think that removing a dog from a field would be so popular. (more…)


Maria Karlsson: Catch the moment

The draft of this blog was written on a brown paper bag with carrots in it. One day this week between two sessions, I was in town and walked around the big market. It was a lovely spring day with clear blue sky and around 15 degrees. After I bought some fruits and my favorite, caramelized ginger, I sat down on a bench and just enjoyed the moment. I’m not so hi-tech yet that I have an iPhone, but I almost always have a pen in my bag so when I sat there in the sun I started to write this blog. And it struck me how amazing this season is, when everything starts to grow and people come
out of their houses and apartments. I sat on a bench for two hours and the thing that caught my eye most, was all the little children running around. They caught my eye because they looked as if they were discovering the world and viewing things for the first time. And maybe they did?!

To catch the small things every day and sometimes just sit down to watch without doing anything else. I think that’s something that we all can become much better at. A thought from a bench in Doncaster. (more…)


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