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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.

A few days after all the dates got finalized, I received the call I have been waiting for my entire soccer career: a call-up to U.S. National Team camp! It was a dream come true and something that I will remember forever. But this threw a wrench in both Taryn’s and my plans for Japan. We were both bummed things weren’t going to work out as planned, but she was amazing, supporting me in my trip and deciding to still go to Japan (which I was very proud of her for doing). It all worked out in the end when Taryn learned she would be joined by our current Breakers teammate Claire Zimmeck for her Japan excursion.

March rolled around, and now we were all back in Boston together. I enjoyed two camps with the U.S. team while Taryn and Claire had an amazing three weeks in Japan. On March 11th, less than two weeks after they got back, Japan was hit with a devastating earthquake and tsunami. I will never forget the look on Taryn’s face that morning before practice. She was in shock, worried about the safety of the new friends she had made, and thankful that she was safe at home. The team was based in Fukushima and trained just three miles from one of the main nuclear plants in Japan. Luckily, the team was away training when the earthquake hit but hasn’t been able to return to its home because of radiation scares.

Taryn and Claire had a real connection with many of the girls there, and immediately we felt compelled to take action. During our preseason trip to Florida, we had some free time on our hands and put it to good use. Along with a couple other teammates and coaches, Taryn and I brainstormed ideas of how we could help Japan in its fight to survive after this disaster. Growing up in the soccer world, we know how strong our community can be. With that in mind, we wanted to reach out to our soccer community and open up to them about how a new member of our soccer fam, TEPCO Mareeze, needed our help. Together, I honestly believe we can do great things in these people’s lives, people who have lost so much.

With that being said, we are now back to the present … the Boston Breakers will be holding a “Kicks for Japan” clinic at Harvard on April 15th from 3-5 p.m. to aid in the relief of the families of the TEPCO Mareeze team. All the details here. For whatever you give – your time, money, or participation in the clinic – thank you. These girls from TEPCO Mareeze touched Taryn’s and Claire’s lives and therefore touched ours. Hopefully, we can do the same with you.


Jordan Angeli is a midfielder for the Boston Breakers of Women’s Professional Soccer.


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