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OGM Extras

Interviews with Emma Part 7: A Conversation with Atlanta’s Keeley Dowling

Emma with Keeley Dowling

By David Bayer

When Keeley signed with the Beat in the off-season, the only thing I heard about her was that she has an incredible vertical leap. After meeting her, we found there are many incredible things about her. She’s warm, friendly, unassuming, and has a smile that leaps out at you. (more…)

Our June 2011 issue is now live!

Click on the magazine cover below to check out our latest issue

Interviews with Emma Part 6: A Conversation with Atlanta’s Lauren Sesselmann

Emma with Lauren Sesselmann

By David Bayer

We’re back to the Beat, but not just any Beat player…an original Beat player. In fact, the only original Beat player still with the team. (Lori Chalupny joined mid-season in 2010) As such, we’ve had many occasions to meet Lauren ( Emma must have a couple hundred of her autographs), but this was our first “real” conversation. (more…)

Interviews with Emma Part 5: A Conversation with Philadelphia’s Leigh Ann Robinson

Emma with Leigh Ann Robinson

By David Bayer

It was old home week as Philly (our old hometown) came to Atlanta with two former Beat players, Kia McNeill and Leigh Ann Robinson, both favorites of ours. Our interview was scheduled with Leigh Ann, so we waited … and waited … and waited some more. But we did so patiently because she was busy talking to the many fans who wanted to see her; some even had signs for her. When I think of Leigh Ann, two main things come to mind: the funny way she holds her hands when she has the ball, and the fact that after every game – win or lose – she always made her way to both sides of the stadium to greet the fans. (more…)

McCall and Emma – The Journey Continues

By David Bayer

As I mentioned at the end of my March 23rd article, our Bayer family and McCall Zerboni have not let a few miles (873 to be exact) get in the way of our relationship. We also won’t let that distance get in the way of teaming up to help others. Breast cancer awareness is very important to McCall, having lost a relative to this terrible disease. Our family has lost two friends, and we have another who has battled through it. Last fall, we participated in a local awareness festival to help raise funds. This year, we are again doing our part, but on a more widespread level. (more…)

Interviews with Emma Part 4: A Conversation with Atlanta Beat’s Megan Jesolva

Emma with Megan Jesolva

By David Bayer

No game in Atlanta this week? No problem. It was time to talk to a Beat player anyway. Unlike our first three interviews, we went with a rookie this time. I had a couple of brief interactions with Megan, even before the season began, and it was easy to see that she is definitely a “people person.” And, judging
from the amount of cheering that Emma has been doing for her at Beat games, she’s also a “little people’s person.” We caught up with Megan away from the stadium. (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…)

Interviews with Emma Part 3: A conversation with WNY Flash’s Caroline Seger

Emma with Caroline Seger

By David Bayer

I realize it’s still early in this series, but Emma and I decided to take a big step. We went … international! Our guest this week was Caroline Seger. Caroline is not only from Sweden, but she is the captain of the Swedish National Team! I’ll admit that I went into the interview feeling a bit intimidated. Luckily, Emma kept her composure. She broke the ice with her discussions about mosquitoes, her injury in the jumpie, and the 47 eggs she found on her Easter egg hunt. We then moved on to our questions. (more…)

Interviews with Emma Part 2: A conversation with Sky Blue FC’s Carolyn Blank

Emma with Carolyn Blank

By David Bayer

We were excited when we heard that we would be interviewing Carolyn Blank this week. She was a favorite of ours when she played with the Beat last season. For me, watching her play was very enjoyable because she always seemed to be in the middle of everything…always hustling. And when there was a “discussion” with a referee, you could always count on Carolyn to be there voicing her opinion…”strongly.” For Emma, Carolyn was a fun teacher at last season’s players’ clinic. She got her to dribble with the inside of her foot, rather than the outside.

After a tough loss, Carolyn came over to us, gave us a big smile and hugs and settled in for her interview. Here’s our report: (more…)

Fearful of the Future

By Chioma Igwe

I wake up with a shooting pain running down the outside of my left leg. It feels like I rolled onto a family porcupines. I get out of bed blindly and squint at my alarm. It’s five in the morning. I have a slight problem shaking this dream out of my head. For a brief moment I try and recall the hazy scene playing with my imagination, but the shooting pain again brings me back to reality. I try and stretch out the excruciating pain in my leg, but it doesn’t work. What is the matter? I have no clue. I had a hard workout preparing for the 2010 preseason in Chicago I was about a month away from having. I was sore the minute I had left the field earlier that day. I take a few extra strength Advil and lay in bed trying to ignore the pain that was begging for my attention. Somehow I manage to fall asleep and first thing in the morning I drive to the doctor’s office. (more…)

Interviews with Emma Part 1: A conversation with Boston Breaker Jordan Angeli

Emma with Jordan Angeli

By David Bayer

When I was a kid (a thousand years ago), my first favorite athlete was Cookie Rojas. I’d be willing to bet that 99.9 percent of you have never heard of Cookie. Cookie was a second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies. I can’t remember why I chose him. If you look him up, you’ll see that he was far from the coolest looking guy. He had a decent career, but his statistics weren’t stellar and the team he played on was pretty terrible. Nonetheless, he was my guy.

Soccer players, like baseball players or any athletes, are much more than numbers, especially to kids. Kids don’t care how many goals a player has scored, how many “caps” they have or how many different “U” teams they’ve been on. They want to connect personally somehow, whether it be a uniform number, hometown, etc. (more…)

My Youth Sports Story: Play for the Love of It

By Gloria Averbuch

What’s more satisfying, and more beautiful, than watching our children “get it?” The ‘it’ is the deep and lasting understanding of why they play sports and what those sports can ultimately give them.

I got to experience that when my daughter Yael — now 24 years old and playing for the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team and the Western NY Flash of Women’s Professional Soccer — gave a speech to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Yael’s speech has made the rounds on the Internet (and, I am proud to report, has just been requested to be reprinted in an educational college textbook). Here is a paragraph from that speech:

As I learned the night of the 2008 national championship, if everything that you do, day in and day out, is solely building for a single moment — what becomes of it all when that moment has passed? It is this perspective that I have gained during the past year, and which I hope to carry with me throughout my life: Ideally, what we do in each moment should have value in and of itself. We should train just for the sake of training, play just for the sake of playing, and live just for the sake of living.* (more…)

Our April 2011 issue is now live!

Click on the magazine cover below to check out our latest issue

“The List” revisited

By Val Henderson

The Stanford Athletic department was recently put under scrutiny when The Stanford Daily produced an article discussing “The list,” a catalog of supposedly easy classes that the Athletic Academic Resource Center made available to student-athletes for years. According to the article: “Stanford officials said the list was designed to accommodate athletes’ demanding schedules and disputed that the list was made up of easy courses,” however the article insinuates otherwise. Most notably, the article quotes Professor Donald Barr as having said: “(Stanford) accommodates athletes in the manner that they accommodate students with disabilities.”

Since the article’s publication, there have been countless responses as to the purpose and meaning of this list, entitled “Courses of Interest.” The validity of the information used in the article has been challenged, including Professor Barr’s claim that he was “egregiously misquoted,” but the integrity of the student-athlete experience has been put under critical review all the same.

In order to get some truths behind ‘the list’ as well as an honest view of the student-athlete experience at Stanford, I interviewed Marisa Abegg and Ali Riley, two former Stanford soccer players. These two women are prime examples of world-class athletes who had amazing collegiate soccer careers while keeping their academics a priority. (more…)

Soccer Dad – Spring Edition

By David Bayer

In February, the usual highlight for me is when pitchers and catchers report for baseball spring training. This year, I was more excited for midfielders and backs to report for YMCA soccer practice. After our successful initiation into soccer in the fall, my wife Carey and I signed our daughter Emma up
for the spring session. Emma was in U5 in the fall and even though she’s only 4 and a half years old, we entered her in U6. Now before you label me as one of those parents who try to push their child through a sport to be a star, I’ll have to stop you. Emma’s U5 coach is the one who suggested the move up. I also checked with two WPS players (thanks Kia & Sess) for their opinions. Neither of them thought there would be a big difference between U5 and U6. (more…)

10 for 10,000 contest adds more prizes!

The Our Game Magazine 10 for 10,000 Facebook Contest, which began this morning at 10 a.m. just kicked it up a notch. In addition to winning an Our Game T-shirt, United Athletic Centers Premier Sports Facilities in Connecticut has donated $100 cash prizes to each of the three winners.  In addition to the money and T-shirts, generation UCAN will give the 10,000th person a week’s supply of generation UCAN. UCAN is a groundbreaking sports drink that aims to revolutionize sports nutrition with its unique energy source called SuperStarch. For complete contest rules, keep reading … (more…)

Our Game – Our Sport!

By Khaled El-Ahmad – Founder, Our Game Magazine

I know Our Game Magazine focuses on the beautiful game of soccer. But during my recent travels across oceans I came upon my first Paulo Coelho book, The Witch from Portobello. Why I was moved to write down my thoughts, I am still not sure. Maybe because I am personally involved in female sports on a daily basis and know the struggle these athletes go through. Maybe because I in a strange way feel a connection between Athena and every woman out there trying her best to be the best she can be.

Before you continue to read, understand and respect that this isn’t an article with answers; it’s just words to make you think twice about your perception of female sports, maybe even a woman’s struggle in general. (more…)

PUMA shows off Women’s Soccer Training collection

Kick It with PUMA® in Your New Favorite Sweats

Sportlifestyle brand hosts youthful shopping parties for collection launch

What: Every girl’s got her favorite pair of sweats – and PUMA® is confident she’ll fall in love all over again with the comfy sweats, cozy hoodies, technical tanks, and supercute shorts of the brand’s new Women’s Soccer Training collection. In celebration of the launch, PUMA is hosting “I ❤ My Sweats” parties at soccer shops and other retailers across the country. The Saturday afternoon shopping events give young athletes and budding fashionistas alike the chance to view the collection, hang with their friends, win great PUMA prizes, and, at select locations, meet some of their favorite women’s soccer superstars like Natasha Kai. And, in an effort to give back and trade in the old for the new, PUMA will also be collecting gently-used soccer gear to donate to The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Passback® Program. Check out a special video invite from some of PUMA’s soccer athletes here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrU8qkFOf-4.

When and Where:

March 12 

March 12

March 12

Soccer and Rugby International :: 2-5p :: 3300 Post Road :: Southport, CT 

The Soccer Store :: 2-5p :: 21000 Boca Rio Road :: Boca Raton, FL

Soccer 4 All :: 2-5p :: 6700C Louetta Road :: Spring, TX

March 19 Soccer Stores :: 2-5p :: 11118 Balboa Boulevard :: Granada Hills, CA 

Soccer Fanatic :: 2-5p :: 24721 Alicia Parkway :: Laguna Hills, CA

March 26 

March 26

Soccer World :: 2-5p :: 5736 Canton Center Road :: Canton, MI 

Sterling Soccer :: 2-5p :: 47100 Community Plaza :: Sterling, VA

April 9 Macy’s :: 500 Garden State Plaza :: Paramus, NJ
April 16 Macy’s :: 111 North State Street :: Chicago, IL
April 23 Soccer World :: 2-5p :: 9864 East Grand River Road :: Brighton, MI

RSVP: Visit puma.com/womenssoccer to RSVP and for more details.

Calling all Our Game fans! We have a game for you!

10 for 10,000 on March 10th

Do you want to WIN an OUR GAME T-SHIRT and other prizes?

On March 10th, we want to hit 10,000 “likes” on the Our Game Facebook page.

You and 10,000 Readers vs. Our Game

10 a.m. on Thursday March 10th  and it will be a 90-hour game

The Rules:
When the game begins, start recommending friends to “like” the Our Game Facebook page.

Once we reach the 10,000 “likes” the game is over.

The way to win is if a friend you recommend is the 10,000th “like”

If your friend is the 10,000th “like”, you AND your friend win an Our Game T-shirt and other prizes TBA.

Since a soccer game is 90 minutes long, we are giving you 90 hours to complete this task.

Starts: March 10th at 10 a.m.
Ends: March 15th at 4 a.m.


If by March 15th at 4 a.m. we have not reached our 10,000 “likes”, there will be an additional 10 hours of overtime. Overtime ends March 15th at 2 p.m. If by the end of overtime we have not reached our 10,000 “likes”, the game ends in a tie and nobody wins.

Every match needs a Most Valuable Player. We will be naming the player who gets the most friends to “like” the Our Game Facebook page as the 10 for 10,000 M.V.P.  The M.V.P. will win an Our Game t-shirt!

*If you start the game with friends who already “like” the page, those DO count in the overall total.

You have to recommend a minimum of 10 friends, but the maximum friends you can recommend is endless.  The more friends you recommend, the better chance you have at winning. Just recommending your friends doesn’t ensure your chances of winning. Your friends have to “like” the Facebook page in order for you to have a chance to win.  Make sure they actually join, stay on top of your friends!!

Substitution Rule:
In the case that more than one player recommended the 10,000th “like”, both players win.

In order to win, you must send in a screen shot of your Our Game Facebook page showing the number of YOUR friends that “like” the page.  (You can also take a picture with a camera of the screen and send it in). Once the contest is officially over, all entries must be sent to info@ourgamemagazine.com

Each email must include the following – 10 for 10,000 subject title, your name and mailing address, along with the photo of the screen.

Now, get in the game! Start recommending your friends!

The Wright Stuff – New Dream Home

By David Bayer

When we last left Kylie Wright, she had signed a contract with the Atlanta Beat and was waiting for training camp to begin. In the meantime, her plans were to continue training on her own, and finish her education at UCLA. (Wow! A professional athlete with a college degree … What a concept!) She has held true to those plans. Coach Jim Galanis of the Beat has not put her on any training program yet, so she has continued her basic “touching the ball” routine. She told me, “When you have a soccer ball at your feet, anything is better than just running.” Her professors have cut her some slack time-wise, but she’s still had to finish up three papers prior to the end of school on March 16. There was one “minor” addition to Kylie’s plans. She’ll be participating in the U-23 Four Nations Tournament in Spain. Her U.S. squad will face England, Sweden and Norway. She made sure to get Coach Galanis’ blessing before accepting the roster spot. (more…)

The Wright Stuff

Kylie Wright and her Grandma Peggy

By David Bayer

Okay, I’m sure many of you are referring to me as a draft genius. Of all the 900 eligible draftees I could have chosen for my “Chasing the Dream” article, I picked one who was drafted in the first round AND ended up with my local team, the Atlanta Beat…Kylie Wright. (more…)

Photos from the PUMA Women’s Soccer Launch 2011

Photography by Charlotte Mace

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Video highlights from the PUMA WPS 2011 Kit Unveiling

Our Game Magazine was at The Xchange in New York City to witness the unveiling of Women’s Professional Soccer’s 2011 PUMA kits.

Four Games … 33 minutes … one shot … priceless

Nikki Weiss and Kerri Butler at the recent Atlanta Beat tryouts

By David Bayer

In my article “So Much Competition, So Few Spots,” I asked if it was really worth it for undrafted players to attend a team tryout. In the words of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) star Kia McNeill, “There is a lot of great talent out there who underestimate themselves and automatically think they don’t have a chance at the professional level. Those players who tryout and do well attest to the fact that there is a lot of opportunity in this league … as long as they have the heart, work rate and skill.” (more…)