Cat Whitehill Blog
When I was first asked to write a blog about soccer, I was a bit scared. It's not because I don't know a lot about soccer because I obviously do, but it is because I don't really see myself as the best writer. I have my own blog, but I definitely don't feel the pressure of being a proper writer. Plus, I am writing my own opinions about college football and I am yet to be considered an expert (soon enough, though!). I expect each entry to keep getting better and better as I am the kind of person that if I put my mind to something, I am going to give it my best effort. Maybe that's why I have been given an opportunity to play in the best league in the world, the WPS, and win a gold medal on the best team in the world, the United States Women's National team! Needless to say, I am now excited about writing this blog and I hope that you enjoy it as well!
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I wanted to write about the Freedom's first shutout because as a defender, this is a great accomplishment for us! I am not going to lie, we were the last team to get a shutout and unfortunately we have still given up the most goals, but I am extremely excited how our defense has gained confidence and our chemistry is getting better every practice and game. We have a lot of new players in the back-Nicci Marshall who played forward in college, and is a rookie this year and Becca Moros who played midfield and forward for us last season and we converted her to a defender this year-so we definitely needed some games under our belt to gain that confidence and chemistry. Becky Saurbraunn and I are returning to the back as we were last year, but she is on the outside unlike last year where we both shared the middle of the defense. Erin McLeod remains our incredible goal keeper so it's been nice to have the same familiar voice behind me. It's all coming together though, and I am extremely encouraged.
I think a lot of our chemistry has come from the video sessions we do during the week. Just the defenders get together and we go over each game and talk about how we can get better. I normally lead these sessions and I made just one rule- NO negative talk! I know that may sound strange, but we could probably watch video of ourselves and find only the negative because as elite soccer players we don't accept mistakes, but I won't allow it in our meetings. I want everyone to leave the meetings feeling good about how they played and build from there. I am not going to tell you that we abide by that rule every time, but we stay pretty close. I also attribute our first shutout to the competitive practices of 3v3 tournaments and 6v6 games that has given every one that special edge. If you are a defender wondering how to get to the next level, a lot of defending comes from your desire to want that ball more than the other player. I know that sounds simple, but if you just decide that you are going to win that ball before the player on the other team, there is a really good chance you will win it. That's why these competitive practices have really helped us-we are trying to gain that edge over every team.
In this league, there are no easy games. We play against the best players in the world every single game. This is without argument, the best league in the world. By saying all of that, I don't expect to get a shutout every game from here to the end of the season, but our defense is sure going to try. And it doesn't stop with us. Our midfielders had their best game of the season defensively and so did our forwards. The Washington Freedom has never had a problem scoring goals, so I don't expect us to get shutout the next game either, but as a defender I look at it this way- if we can aim for a shutout every game, we can always get at least one point. We keep getting better and as the old cliche goes, 'it's not where you start, it's where you finish.' We hope to finish with the most shutouts and we will work day in and day out to get that. It starts with competitive practices and the heart to just want the ball more than the other team.
If you have any questions about what it means to gain this competitive edge, please ask! As a player, you can't always be the most skilled, or the fastest, or the strongest, but you CAN be the most competitive. It just takes the desire to want it more than the other team. It's something you can control more than anything else and I encourage you to find a way to give yourself that edge.
adidas has added some color to the Predator line with this new colorway. Released on May 17. Be the first to own a pair.
Chelsea won the Europa League on Wednesday. The Blues defeated Benfica 2-1 on injury time goal from Ivanovic.
Ajax has released their away soccer jersey for the 2013/14 season. Get in the Gear.
The Juventus jersey for the 2013/14 was released earlier this week. Be the first to wear the colors of the Old Lady.
The Liverpool 2013/14 soccer jersey is available for pre-order. The Reds are eager to compete for silver next season.
Bayern Munich are kings of Germany and hope to be crowned kings of Europe at Wembley later this month!
One of the top soccer cleats for control the Nike CTR360 will not let you down on the field in tight spaces.
The push for more color on their cleats, adidas has added the infrared colorway to the adiZero f50 Line.
The new PUMA evoSPEED 1.2 FG. A great new soccer cleat with classic look and first time for PUMA to be on the cleat.
Borussia Dortmund hears Wembley Calling and are headed to London for the Champions League final.