This is the third article for Empire of Soccer by the NWSL and Boston Breakers player Tiffany Weimer. The Connecticut native and former star at Penn State who has played professionally in the U.S., Canada and abroad offers an inside look at the care and feeding of a soccer player. This week she writes about last weeks road trip to play FC Kansas City.
By TIFFANY WEIMER
Waking up early every day has its perks. Like when we travel for away trips and have to be up at 5 a.m. and get to the airport. I’m usually so excited for the trip and most others are just waking up that I have to keep it cool and not bother anyone. You know, just be like “yeah, I’m so tired, too.”
Being in public together with all our gear on is always interesting. The cool thing about the Breakers is that the club has been around for so long that people in Boston actually know who we are. We don’t have to deal with the “Oh, what high school are you?” or “Did you have a tournament?” It’s more, “Oh, the Breakers! Where are you playing? Good luck!” That’s is really great to for us to hear. Boston sports fans are among the best. Among.
Once we’re on the plane, the team, since it’s an open-seating Southwest flight, is clumped together. I try to avoid the rookies and the coaches because they’re usually the rowdiest. I was lucky to have an aisle seat and a free middle seat, while Meagan Oyster had the window near me. That meant some peace to write my blog.
The weeks, though seemingly uneventful are always more interesting when I reflect on them. Training is geared toward a specific opponent now. The details are more important than ever. And there’s an award at the end of each week for our training: A game.
Games bring out a different type of joy in people. It’s truly as if we’re brought back to our childhood once a week. I get giddy and a little nervous, but the good kind of nervous. My mom always said she knew if I was excited/nervous/anxious for a game because I didn’t stop talking the entire car ride. Now that I think of it, she always tried to put the music up louder in car rides. …
Anyway. Aside from the games finally starting for us in the NWSL, we’ve had some cool things going on at the club. In fact, one of my childhood dreams came true this week. The Breakers announced a partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts. Dunkin’ freakin’ Donuts. As a youngster from New England, this is huge. Like being a Canadian sponsored by Tim Horton’s. Or something. I guess Morgan Andrews might understand what I feel.
We also received some cool gifts from Sweat Cosmetics, which was founded by some of my friends who had played in Boston. I love when athletes do something else they’re passionate about and they succeed. It’s really inspiring to see.
We had some free meals at a place called The Rising in Cambridge, which is a team sponsor, discounts at a car wash, and other stuff that is really exciting. It’s so cool to see how far the league and this club have come over the years.
O.K. … here are some quick hits for this week:
Comment Some of my teammates have thick accents, especially Rosie White, who is from New Zealand. So, when she looked me straight in the eye and said what sounded like, “Don’t undress me,” I was really taken off guard. I said, “Excuse me?” and she repeated herself so I heard it correctly: “Don’t underestimate me.” Accents man.
Teammate I had asked Allysha Chapman to grab me a surprise at Whole Foods. Anything would have sufficed. A drink, a snack, a coffee. Well, Chappy brought back something called a jackfruit, which costs $27 and weighs 15 pounds. A fruit that I had to somehow get on the flight home to Boston. Thankfully, there’s a second teammate of the week: Thank you Kylie Strom for putting the jackfruit in your bag.
Fruit See above.
Lesson The 2-0 loss against FC Kansas last weekend wasn’t ideal, of course. We have a lot of things to work on and there were some good things to take away from the game. But off the field, the weekend was a success in many ways. I felt like the team was able to bond in a way that only away trips allow. Being able to room with someone you might not normally talk to as much, delayed flights that reveal delirium, bus rides, team meals … simply opportunities to hang out and enjoy each other off the field can have a positive impact on how we play on the field. There are good things to come.
Roommate There were a lot of people in the running, but Sammy Jo Prudhomme, you got it this week kiddo.
Finally, I got to play some good minutes (about 20) in the game last weekend. I felt like I was able to contribute on and off the field and that’s something I haven’t felt since I played for Portland in 2013. It’s been a long road back to being on a team in this league. It was one of the more trying times in my life, but being in that game on Sunday, with my family watching online, was actually way more emotional than I thought it would be.
It’s just the beginning. Again.