The World According to Weimer: The Music Never Stops



Breakers logoHave you ever been in the huddle before a game or after a training session about to say the cheer for your team and have to remind yourself what the name of the team is? Or more relatable probably, at a job and you forget the name of the company? Yeah, duh, neither have I. But it wouldn’t be too surprising if that happened from time to time, especially to players in the National Women’s Soccer League.

The NWSL is unlike any other women’s soccer league in the world. There are players waived and traded, and tons of player movement. A few years ago, I made a funny comment on Twitter about how the NWSL is a game of musical chairs, except the music never stops. I can go through a list of players who have been on several teams already in the league’s short five-year existence.

Including me: Portland, Washington (short stint with Kansas City) and now Boston.

Some others:

Jessica McDonald Seattle, Portland, Houston, North Carolina

Sydney Leroux Boston, Seattle, Western New York, Kansas City

Becca Moros Portland, Kansas City, Houston, Kansas City

McCall Zerboni Western New York, Portland, Boston,Western New York/North Carolina

Toni Pressley Washington, Western New York, Houston, Orlando

Becky Edwards Portland, Houston,Western New York, Orlando

Amanda Frisbie  Seattle, Western New York, Kansas City, Boston

Adrianna Leon Chicago, Western New York, Boston

Angela Salem Western New York, Washington, Boston

Katherine Reynolds Western New York, Washington, Portland

Sarah Hagen Kansas City, Orlando, Houston

Jasmyne Spencer Washington, Western New York, Orlando

Amber Brooks Portland, Seattle, Houston

Stephanie Ochs Washington, Houston, North Carolina

Amanda DaCosta Washington, Chicago, Boston

Kassey Kallman Kansas City, Boston, Washington

Camille Levin Sky Blue, Orlando, Houston

Kristie Mewis Kansas City, Boston, Washington

There’s a lot of us. Probably many more than that actually. I don’t know. I’m not Wikipedia. But you can look it up and let me know.

But yeah. I wonder what people think of when they see players change teams so often. Besides the obvious uprooting their lives, learning a new style of play, meeting a bunch of new people and changing accents (or am I the only one who does that?), there are some situations that might seem … uncomfortable.

So here are some things to think about:

Yes, it’s weird sometimes to play your former team. No, it’s not hard to want to beat players who are your close friends. Yes, it feels really good to beat a team that waived or traded you. No, you don’t wish you were still there. Yes, it’s extremely difficult to want your friends to do well while wishing a club to do … not as well as your team is doing.

OK. Hope that clears up some basics.

As fans, I imagine it’s hard to maintain allegiance. If you cheer for a certain player, chances are you have a few of their jerseys from different teams. Which is usually normal over the course of a player’s career. But not over the course five years.

The league is set up for turnover. It’s set up like any American sport, with a smaller player pool and smaller number of teams. Again, musical chairs.

Personally, I have several boxes in my attic that are aptly titled “Cannot Wear Again.” They are filled with training suits, warmups, etc., of my previous teams. People ask me if I have any Breakers stuff I can give them and I’m like no, but I have some Thorns/Spirit/FCKC stuff if you are into that?

The reality of playing for so many different teams is that things change so fast sometimes one minute, you’re trashing a team that just crushed you and the next minute you’re putting on that team’s uniform and kissing its badge when you score.

imagesizecacheurlOK. So, I lied earlier. There have been times when my friends and I accidentally say the wrong team’s name in the cheer or yell “let’s go blue,” when we’re definitely the red team. It happens. It’s not an allegiance to one or the other, it’s just that as players we are big in the buy-in. You know that saying, wherever you go, that’s where you are. Well, in our profession it’s whatever jersey you’re wearing, that’s who you are. Sometimes it’s hard to change old habits that are deeply engrained, but new ones develop quickly.

Over the weekend, we beat the Washington Spirit, 1-0. We needed a win and I think that was obvious. Playing three games in a week and putting in the work that we did to get a “W” in our last game was impressive. Also, there are a few players on the Breakers now who had played for the Spirit.

We are all competitive by nature, but when it’s a former team, there’s just a little more incentive than usual. There’s a little more you’re able to give. I think some of us felt that over the weekend. And it just makes it a little sweeter when it goes in your favor.

At the end of the day, we all have to deal with a “former” from time to time in our lives, whether it’s a former employer, partner, team, friend, etc. The world is big, but the world is small. All we can ever hope for is to be doing better than them and that they’re doing alright. Not great. Just all right. (smiley face, wink face, sunglasses face).

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