So last Friday the city of Boston honored Kristine Lilly as the Mayor of Boston declared May 20, 2011 Kristine Lilly Day!
Lilly is the most capped player in soccer history (men & women) with 352 international appearances for the United States Women’s National Team. Lilly has appeared in five FIFA Women’s World Cups and three Olympic Games. She is a two time World Cup Champion and two time Olympic Gold Medalist.
And the list could go on and on if I was to look at her on the field accomplishments. But what is so impressive about Lil is the the way she has played, the impact she has had in the game and even more important is the effect she has had on her teammates, her fans and her community. She’s a player who promotes the game, gives of her time and reaches out to others. She has always been a professional, before women’s soccer players had the opportunity to be professional.
Kristine keeping the US dream alive in 99 by saving the ball off the line on a corner kick…is typical of her career, other players took the lime light and Lil just went about business as usual and was happy to do it! She’s a team player at all times. It is this ability of hers to sustain excellence that makes her a Legend, lots a people/players are excellent in a moment, are kind in a crises but it is Lil’s ability to maintain a level of excellent over time, on the field, with her fitness, as a captain, teammate and a person that amazes me.
In 2009 when I took the assistant coaching job with the Boston Breakers I was excited, then I realized I’d be coaching Kristine Lilly I have to admit I was a little intimidated. (Lil at that time was my favorite US player, as a coach I had come to admire a player that was consistent and hard working, someone you could count on everyday, oh and of course talented) So I was a little worried about what I would have to offer to this player but in typical Lil fashion, I think she realized this and went about making my transition from a college coach to a professional easier. She made me better, she made us better and she is missed by the Breakers daily…she’s everything coaches look for in a player, teammates need in a captain, and I’m forever going to feel grateful for getting to watch a legend go about business in person.
Thank you, Lil #13!