I love my job…

I always laugh when Tony comes to training and yells this at the team but he’s got it right! I love my job too! I took the T to work yesterday morning and everyone is dressed up and headed for a day in the office. I’m in shorts and a tee shirt on my way to a soccer field! Not only that but I get a chance to work with some of the best players in the world. They are committed, they are driven and you know what they are a lot of fun. I’m impressed with their talent and their effort but I really enjoy them as people. No one knows the future of WPS but I am consistently reminding myself to remember these moments because I know I’m going to look back at my time coaching these players as some of my favorite. They continue to make me grow as a coach and a person. Let’s go Breakers!

A Legend…

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!

2011 WPS Season Kicks Off

So the season has kicked off and the Breakers have a road win, a home loss and a road loss ?!

A 4 – 1 result in Atlanta was a great way to start things off except 2 things…

1 we gave up a late goal on an unnecessary foul in the box.

2 we lost Jordan Angeli on a challenge from behind for the season.

So the win was bitter sweet. We will miss Jordan’s play and leadership.

Then last Sunday we dropped a game to Western NY 1 – 2 at home after a busy week. The US National Team players joined the team for the first time this week, so the schedule was full, with training, video, media requests and a little Team Building as Thursday the Breakers took too the city of Boston for our own version of the Amazing Race.

Taryn Hemmings, who spent time in Japan this off season, also organized a clinic to raise money for Relief in Japan on Friday. (see photos)

And this weekend we traveled down to Florida to open up MagicJack’s season with a 1-0 loss. The field was only 63 yards wide…very tight space for two professional teams to play in so the game was not very attractive to watch but it was a game we needed to do better in. It was a dog fight and we need to find more bite in our game…or we will not be on the winning side of these types of games.

So it is back to work this week…no more opening games, no more surprises, we need to find a balance of playing good soccer and wining the physical battles that come in these games. We have some things to do to make this years Boston Breakers contenders for a WPS Championship but we are headed in the right direction, not because we have played great yet and trust me we have lots to do but we have such amazing people in this group. I know we will take on the challenges this season brings in stride.

Watch the Breakers Game this Sunday 6 pm vs Sky Blue at Harvard or on Fox Soccer to see a if we have learned these important lessons.

The WOW Project…

So the Boston Breakers are back from Florida and a good training camp.

Everyday I am on the field with these players is really special. I know that we all see the negative ways that professional athletes sometimes choose to spend their time but these women are really amazing. First they are not making that much money and yet they spend as much time training and honing their craft as any other professionals. They are dedicated! To the Game! To the Team! and To the communities they live in. This last week a group of players started The WOW Project – see below…

W.O.W. With or Without. Four Individuals with a goal of taking up a good deed (with) or giving up something (without) for everyday of the WPS season (164 Days)

Today is Day 7. Be kind and brighten someones day with a free cup of coffee.

What a great ideal. Looking for ways to see others smile, at times it’s silly, motivating and always fun! I love it! Very proud of the group we have in Boston. I’ll share more on these terrific people and players later till then, follow TheWOWProject on Twitter and get on board!

First Blog…

So what to write about? I’m not big on writing but I would like to start to use this blog to share my experiences in coaching.

It’s such a great profession, being on the field everyday with young people, passionate people, and being apart of a TEAM! I love watching players develop not only on the field but seeing them grow as people. The confidence that comes from being apart of something bigger then just one person. Overcoming challenges, mastering a skill, making sacrifices, sport is a unbelievable teacher and coaching is a great responsibility.

Coaches often have the ability to reach young people in a way that can change lives and at times when they are often not listening to a lot of adults. I know my life was changed by the coaches that came through it. So thank you to all of them. And to those of you who coach, recognize your influence and make the most of it.

Till next time…enjoy the game!