Kelly Smith is apparently writing a weekly column for The Daily Mail about her WPS soccer experiences. Here’s an excerpt from last week’s piece:
There’s so much to learn because everything is so new and we don’t really know each other’s playing styles or strengths and weaknesses at the moment. I’m playing in a slightly different system here too, so it’s all about getting used to how everyone plays.
It’s been a bit crazy the last two weeks just trying to understand everyone’s roles in the team, but it’s definitely a good learning experience.
The same goes for preparing for the opposition. For the first match, we only had what Tony DiCicco, the coach, knew about certain players he’s worked with or seen in the past and then trying to guess what system they would play. At least for Saint Louis we’ve watched footage of their opening match.
Our home debut puts me up against Hope Solo, who I played with at the Philadelphia Charge in the WUSA league before that stopped in 2003. We’ve not been in touch recently, so it will be good to see her and catch up with her after the game. She’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world, so it won’t be easy getting ball past her.
The game is a lot stronger since WUSA. The tempo is much quicker and the individual players are a lot better than before. Having the top internationals raises the standard but the U.S. players that have come through college or the try-outs are of a very high standard as well. The product on the field is at a higher level than before.
We’re so lucky to have her with the Breakers, IMHO. Looking forward to a spring/summer of watching her play … and now reading her articles, too!
And here’s a Breakers video … a message to the fans …
Tony on the preseason …
And teams to watch in 2009 …