Full Circles.

I originally created this blog about 5 years ago when I first moved to France to begin my professional soccer career. I started it as a way to keep my family and friends informed on happenings in my world. Clearly, it has been a while since my last post, but I wanted to share a bit about my recent events and let anyone who is reading this into my world once again, if only for a few minutes.

So thanks for being here and here goes!

Current Status:

On an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Wait, how did I get here?

My Body Made Me Do It

Injuries are no fun!! In the midst of completing my time in Liverpool and moving to and playing in Boston, I have had a dislocated collarbone, prolonged quad strain and a hairline fracture/ankle sprain. As is typically the case, injuries not only take a physical toll, but a mental one as well. I struggled developing my confidence back up when it seemed like one thing tended to lead to another. I tried to stay as positive as possible, but over time I stopped thinking about how much fun and joy soccer had given me and became so focused on how to recover, how not to get injured, how to get myself back fit, etc. My love for the game started to take a backseat and I began developing anger and resentment towards the sport I have devoted myself to. I would consider myself a positive and upbeat person. I do my best to lift others around me and let my actions speak louder. It is perhaps easier to be this way when your actions, or talents let’s say, can be on full display and allow you to contribute to the group. As soon as I lost this ability to perform I quickly felt as though I lost my ability to be truly myself.

Basically, going to soccer practice started to feel like a chore rather than a source of self-expression.

Waived at Boston

As someone who has always been picked first or second, been voted team MVP, won professional titles, it is a humbling experience to be told that you are no longer an asset to your team. That you have been fired… Help! Ego down!!

I was entering into a reality shared by numerous women who have unfortunately experienced how cutthroat the NWSL can be. The kicker, however, was how odd it felt to feel relieved afterwards. Perhaps it was a relief knowing I was going to have a physical and mental break.

But there I was, upset in my car, trying to process the reality of my situation. I was devastated for the young girl in me who formed this professional dream years ago, but so excited for the adult I had become in the process. What should I do next? Was I actually finished playing? My ankle throbbed and reminded me that for the moment I needed to keep myself planted because I wasn’t going anywhere just yet.

“It’s All About Who You Know” – Mom

A few weeks went by and I was physically and mentally feeling clearer. I even interviewed for a few real world jobs assuming my time as a footballer was at an end. But then I started to feel a bit of welcomed energy and excitement and thought if I had the opportunity I would love to finish my soccer career on my own terms. In the midst of figuring out a next move, I was contacted by Bill Reno, an American goalkeeper blogger who interviewed me a couple years ago. He graciously got me in touch with an agency. As per the usual with this sport, within about one to two weeks I had a pretty good idea I would be joining Apollon Ladies FC of Limassol, Cyprus to play in the 2017/18 Champions League. Not a bad gig!

Feeling Happy

So I find myself here on this island because circumstances have brought me here. I am not sure how long I will be here as my time is contingent on our results and progress in Champions League. With that in mind, I am excited to have the chance to explore Cyprus and be back in Europe where my journey as a professional footballer began five years ago. Funny the way the world works seemingly in full circles!

Most importantly! I am excited to be healthy again, to feel like a contributor, and to feel the love begin to grow for the game. Champions League Group Stage is being hosted here in Cyprus in 3 weeks and we have our sights set on advancing to the Round of 32!

I am grateful to have this opportunity and look forward to continuing my soccer journey and developing my story. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Libs

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Champions :)

Hiya!

As I am prepping for my holiday return to the lovely land of Kentucky, I thought it appropriate to get a much-needed blog out to the masses.

Since the beginning of the year, I have pretty much been ebbing and flowing with the wonderful world of football, or soccer that is. My Liverpool Ladies team went through an amazing season where we, in the end, hoisted the FA WSL trophy for the second consecutive year. It was a long, winding road to get to this point though, a road which seemed to dead-end or go off in unexpected directions at times. Ultimately, the twists and turns of our 2014 journey brought us back home to the champion’s podium.

The beginning of our campaign, however, was plagued with injuries. Some were quick recoveries and some were not so quick. But, what I believe kept us afloat were hard work, belief, and a heck of a lot of character. Our young players stepped up into new roles and performed at extraordinary levels. Our veterans dug in and led us through the adversity. Simply put, we just kept moving and grinded out results literally until the very last day.

Going into the last month or so of the season, we knew exactly what we needed to do in order to be atop the table. Knowing what results we needed was not always helpful though. We would find disappointment after results at times, but, that being said, the stars always seemed aligned in our favor. In that, we were not in control of our destiny. The success of this year hinged on so many pivotal moments, moments that we produced as a team and as individuals and moments that were created by others. Whether these experiences were in our control or not, good or bad, each one allowed us to retain a title and achieve an amazing feat together as a unit. And only together we will continue to be limitless.

Now, I am reflecting on an amazing season and year. It is hard to explain each moment that happened, and I frankly do not wish to do so. I would rather get across my emotion and feelings. All I can say is that I am so proud to have experienced this year and have accomplished all this with the group of people I have been surrounded with. My greatest moment of my football career to date was learning the news of our realized championship dreams. I have never been a champion in my professional career, and I am so thankful to have reached that goal with this team. I only wish now to continue to find success, continue to ebb and flow, continue to dream, and continue to improve as a player and person. I know I am experiencing a life that is a gift. And I wish to continue to live every day in such a manner.

This all being said, I am extremely excited get home for the holidays and am so looking forward to catching up with family and friends. I am looking to relax a bit, continue to train, and get my mind refocused for the upcoming season next year with my team.

Wishing everyone a lovely holiday season. Stay safe and take care.

Libby

For more detail on Liverpool Ladies FC visit:

http://ladies.liverpoolfc.com/index.html

Final day details and excitement:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29552164

England.

LLFC 2014

LLFC 2014

Howdy Folks!!

Well, my last post was a good 6 months ago, and a lot of life has been happening from then until now. Many people have been asking me to get an update out there, so darn it that’s what I’m going to do!

I spent the bottom half (no pessimism intended) of last year in a little town called Cloppenburg located in the Northwest corner of Deutschland. I had a grand ol’ time playing in the Bundesliga, which absolutely lived up to its’ hype of one of the world’s top women’s soccer leagues. I played against the likes of Bayern Munich, FC Frankfurt, and Turbina Potsdam. While traveling throughout the country I saw the vastness and rich, warm culture of Germany. The acclaim of Wiener schnitzel, bratwurst, lederhosen, and bier did not disappoint. 😉

Nevertheless, my time in Germany came to a close, a bittersweet one I must admit. I said Auf Wiedersehen to some amazing people and friends who have helped continue to shape me as an individual and player. My thoughts are certainly of a jovial nature when I return them to my brief days in Germany. But, my role there was fulfilled and it was time to move on to my next adventure. That adventure would lead me back to my family’s homeland of jolly ol’ England…

That is where I find myself today. I am writing from a four bedroom flat in Liverpool, where I live with three of my teammates. The home of the Beatles also is home to one of the best football clubs in the world, Liverpool FC. I find myself lucky enough to be a part of that organization as I am playing for the Liverpool Ladies team, the reigning champs of the FAWSL. I am a humble member of the team and am ecstatic to have the opportunity to play here. It is amazing to be in a country that has such an appreciation of soccer. The way that Americans feel about football, basketball, baseball, etc. is how, well basically the rest of the world (but especially England) feels about soccer.

So, anyways, I have been here for just over two months now. We have been hard at work in preseason, gearing up for the 2014 season. Our first match is in the FA Cup tournament against Sunderland on April 13th. We have already played in a handful of successful friendlies, but are certainly ready to get the season underway.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my new teammates and coaches. This task is proving to be an easier one than in the past, well, because, guess what?, they speak English here!! No way, right?! While I absolutely enjoy and revel in the knowledge I have gained from learning a bit of French and German, I am relieved to be in a place where I can communicate on a daily basis with the people around me. I think language is something I have taken for granted until I have gone and lived in these places where I could not communicate on a simple day-to-day level. Little as it may be, I greatly appreciate what knowledge I now have of France and Germany, culture and language. Even more so, I am proud to know that I gave my experiences in those countries my best effort in learning as much as I could while given the opportunity…

Safe to say, all is well here though. I am happy and feel a genuine sense of peace and comfort in my new home. I look forward to what is in store, on the pitch and off, in the coming weeks and months.

On a different note, many people have asked about games being streamed online. I do believe some kind of streaming will be available, but I need to double check for those who are curious. In the meantime, feel free to follow our news and what not at www.liverpoolladiesfc.com and on Twitter @LFCladies.

Will give more updates in the coming weeks.

Thanks for reading and take care,

Libby

Moi

The Kop

Just because it's Easter season. haha

Just because it’s Easter season. haha

Deustchland!!

A big update is in order here. And I have exciting things to tell!

To get directly to the point, I have just signed my second professional contract! I am playing in the 1. Bundesliga (German Division 1) with BV Cloppenburg. The team is located in Cloppenburg, Germany, which is in the northwest situated nearby Bremen and Hamburg. I have been here about a week now and have enjoyed my time so far. However, I did arrive without my luggage..Again! Luckily, I packed my soccer gear in my carry on (thank you Jason Neidell).

I have really enjoyed getting to know this town and team, and I’m looking forward to playing in one of the best leagues in the world..

I need to rewind a little bit now.. So back in May I was finishing up my time in France and was lucky enough to get my second invite to the U-23 National Team training camp. That camp was held in Chula Vista, California at our Olympic Training Center. It was a great experience and it went well for me. The next event for the U23s is another training camp to be held in December. At this time, I do not know whether or not I am invited.

After the camp I returned to France for about a month. I made the decision not to return to the club. I really enjoyed my time in Yzeure and made some lifelong friends, but I felt it was in my best interest to move on. When the season was over in June, I flew home to Louisville and took it easy! I had the opportunity to work youth soccer camps at WKU and reveled in the opportunity to give back to my university and the community. My summer at home was fantastic and relaxing, but it went by quickly! This opportunity to play in Germany presented itself and I left the United States within a week.

For the present time, I will be here in Germany for a while. 🙂

I will give an update in a couple weeks.

Thanks for reading and take care, Libby

Springtime!

April is fast approaching and I can’t believe how fast time is flying by!

It’s been a while since my last post, so I have some catching up to do.

Let’s see. Soccer has been going pretty well. We are sitting at 6th place in our league and looking to try and garner the 5th spot by the end of the season. We just need to make sure we win as many of these last few games as possible and hope for a little luck 🙂 At this point we have 5 league games remaining.

We are also still alive in the Coupe de France! We won our Round of 16 game in an exciting penalty shootout against Vendenheim. The quarterfinals for the Coupe are scheduled for April 28th and the opponent is yet to be determined. I believe the draw is on the 9th.

Spring has finally arrived. The weather is still trying to decide if it wants to start getting warm or just stay cold. I can tell it’s thinking about warming up though. The sun is shining more and more and I’m looking forward to playing in warmer temps soon!

This Saturday we play in Paris against Paris St. Germain. PSG is a really strong opponent so it will be a challenging and fun game! I’m excited to see and play against fellow Americans, Horan and Heath!

My family is also on their way to Paris as I type this!! My mom, dad, brother, grandma, and aunt are all coming to invade France for about a week and a half!!! They will be watching me play Saturday in Paris. I will spend a few days with them there and then we will head down to Moulins and Yzeure. They will see me play again at home for the following Sunday. I’m obviously very excited to have my family here. I’m pumped that they will get to experience some of the things that I have been able to experience in the last 7 months.

Other news I have for you is that I received an invitation to the U-23 National Team Camp in Carson, California on April 13th-20th. This is a fantastic opportunity and I am ready to go in and show my stuff!!!

Thanks to everyone for reading. Take care.

Libby

Hello!

I hope all is well! Been back in France for a bout 3 weeks now.. I’m doing well and have quickly gotten back into the swing of things. In the past couple of weeks the weather has been cold and dreary accompanied with snow and ice. As a result, our game was canceled last weekend up near Paris. So we’ve had a bit of a break from matches. However, we play our first game, round of 32, in the Coupe de France this weekend against Montpellier (DH). The Coupe is basically a large tournament with all of the teams in each division in France. Each team is put into a pot and you draw out your first opponent. If you lose, you are out of the Coupe, while a win advances you to the next round. Should be pretty fun!! We head down to Montpellier tomorrow afternoon, and play Sunday.

In the last few weeks a couple of the U.S. Women’s National Team players have signed contracts to play with teams here in the French league. I’m excited to get the opportunity to meet and play against them!

Welp, that’s about all I’ve got for now.. Looking for a “W” on Sunday! Thanks for reading.

Libby

Bonne Année!

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays! I know I did! It was great to be home and see my family and friends. I was able to catch up with a lot of people, which really made me happy. I also hosted a clinic for young goalkeepers at my old club, now the Kentucky Fire Juniors. That day was definitely a highlight of my break. I was able to share my story with boys and girls and give them advice on not only soccer, but life as well. I appreciated the large turnout and I want to say thank you for coming out!! And thanks KFJ for organizing!

I’m back in Le France! The flight(s) over were loooong, but I’m glad to be back. I’m ready to get back to work and keep improving my game. We played our first match today against Vendenheim and won 3-0! We played pretty well and I was content to come out with a shutout. We now sit in 6th place with 30 points. Our next match is January 20th at Juvisy. We’re now playing each team in the league for the second time, only at the opposite venue of the first match-up. I think this adds a new dynamic to the game. Teams are out for revenge! And hopefully we are too when we play the teams we didn’t fair as well against the first time.

I’m looking forward to continuing the season and playing the game.. Oh and learning more French!

Merci et Bonne Année!

Libby