Following a few months of residency with the Canada National Team program in the Women’s World Cup, I am back with the Portland Thorns Soccer club of the NWSL and settling in. I have been in residency for such a long time that it almost feels strange to be away from my Canadian teammates and Canada itself. However, Portland is a beautiful city and I am really enjoying the chance to explore it.
Prior to this visit, I had only been to the city once before and that was on a soccer trip. For Portland to now be my “home,” is a totally new experience, but I am fortunate. One of the benefits of being a professional athlete is the chance to see different parts of the USA, to play for different fans and teams and to live in new and exotic places: Portland was on my list.
Although, at first, I have obviously missed family, loved ones, and friends, I have learned to embrace the adventure of the whole experience. I know that the playing “lifespan” of an athlete is a relatively short one and I don’t wish to miss any opportunities, nor the chance to meet people from all over the world. I want no regrets about what else I might have done.
To date, I see Portland as a diverse and laid back city that I am enjoying and getting to know. I have been here for less than a week, but I have tried to do something, other than soccer, every day: I have hiked a few mountain trails, ( your suggestions are always welcome); been to the amazing Sunday market down on the waterfront; been to a really cool classical Viola concert at beautiful Reed College; and, I have sampled many of the cool and eclectic cafes and restaurants dotted throughout the city. By any measure, this should be a fun few months.
I have not forgotten that getting to play for a club like the Portland Thorns is a pretty great experience in itself. There is the soccer-specific stadium downtown, the thousands of diehard fans, and the professionalism of the people who work here. They all make this time at the Thorns pretty special.
Unfortunately, I have only had the pleasure of playing for the Thorns on one occasion so far, but I am looking forward to recovering from injury and getting back out on the field. I see the Club and the city as something that I want to give my all towards. I can hardly wait for the Seattle game coming up – this should be quite an experience!