U.S. Women's National Team forward Christen Press made her first starting appearance alongside Abby Wambach in a friendly played at Candlestick Park in San Francisco against New Zealand on October 27, 2013. Press, who took the place of an injured Alex Morgan, scored her 8th goal in 11 games, helping the U.S. to a 4-1 victory over the Football Ferns.
A week earlier, against Australia, the double-teamed Morgan unselfishly allowed a bullet-of-a-pass slide under her feet to a waiting Press who punched it in for a stellar goal.
The Southern California native, who plays for Tyreso FF in the Swedish League, was the league's top scorer in 2013 with 23 goals. I spoke with Press immediately after the New Zealand match where she more than hinted at the possibility of coming to play in the NWSL. Here’s what she had to say…
Q: So many talented athletes win scholarships, go off to college and we never hear from them again. What is it that has made you so successful, where others have failed?
Christen Press: Well I think it can be hard with the United States – the professional environment is really new, so it's just about getting that training and never giving up on it. There's been times where I've had six months without an organized team to play with. So, it's just about going out to the field and believing in your dreams enough to put everything else aside and put everything you have into one basket.
Q: It's got to be awesome playing alongside Abby.
Press: Absolutely. Abby steps into a leadership role and helps me, Alex, and Sydney (Leroux) out a lot. And she's a leader on the field – she coaches us and lets us know what she wants us to do out there. So she's been a big help.
Q: You've had so much success at Tyreso, do you see yourself coming over and playing in the NWSL?
Press: I think so. I think I'll be there for some part of next year.
Q: You have so many fans here who would love to see you in the league.
Press: Yeah, well I would love to play in front of the fans in the United States, so hopefully the stars will align so that becomes possible.
Q: Last week Aussie Kyah Simon went down on the turf in Texas and since then, there's been a lot of debate about artificial turf. Do you have any thoughts on turf?
Press: Well the Swedish league is all played on turf, but I think that there's nothing better than a nice grass pitch. And I really hope that the women's game, as it develops, we would have the opportunity to play on great pitches like the men, so that's what we really want to do.
And if more influential players like Press commit to play in the NWSL, perhaps those great pitches will come!
Keep up to date with everything NWSL by follow @NWSL_Examiner on Twitter!