Thursday, September 11, 2008

Golden Tarp

That's Lindsay, of course, who along with Heather O'Reilly is part of the U.S. women's national team 'tweeners - not a veteran perhaps contemplating retirement in the near future - but not exactly a fresh face. After all, both won gold medals in 2004 already, so they've got a set going now.

Anyway, I had a recent interview with Tarp, who is one of the nicest and most articulate players around, even if she does at times pull off the politician's trick of dodging some questions by giving thoughtful answers to ones that weren't asked.

Example: How have your responsibilities on the field changed through the years, if at all?

"The biggest thing throughout my career is appreciating the moment. Being in the Olympics is a surreal thing. While I’m there it’s just about having fun and enjoying where I’m at."

Great answer - not exactly pertaining to what I asked, however. It's actually a really effective technique to use with me, though, because I always get self-conscious and wonder if I'm mumbling and my interviewee can't understand me. That's usually not the case, though. It's a clever sidestep.

Here's more of what Tarp said - leftover quotes I didn't use for the article.

The victories were both very different. In 2004, I was one of the youngest players on the team. There were a lot of veteran players and it was their last tournament. We felt that the best thing possible was to send them out with a victory. This time, we all believed in ourselves and we all believed in each other and we believed we could do it.

After losing to Norway in that first game we did a great job of regrouping. We believed in each other and believed we were going to win. It was more for ourselves than anything.

It was tough to lose those players – but at the same time, we found a way to win.

Pia has done a great job of coming in. She always reinforces enjoying the moment and enjoying where we’re at, enjoying the process. She loves soccer and her feelings are contagious. Personally, I’m loving the game right now. I love to play. I love to play with my teammates. I’m really enjoying this time in my life.

I did feel that we were going to win before we stepped onto the field and I feel that that’s part of every great team. You have to believe you’re going to win. I had that feeling and I think the whole team had that feeling and as a result, I think that helped us win.


ghostwriter said...

Hopefully, she was more "forthcoming" on other questions, AC. Did it seem like they're still really leery of anything but the "company" line? We had fun, believed in ourselves, and our teammates...the old "My Three Daughters" (if I may reverse the gender on an old TV show title) plot line.

You know, I was thinking about that last Brazil game just last night. 1) The life is stranger than fiction symmetry of Hope and Carli being center stage and 2) the singlemindness of the team approach to that effort after the disruptions and drama of '07 are still headshakers.

I'll be looking for the link to your article when it appears.


PS You wrote a short piece a bit ago about not posting so much lately...I thought at the time somebody ought to say, "it's the best meal that leaves you hungriest" in reply... so there, somebody did.

Anonymous said...


Long-time fan of your soccer writing - hope you can keep it up!

{Couldn't post this to your other blog - what's an OpenID, anyway?}

Regarding exercize - running, pull-ups, whatever - a matched training partner would likely help. Re pull-ups, for example, ask a trainer about 'forced reps, which involves a partner giving you just as much help as you need while you do the heavy lifting. You'll improve much faster that way.

Don't hurt yourself, and good luck!

Coach said...

Good stuff A.C.,

Looking forward to your article. I think Lindsay is just a bit "reserved". Being interviewed is not easy stuff but I'm sure you put them at ease A.C.

Good to see you're still dropping by Ghost - it just wouldn't be the same!

P.S. My team over achieved this past weekend and we found ourselves in the Consolation Championship Final on Sunday. I tried the USWNT vs. Brazil approach to the game & we came oh so close, losing 2-1 with the game breaker being a very borderline handcall PK called against us, which they scored on! :( It was a great weekend of soccer, playing 4 games.

A.C. said...

It won't be online, ghost - this article was for a magazine that's going to be distributed in New York City schools to kids.

I think Lindsay, at least, is very careful of her answers, but it could be more for personal reasons than any company line. After all, it's been said that she's one of Abby's best friends. Plus, Lindsay always struck me as a rule-follower. I think some on the team could easily have reacted more strongly to Hope's statement not out of any team conspiracy, but because it would never be in their personality to be so outspoken. These are all guesses on my part, though.

Honestly, that's one reason why, as a reporter, I'm really looking forward to the WPS. It will be nice to talk to the players and find out which ones are honest to the point of bluntness, like Jesse Marsch and Landon Donovan. Enough with canned quotes. It might be months away, but maybe then I'll find someone willing to talk truth and take the consequences. Odds are it might be Carli or Hope - or somebody with their independent mindset.

Thanks for the encouragement, by the way.

A.C. said...

Eeeek, the other blog! That means I have to go run the hill today. . .

I don't get what's up with the comments there. I'll try to fix it.

ghostwriter said...

Too old for more school, guess I'll miss this one, AC, but to continue the gastronomic theme, thanks for the leftovers. :):)

Did Tarp know that's where it was going? Could go a long way toward accounting for her "tailoring" her comments. Probably want to "stay on message" (as the pols say) in that kind of piece.

There's a lot of hopes riding on that WPS deal, eh? Not only fans, players, coaches, owners, and sponsors, but journalists, too.

Congrats, Coach, on the tourney. There's just no accounting for the Zebras sometimes. And no worries, I'm still reading, just won't be as many pieces I'll ante up a post on.

Poster for the other site (which is, btw, very cool) is dead on, Andrea. Training partner is a serious motivational aid.

A.C. said...

I'm all for a training partner, but I have a very wacky schedule, and it hasn't really worked out any of the times I've tried it in the past.

Like today - I got a last-minute assignment. There's just too much of that to subject a training partner to - it wouldn't be fair.

But on the good news side of things, the assignment was for a USWNT piece - and I did talk to Carli Lloyd.

Anonymous said...

AC - Where can we read your piece on Carli?

Coach said...

Yeah Ghost, those beloved zebras! They sure can & do have an impact! :(

On the positive side, my daughter did the best Hope Solo imitation you could imagine - point blank saves, sliding saves in the rain & mud, even the PK along the ground, hard at the lower corner, she dove for & got her finger tips on it but it slipped in - it was great soccer & great fun!

I'm going to miss this group of players as they change every year.

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