Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Need Proof

You think the struggle between club and country creates some issues in the soccer world, you should see the struggle between school and country for the many college-aged athletes who have played for the U.S. Women's National Team over the years. For sure, it's a huge challenge to balance a heavy academic load with the commitment required to play for the U.S. WNT, and the U.S. players have long relied on the kindness of their professors to be flexible and understanding with missed classes, make-up tests, exams taken on the road, etc. Just this week young U.S. midfielder Tina DiMartino told one of her professors at UCLA that she would be missing class for this two-week training camp to play for the U.S. Women's National Team. The professor looked the five-foot-two DiMartino up and down and said incredulously, "I need proof." True, until she puts on her soccer cleats and becomes a dribbling dynamo, DiMartino, in her baggy sweats, may look more like a gymnast or a 10,000-meter runner, but we are talking about a player that finished in the top three for this season's Hermann Trophy (the Heisman of soccer), has played for the USA in U-20 Women's World Cup and has one cap for the WNT, a game in which she got an assist. So, for proof, see above pic, and if needed this link.

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