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The reason I've dedicated a category of my blog to soccer, isn't entirely because I've dedicated the majority of my life to soccer. Its actually because I think I've discovered an awesome portal into a space that many talented athletes haven't tapped. I don't think young footballers really understand all the opportunity playing the game they love can actually provide.

Like thousands of other young girls in America, I played competitive soccer growing up. I went to a Division 1 university and had hopes of playing professionally. But when I graduated, I realized there weren't a lot of options to continue playing (or so I thought). I hung up my boots for two years before I finally took the opportunity to go play professional soccer in Division 1 Sweden. For the record, Division 1, is actually the third tier league in Sweden. There is Eliteetan and All Sveskan above it. At first, I felt ashamed telling people that I was playing at a lower level league. My ego was bruised. I felt my achievement wasn't worthy or impressive, but I set a goal to work hard and climb my way to the top level. I played six months in Sweden, six months in Finland, and six months in Israel, then went for half of a season back to Sweden. That's when the epiphany struck! I had spent 3 years of my life playing the sport that I love and traveling the world in my spare time. I was able to visit nearly every country in Europe during my off days, indulge in the cultures of the countries where I lived, and really “live the dream,” an expression athletes chase so often.

What I'm saying is I am a great soccer player, just like thousands of other college graduates who have played at big universities. I work really hard to be better every day, but I haven't been called up to play for the National team yet, like so many other players secretly working toward that same dream. What I want to shed light on is this; there is so much opportunity for us yet! In this part of the blog, I want to document my experience abroad as a professional athlete. I want to show you what is possible. You could be traveling the world, trying delicious food, seeing the monuments of ancient history, laughing with people from a different culture, drinking in the wonders of the world, and playing the sport that you love to fund it all. Let me show you what I did and what I will continue to do until my legs fall off.

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First game with TIERP IF; my team needed to MAKE A STATEMENT. Earlier in the season, we only beat this opponent 2-1. With a few changes and additions we SLAUGHTERED this poor team 9-0. I had my first GOAL in the 11th minute. My LUCKY number. Can't complain, however, I'll be rocking this gem all season. Should appease you #Cr7 fans ???? #ClimbingToTheTop#ProfessionalSoccer #ThreePoints

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First training session in SWEDEN, in the books! Felt so good to BALL OUT with my old teammates. God I LOVE these people! The field and environment here are INSANE. 75 degrees and outright GORGEOUS. The pitch was so clean I almost ate my dinner off it!! So ready to go to BATTLE with these girls!! #LifeIsGood#ActionShot#AS#TierpIF