Mission Log: Kristen Carr on Team USA Advancing to Gold Medal Game

Our new season has begun in a decisive 2-0 manner with big wins over Israel on Wednesday, July 19, and England on Thursday, July 20, while our fan base has doubled, thanks to our family and friends who have traveled near but mostly far to support the red, white, and blue. We love you!

Even though we are in our second part of season, being athletes, we yearn for our daily routines. For myself, and some of my other early-rising Club 4 mates, Taylor Cummings, Gussie Johns and Sarah Bullard, as well as a few others who trickle in (Ally Carey, Alex Aust, Alyssa Murray, assistant coach Jess Wilk and the one and only Lance Basler), coffee talk is the best way to begin our day.

On Thursday, however we stumbled across an unfortunate finding – the last bits of our Dunkin Donuts coffee (RIP) brought thankfully by our godsend, manager, Wendy Stone, and filled up our new and handy Ninja Coffee maker, also courtesy of Wendy. We enjoyed every last sip as we sat in the same seats from day one and chatted about everything under the sun.

Once our bodies were fueled with the breakfast essentials – oatmeal, toast, banana, and peanut or almond butter, whichever is fancied – we are ready to attack the next part of our day. Gameday consists of treatment, previous game review, keys to success for our upcoming game, pregame meal and rituals.

Quarterfinal vs. Israel:

We were excited to play Israel on Thursday, whom we have never played before. They had an exhilarating overtime win over Japan the day before and having a few familiar faces on their team from the states, we knew we would be battle-tested. They gave us a great game and we were amped to move on to the semis!

Next Battle: England, the host country:

Playing for your country is one of the most humbling experiences you could ever ask for, and for England, they were playing on their home soil. England has a grittiness and tough mentality about them and we knew they would be gunning for us as they did. They played an incredible game, but it was the USA that are ‘ship bound!

Our record is wiped clean because the only game that matters is the one tomorrow – and the only game to be earned is the one tomorrow, because if what we did yesterday is still big today, then we haven’t really done anything.

So today, we have fully embraced our off day – Normateching, watching movies, and chatting with the best of the best, as we geared up for a little pregame practice. Before heading back to the dorms, Big Rick or Chief, as our fans refer to him, suited up and showed off his cat-like reflexes in a fun game of power finesse.

As the night wore on, it was easy to reflect on the journey, although the journey was not always easy – the amount of times we’ve exhausted our body, mentally and physically, the extra hill sprints, the early and late night training sessions to make us that more prepared for the pressure we’d be under in the World Cup.

It is because of moments like this, we did what we did. These are the moments you live for, to play at the highest level in the world with elite athletes that bring their absolute best every second of the day, consequently, bringing out the best in you. Because we did this, we earned ourselves a spot to play in the gold medal game of the 2017 World Cup.

Tonight, we made more memories, laughed some more, and ate even more, before we snuggled in our beds one last time, knowing our record is wiped clean because the only game that matters is the one tomorrow – and the only game to be earned is the one tomorrow, because if what we did yesterday is still big today, then we haven’t really done anything.

So, before signing off, I close my eyes with my heart full of memories, laughter, and love, mind cleared and at ease, and body ready to take the pitch one last time with one amazing group of individuals who have cultivated into an amazing team. I got your six. #BUSA

– Kristen Carr
(Instagram: @cristenkarr)

Player Profile

KRISTEN CARR

Nickname: Cookie
Years with the U.S. Program: 8
U.S. Senior World Cup Teams: 2013 (Gold), 2017
Position: Defender
College: North Carolina 2010
Honors: First Team All-American (2010)
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
Current Residence: California
Current Career: Stanford Assistant

What does playing for Team USA mean to you?

I feel honored and humbled. There are many incredible players in our country and to be one of the final players selected to represent Team USA is a dream come true. This pride is felt every day and inspires me to be the best version of myself.

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