Originally from Newbury Park, California, Tara McKeown came to the nation’s capital from the University of Southern California. Before competing for the Trojans, Tara attended Newbury Park High School where she was named the school’s MVP and Los Angeles’ Player of the Year in her junior season. In four seasons at USC, Tara appeared in 76 matches, tallied 33 goals and 28 assists and twice earned First Team All-Pac-12 and All-Pacific region honors. Tara was drafted by the Spirit with the eighth overall pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft and has since seen over 1,200 minutes of playing time in 25 matches, scoring one goal and adding three assists. We were able to chat with the Spirit’s resident country music-loving SoCalifornian recently about all things outside the lines.
How old were you when you started playing soccer?
Who was your favorite player growing up?
Do you have a nickname?
What’s your dream car?
I’m into the electric cars nowadays but my dream car has always been a Range Rover.
Is there a reason behind your jersey number?
I grew up wearing #9 my whole life until college [when I wore #13].
What TV shows are you watching right now?
I’m watching Love Island and Stranger Things.
What movie can you quote from start to finish?
What’s your least favorite food?
Who inspires you?
What is your favorite emoji?
The one with the tongue out and the eyes going crazy 🤪.
What would you sing at karaoke night?
Money is no object, you can live anywhere in the world, where will you be?
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
What was your favorite subject in school/your major in college?
My favorite subject was anatomy and my college major was human development and aging.
What is your favorite season?
What was your road back from injury like this year?
When I got injured, we weren’t really sure of the timeline so, once it got prolonged, I think I just took that time to prepare myself for the rest of this season. Now that I’m back, it’s just about staying healthy and getting the loading right so that I’m able to stay back.
How did it feel to assist on Jordan Baggett’s goal in the first game back for the both of you?
It felt great to have an impact in the first game that both of us were able to come back for. I think both of us were really happy with being able to contribute so quickly and, hopefully, as we move forward, we’re able to do even more for the team.