Tiffany Weimer came to the Spirit in an off-season trade with the 2013 NWSL Champion Portland Thorns where she scored the game-tying goal for the Thorns in their semifinal game against FC Kansas City. Tiffany played for Penn State University.
She suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear in her left knee during a training session in April. The injury occurred when she planted her foot to shoot the ball toward the goal and felt everything “go.’ Her shot did go in and she commented “I have that image to take with me in my rehab.”
When asked how she felt after the injury, she said “I still don’t believe it, but it is more of a reality each day I sit with it.” What she didn’t expect was how easy it was to talk about it with so many people, unfortunately, that have been through it. “It’s like a gang. A good gang though.”
Tiff openly admits she “sucks on crutches” and is not always good about asking for help; except with stuff she doesn’t normally want to do, like washing dishes.
Before the injury when she usually thinks about soccer, she has images of amazing goals or “nutmegs on nutmegs.” However in the initial weeks following the injury all she could visualize was her knee giving out. She realizes to overcome the injury she “has to take it slow, process it well and be much, much stronger than I’ve ever had to be in the past.”
Part of the challenge is the fact that the brain is telling her body to do something it is not ready to do yet. To help with this frustrating part of the recovery, Tiff went back home to coach her U16 GCF Senior Academy team which won the Connecticut State Cup – maybe she will return to the Plex the week of July 21 as a coach of a Region 1 team playing in the US Youth Soccer National Championships.
Commenting on her team’s championship “They did everything the coaches asked of them. And that was an incredibly gratifying feeling.”
“The good thing for me is I still would rather be out on the field playing than on the sideline coaching. That means I’m still motivated to come back. I’m just thankful I’ve found an avenue to get me through this process until my body wants to listen to my brain again,” she said.
“Until then, I’ve realized how important it is for young players to be coachable and receptive to the things coaches tell them. Not just for their sake, but for the coach’s sake too. Coachable players make coaching enjoyable. It has also been the most motivating part of my recovery process so far.”
Note: This player profile was compiled from Tiff’s posts on her blog www.tiffanyweimer.com and an interview with SB Nation. Fans can send Tiff best wishes on a speedy strong recovery to email@example.com
April 2014 Issue – Christine Nairn came to the Spirit this season from the Seattle Reign in an off-season trade. Christine has had an immediate positive impact on the Spirit with a goal in each of the first two games, both from a free kick.
Christine is from Annapolis, MD. She played her youth soccer with Freestate Soccer Alliance and occasionally played with her club team on the Soccerplex stadium pitch. In a live March 6th chat hosted by the Spirit Ambassadors with new teammate Yael Averbuch, Christine commented that playing professionally near her home is a dream come true.
When asked to whom she looked up to as a young player, she said her two older brothers with whom she was always playing soccer in their backyard. Both brothers went on to play in college and she wanted to as well, and she did at Penn State. As it turned out, she played against new Spirit teammate Crystal Dunn for an NCAA Championship in 2012 and is now looking forward to playing with her this season.
During the off season, Christine returned to Penn State to train with her former college teammates and even did some broadcasting of women’s soccer games during the 2013 Fall season. Her advice to young players, it is important to have fun. Quoting her Penn State head coach, Erica Walsh, playing and going to practice with your teammates should be the best part of your day. To be the best, it is important to enjoy the game.
Christine plays against her former Seattle teammates three times this season — 2 away games on April 23rd and August 9th, and one home game on May 3rd.
To watch Christine’s full live chat and of other players including Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris, go to Spirit Ambassadors. Must be a member and it is free.
In describing last season with the Spirit, Collen said “Three words: a roller coaster. Every emotion imaginable all within six months. I experienced gripping high moments and devastating low times. From flying cross country and being in a stadium with 17,000 fans to tearing my ACL, the moments drastically range! Playing professional is a dream come true, now I pray I can get back and remain healthy to continue for years.”
So for the off season, she has been “rehabbing my little booty off to get back 100%. I’ve been able to enjoy the fall with family up here in the Dirty Jers!! I now literally have time to slow down and smell the coffee, which I look forward to each morning! Therapy takes up a decent chunk of my time, but I also have been doing a lot of yoga, hiking, and biking. Call me Suzy Homemaker here.. but I love cooking and baking, as well as Nannying almost daily.”
Collen is looking forward to the 2014 season … “kicking some …! Coming in as the underdog is a great position if you ask me. Oh and, hotel beds whoooop!”
February 2014 Issue – New Spirit players and University of North Carolina alums, Crystal Dunn and Yael Averbuch recently conducted a live video chat with the Spirit, courtesy of the Ambassadors Club. You must join, its free, the Ambassadors Club to watch live and archived video chats with players.
Asked by a fan what was important during their youth to becoming pro players and playing for the U.S. Women’s National team, they both said playing at high competitive level, with Yael noting she moved youth teams and played against boys to increase the level of competition she faced. They both said going to UNC continued their objective to play at the highest level.
Both also indicated you really have to love playing to put in the extra work and early morning training necessary to achieve the level of success they have obtained. Yael further advised young players that no matter how successful, it is a natural for a player to have ups and downs. It is important not to let any one event or situation, whether positive or negative to define who you are as a player. It is a journey, and a player needs to continually work to be successful throughout the journey.
You can watch the full 35 minute interview by joining the Ambassadors Club.
January 2014 Issue – Goal keeper Chantel Jones is currently playing for the Perth Glory in Australia this winter. She participated on December 19th in the second video chat hosted by the Spirit’s new Ambassador’s Club. During her video chat with the Spirit, Chantel revealed her youth soccer experience ran into a serious bump in the road.
At one point in her early playing days her youth soccer coach told her she should give up soccer because she wasn’t good. Undaunted, she went to another team that gave her an opportunity to play in goal. Chantel’s message to young players, don’t sell yourself short just because someone says you are not good. Believe in yourself!
Chantel also said as a youth player, she loved basketball as well and played AAU. However, after rolling her ankle in a basketball game, her college coach insisted she give it up, which she has since then. To view the full video chat, you must be a member of the Ambassador’s Club. It is free and by becoming a member you can earn points that you can purchase Spirit items from the Rewards Store. Not a member? Join now!
December 2013 Issue – Captain Lori Lindsey is currently in Australia playing for Caberra United along with Spirit teammate Stephanie Ochs. She will be returning to the States in late February.
In recapping the first season of the Spirit, she admitted it was a trying season in terms of result on the field, but said “we had great core of people/players who made the experience fun and enjoyable none the less” as well as ending the season strong.
What Lori misses the most is the locker room banter….besides competing on the field that’s always the best part of being on a team. There’s always something to laugh about. Even during the difficult times. In looking to next season, Lori is looking forward to “winning more games. We ended the year strong and have a good core group, but there is plenty of room for improvement. I look forward to the process of working towards our goals each training session.”
When she is not on the pitch Lori’s favorite song is “One Republic’s ‘Something I Need’. But I love country so that’s always on.” Her favorite TV shows are Homeland, Scandel and Orange is the New Black.