Forward, Washington Spirit and U.S. Women’s National Team member

by Dara Klatt

Congratulations on being selected to go to the 2023 FiFA Women’s World Cup. What has been your process so far in preparing? Playing with the U.S.Women’s National Team so consistently these past couple of years has been amazing. I’m able to learn so much from my teammates and develop as a player. I’ve been working toward [The World Cup] by not focusing on it. I’m giving all my attention to the club when I’m here and know that I am giving my best for the Spirit so I can let my work speak for itself.

I’ve heard the terms “crafty,” “magical” and “super technical” used to describe your style. How would you describe your soccer style? I like “super technical” as well. I pride myself on being very technically sound and able to excel at small things.

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It’s important to my style of play that I have a good foundation of the technical aspects of my game. I’ve also been called slippery which I think is a big compliment. I want to be tough to defend and exhaust opposing teams.

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The season for Washington Spirit started out incredibly strong. What do you think has led to so many wins? Our team’s openness to the new system this season for sure. Mark Parsons’ staff does an incredible job getting us prepared each week through their tactical plans and general ability to get everyone on the same page. I’m happy with our team’s willingness to come into the facility each morning ready to learn and put everything into practice.We have all bought in to this system and we are seeing results which are always addictive.

How has the camaraderie with your teammates evolved and gelled since you were first drafted in 2020? As players, we get along off the pitch well which of course helps translate to more fluid play on the pitch. This year, I really feel like everything has come together so well.The players, coaches, staff, and positive relationships have helped with our success this year, and that’s been a great boost.

Where has been your biggest growth since being with Washington Spirit? Probably my defending.This is a tough league, there is so much speed and offensive firepower that it’s a necessity to constantly make small gains in your defense. I came in a more offensive- minded player but I’m proud of the growth I’ve had on the other side of the ball and I think that has been a big factor in my success.

How did your upbringing and early soccer training help lead you to where you are now? I did a lot of technical training with a skills coach growing up, and that was a large part of my success with my technical abilities. It really helped me set myself apart from the competition from a young age and has set me up for good habits on the pitch since.

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Washington Spirit owner Michele Kang recently struck a deal to lead an international multi-team women’s soccer organization that will include her National Women’s Soccer League team and French Club Lyon. Any reaction to this? It’s so good for women’s soccer. Michele has been a wonderful club owner for us at the Spirit for so many reasons.The investment and belief in us have been phenomenal, she is putting players first by surrounding us with the best staff and providing us with the resources that will help us to be successful. That said, I’m excited to see what she can do for other clubs. It’s a step in the right direction for the sport and going to be really cool to watch it unfold.

You have quite the Instagram following and frequently post fashion-forward posts. What is your style off the field? Comfortable, sporty, monochromatic.When I’m not at Audi Field or the training facility, I’m still usually dressed in activewear.

If you couldn’t play soccer, what other sport or profession would you like to explore? Tennis. I play pickleball a lot and we had a ping-pong tournament during preseason this year, so I’d love to see if my skills would translate.

My Top Spots:

  • O-Ku Sushi in Union Market (1274 5th St. NE) is my favorite spot for sushi.
  • Aritzia in Georgetown (3210 M St. NW) is a design house and fashion boutique where I like to shop.
  • Audi Field is where I get my competitive ‘juices’ flowing.
  • To celebrate after a win, we head to the Navy Yard in the Capitol Riverfront for drinks and food.

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