GOTHENBURG, Sweden — From our intimate stadium to the European architecture to the quaint coffee shops, I’ve tried to describe Gothenburg through e-mails, blogs, tweets and Skype conversations. But let’s be honest: despite my University of North Carolina education, I only know so many adjectives. With my camera, I’ve been able to capture glimpses of my surroundings and what I experience daily. It seems as if I was just boarding the plane on this new adventure and already I only have a month left until the season is over. For now, I’ll let some photos tell the story:
Leaving on a Jet Plane My journey began at Newark Airport, left, in early August. I left with an open mind, but tried to be wary in my hopefulness. I have often made the mistake of getting too excited about new situations and then ended up disappointed. I had only heard good things about my new club and home, though, and with every stepI’ve felt more assured that this is the place for me — physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Ah, Sweden I immediately fell in love with Gothenburg, above and below. It is not a big city, especially compared to “Gothamburg,” but there is always a lot going on (street fairs, chocolate festivals, concerts) and people are constantly out and about.
The Big Boys I got to see Barcelona play Manchester United, below, live on one of the first nights after I arrived. From my seat at nearly field level, I was blown away by many of my idols. The game strengthened my resolve to see as many live games as possible while I’m in Europe.
Playing in Valhalla I love games at our Valhalla Stadium, below. It’s only a few kilometers from where we live, and we train and play our home matches here. The field is turf, which is good because it rains often.
UEFA Women’s Champions LeagueKopparbergs/Goteborg finished in second place in the Damallsvenskan (Sweden’s women’s league) last season and qualified for the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Our first-round game was against a team from Serbia, Spartak. We won, 4-0, on aggregate and advanced, and we will face the Danish team Fortuna Hjorring, featuring the American forward Tiffany Weimer. We have been wearing pink shoelaces and hair bands for Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Together Again Anita Asante (England international) and I played together for Sky Blue in W.P.S. and now play together in the center of midfield. She is one of my good friends and I absolutely love playing next to her. It’s been a wonderful experienceto get into a playing rhythm where I have many games and can establish strong relationships with my teammates. Anita’s style and experience make her a joy to play with.
A Home Away From Home My teammates all speak excellent English and everyone has been incredibly welcoming. I have especially enjoyed our training sessions and style of play. We connect a lot of shorter passes and play through the midfield, which is ideal for me as a center mid.
I will be returning to my new home next year for a full season. As an obsessive planner, it drives me crazy not to be able to chart my future for years to come. But my mind is at rest in a sense — I’ve found a place where I feel comfortable to play, try things and improve. Hope you like my photos.