Catching up with Kasey Moore
May 20, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- As the only Texas soccer player to be named a three-time All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), Kasey Moore left her name etched in the UT record books after her standout four-year career on the Forty Acres. Now, the defender has a chance to make a name for herself in a realm that was once unavailable to female soccer players, the Women's Professional Soccer league.
On Jan. 16, Moore was selected by the Boston Breakers as the No. 15 overall pick in the league's inaugural draft. After making it through the initial training camp and earning a final spot on the team's roster, Moore has been able to take part in the first year of the newly founded league.
The Breakers, one of seven teams in the league, are currently in second (7-3-2) behind the L.A. Sol, whose roster is donned by three-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, Marta.
Moore recently caught up with TexasSports.com to talk about what her time has been like since joining the Breakers.
What has your experience been like so far? Well it has been a lot of fun, but it is definitely an entirely different level. It wasn't too surprising because I knew it was going to be a change but it's just a big big jump from DI college soccer to here. Mainly, because you are playing with and against some of the best soccer players in the world. But even day in and day out it is a lot tougher and it is a lot harder because you have to be more consistent. If you aren't playing your best one day, there are people right behind you waiting to take your spot. It is a lot more cutthroat but it is also business.
How has the training and practice been different? Training is a lot harder. We wake up every single day and go straight to training where we practice for about two hours and then some days we watch film so we'll be at the field for four or five hours. It's all just at a different level and a big step up from what I was used to. I've trained with the national teams before but it is even a step up from that because we are playing with some of the best players in the world. So what might have been good enough before, isn't good enough here. It's also different because with college you focus on soccer but you have also have school. Here, this is your job and you have to do well at it. You are getting paid to do it so there are higher expectations.
Did playing at Texas help you prepare for the WPS? I think playing at Texas and on the various Nations teams helped me get ready for the league. I think it has been not necessarily a shock, but a hard adjustment for the girls coming straight out of college, who haven't had the national team experience because of the seriousness of it since it is a job and if you have one bad practice, there is someone right behind you. It was like that in college too but your spot was somewhat more secure.
Did you know any of your teammates before joining the Breakers? I played with some of the girls before. I competed with a few of them at national team camps and then there are some that I was on the team with at combines. So, I knew some of them coming into it but there were a lot of them that I didn't know. We have five international players on our team, so I didn't know them and then obviously I knew some of our national team members, mainly Amy Rodriguez who I played club ball with in California.
How difficult was it for the team to all come together as a group? I think one of the harder aspects of the experience was us coming together as a team but Coach Tony DiCicco has been really good about doing team building exercises and making sure we're a group. With that, we were able to come together a lot faster. It's also helped just being with each other day in and day out. In college you practice with the team but then you go to your separate classes and then go home for the day. But here, a lot of us had never been to Boston before or didn't know people in the city. So we are kind of like our own set of friends. We go to dinner together as a team and stuff like that where you don't really have separate friends aside from the people on the team, which is great since everyone on the team is so easy to get along with.
What is it like playing with such experienced athletes? Well, our team has Kelly Smith, who was the runner up for FIFA World Player of the Year to Marta and there are so many times that we see her in film and she will just take over the entire other team. It is so entertaining. There are times when you just stand there and see some of the things that she does and you are just in awe. There are so many things that she does so well. It's also a different level professionally too because they've been there and they've done it before. They handle themselves differently so it's just learning that from them too.
What was it like being the first team to beat the L.A. Sol and FIFA World Player of the Year Marta? It was a lot of fun. We had a great home crowd, about 8,000 people at our field, which was the second biggest WPS crowd to watch one of the games. So many people came out. Boston has a huge Brazilian population so there were just as many fans out there for Marta as there were for us. It was just a great crowd and a great environment. The Sol are an amazing team to watch. Their foreign players are out of control and they have really experienced national team players as well. It was a really hard fought game and we matched up to each other well. I only played the last 20 minutes but it was one of those games that was just really fun to be a part of and watch.
What are the crowds like at Breaker games? I think we get great crowds. Our first home match was in really cold weather and we still got 3,000-4,000 people at it. People are really enthusiastic about soccer here, especially in Boston since it's a big sports town. When we say the Boston Breakers are back, people get really excited about it. Even when we go play other places, I don't think we've seen a crowd under three or four thousand.
How is the fan atmosphere different than in college? You get a lot of people that know the players before hand, so there is a lot of heckling. At our games we have a support group called the Rip Tide and they stand in one corner of the stadium, and when someone from the other team goes to take a corner kick, they throw streamers at them and yell really loudly. It's just more like the European feel at our stadium. They have scarves and chants and there's just a different feel to it than college. As much as there are little kids and little girls there, there's also an older crowd there too.
How was the transition from Austin to Boston? What surprised you? The weather was pretty interesting when we first got here. The day that I landed they had a snow storm that dropped almost two feet of snow and I don't see snow unless I'm going to the mountains to go skiing. It's taken some adjusting. The weather isn't very consistent either. One day it will be great and 70 and sunny and then it will rain the next day. Unlike Austin when it's just hot all the time. It's been fun too though. We had to go through the whole process of finding a place to live and finding new furniture and figuring out how to move everything in but it was a good experience. I'm living with two other girls from the team, which is a lot of fun. The whole process been an experience but it's been a fun one.
Are you enjoying Boston? I really like this city. In my free time, I'm still taking online classes and working on finishing my degree but I'm also just trying to see as much of the city as I can and just finding new parts of the town. It's a big sports city so I've been sucked into the Boston Bruins being in the NHL playoffs and the Celtics being in the NBA Playoffs. It's a really fun town because there's always something to watch or go to and new parts to see and exploring downtown. I've really enjoyed it.
What has been your favorite moment with the Breakers so far? Probably starting either the first match on the road in Northern California because I had a lot of friends and family at that game or starting in our home opener. I had my family there and it was in front of our home crowd. Just getting an opportunity to start being a rookie on the team was pretty cool.
What is it like being able to keep playing soccer after college on the professional level?