Seattle Sounders Women News Release - www.sounderswomen.com
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
TUKWILA, Wash. – Keelin Winters joined the Sounders Women for the first half of the 2012 season before traveling overseas for a professional contract with one of the top teams in Europe. Her new club, Turbine Potsdam, is regarded as a favorite to win the European Champions League this year with Winters leading the way.
In Week 1 of the German Bundesliga, Winters scored the first goal of the season for the defending German champions. Her eighth-minute goal kicked off a 9-1 rout against Sindelfingen. In this exclusive interview, Winters responds to questions from SoundersWomen.com about her new confines, the Olympics, and her team’s European potential.
SoundersWomen.com: You mind offering a quick update on how things are going over there?
Keelin Winters: Things are going well over here in Potsdam, Germany. I am quickly falling in love with Potsdam. I like that I am 30 minutes away from a big city, Berlin, but living in a smaller town. We train at a sports school here so it's fun to be surrounded by other athletes. There are actually a couple of German athletes who train here who won Gold at the London Olympics.
SW: What was preseason in Germany like?
KW: Preseason was very difficult. Definitely the hardest and longest preseason I've ever gone through. It was a total of eight weeks long and we did three-a-days for seven of those weeks. There were about seven days off, a couple of game days, and a just a handful of days that we only had two practices. A typical day for me looked like:
8 a.m. wake-up, breakfast
9:30-11 a.m. weights
11:30 a.m. lunch
1:30-3 p.m. practice
3:30 p.m. eat
5-6:45 p.m. practice
7:30 p.m. dinner
It definitely made for long days! As you can imagine, I was pretty exhausted after those seven weeks, but also very fit.
SW: What was watching the U.S. team win Gold like for you, knowing that team so well from the USA training camps you were in?
KW: Watching the U.S. team win Gold at the London Olympics was bittersweet. I was ecstatic for all of those girls because after being in camp for the eight months leading up to the Olympics I got to see and experience firsthand how hard the U.S. team works. They definitely earned it. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't a little bit envious. I obviously would have loved to be there but now I have set my sights earning a consistent spot on the roster and then hopefully playing in the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
SW: How does the German game differ from the American game?
KW: From my experience here in Germany so far, I don't see that many differences from the German players to the American players. However, my team plays a 3-4-3 and that formation is very different from anything I've ever played in the states before. It is a very direct system of play and is very different from every team I've played on since college. I decided to play overseas because I wanted to expand my game and learn something new and I'm definitely getting that over here! One of the things that I wanted to work on is finding that "killer" pass that puts a forward in behind the back line. With Turbine Potsdam, I am getting plenty of practice doing so.
SW: Describe your first goal of the season and feelings about it.
KW: My first goal this season was off a corner kick. The ball got knocked down and after a failed clearance the ball ended up at my feet and I tucked it away. It was kind of a sloppy goal but a goal is a goal right? I was just happy to be at the right place at the right time.
SW: How good is Turbine Potsdam? Everything I've seen says you guys are favorites for the Champions League...
KW: We are a good, young team. I am 23 years old and I am considered one of the "older" players. I don't really classify myself as being old so that has taken some getting used to. The team lost three key players last season to transfers (Bianca Schmidt, Babette Peter to Frankfurt, and Viola Oderbrecht to Wolfsburg) but I think we are still a strong team and are definitely trying to be the repeat "deutscher meister."