Christen Press shows off why her body is perfect for soccer as she poses for ESPN The Magazine’s 2016 Body Issue.
1. Credit Pele for her skills. My mom never played soccer, but she would take me out to the field with drills from Pele’s soccer videos and try to show me how to kick the ball with proper technique. I was showing up an hour early to play with the older team, or to just dribble around or juggle. I was sitting on the sidelines while my sister was playing with the ball at my feet trying to do what they were doing. Growing up in the United States, you think playing soccer just means organized practice. We go, we play soccer, and then when Coach says that practice is over, we all go home. But in different countries, they just pick up a soccer ball and they play, and they don’t stop playing until they have to do something else.
2. She’s obsessive about target practice. You can ask anyone that I’ve ever played with or talked to, I’m an obsessive shooter. I go out and shoot all the time. I used to take 200 shots every single day — it’s something that I started with my mom. In the Pele videos I would watch, he used to line up 10 balls and shoot them in a row — so I did that exercise all the way through college. Thankfully, I always had help getting those balls back; I’d come out with my sisters and my mom and my dad and they would always help me shag balls. I can only remember a handful of times when they didn’t — and let me tell you, you spend probably an hour and a half to do it, and 65 minutes is spent shagging the balls. Just like everything else in life, it’s better to do it with company.
3. Her body “looks like soccer.” I’m 100 percent a byproduct of my sport. I always tell my teammates that I only have muscles where they get to play. I have butt muscles, thigh muscles, and then my upper body is super skinny — except for in my shoulders, which you need for a little bit of strength to hold other players off the ball. So I think I’ve developed muscles 100 percent from just shooting the ball and running. Every single thing about my body looks like soccer.
USA Returns to Talen Energy Stadium for 2 p.m. ET Kickoff on ESPN; Tickets Go On Sale to Public Feb. 29
CHICAGO (Feb. 23, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Colombia on April 10 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa., in the second of two matches against the up-and-coming South American side. The match will be broadcast on ESPN at 2 p.m. ET.
The two teams will also meet four days earlier on April 6 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Conn. (7 p.m. on FS1).
Here are the 20 players Ellis selected to try and get the job done:
GOALKEEPERS: Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS: Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash)
FORWARDS: Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Stephanie McCaffrey (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)
Christen Press is a woman very, very familiar with L.A.—she was born in the City of Angels, after all. While the US Women’s World Cup Champion and Olympic probable was born and raised in Palos Verdes, she’s constantly traveling for the game she loves, so calls the world at large her home. As one of the youngest players on the US Women’s National Soccer roster, Christen earned the respect of her teammates in the opening game of the World Cup when she scored a goal, leading her team to a victory over Australia and advancing them in the tournament. Throughout the rest of the tournament, Christen remained a crucial contributor and a leader on and off the field. Even with the USWNT recent “Victory Tour” around the country, Christen has consistently been scoring goals and even had a hat-trick. When the Stanford-educated athlete isn’t on the field, you can find her blogging, meditating, spending time with family or playing with her two rescue dogs. Here, this Olympic hopeful shares her haute secrets to Los Angeles.
Where were you born: Cedars Sinai
How long in LA: Born and raised! Until college…
Neighborhood: Palos Verdes
Occupation: professional footballer
Favorite Restaurant: MB Post
Best Sushi: Katsuya
Best dessert: creme brûlée
Best place for a romantic date: Geoffrey’s
Best Sunday brunch: The Attic, Long Beac
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? Terrenea
Favorite shopping venue/boutique: Cami
Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: Catbird NYC
Favorite Charity Event: Grassroot Soccer Annual Gala
Favorite Cultural Event: Jazz Fest
Best Pizza: Chicago style
Best Lunch: Abigail
Best Gym/Athletic Facility: Equinox
Describe your city in three words: Special, serene, hidden
All-around favorite spot in Los Angeles: Manhattan Beach
Best Aspect of Los Angeles: Great weather great people great food!
— TOCA Football (@TocaFootball) January 15, 2016
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (4): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (8): Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Jaelene Hinkle (Western New York Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Univ. of Virginia)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (PSG), Rose Lavelle (Wisconsin), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (Western New York Flash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (6): Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Sydney Leroux (Western New York Flash), Stephanie McCaffrey (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)
Read More: ussoccer.com