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!
Coming from her third day as a host for FOX Sports’ digital series @TheBuzzer, U.S. Women’s National Team forward and World Cup champion Christen Press shares some of what she loves about her new gig. “I think I was the most excited about putting on normal clothes, being a girl and walking into an office. I never thought I’d like broadcasting—and actually I’m little bit awkward in front of the camera, but I get to hear about what’s going on in sports all around the world and I love it.”
Of course with her contagious smile and vibrant personality, Christen is about as far from awkward as you could get. The 26-year-old Palos Verdes native exudes confidence and enthusiasm, even while maintaining a demanding schedule and rigorous training regimen. Spending a mere 75 days a year in Los Angeles, Christen is used to making herself at home on the road. “Next week I’ll be in Seattle for three days, then Orlando, D.C., New York, back home and then to Philly,” she says.
It’s enough to make your head spin. For Christen, however, this is business as usual. “Typically November would be our off time, but because this is a back-to-back World Cup/Olympic year, we don’t have off time,” she explains. “It’s a little stressful, but it’s also super fun.”
USWNT ‘s tribute to how Abby Wambach changed the game of Soccer.
Christen Press, the 26-year-old professional soccer forward who helped the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team win the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in July, explains how yoga and meditation “quiet the distractions” in her life and make her a more dynamic athlete. Plus: Her twice-daily Vedic meditation ritual.
YJ: How does practicing yoga three times a week make you a more dynamic soccer player?
Press: Practicing yoga makes me a happier soccer player. Sometimes, thoughts freeze you. When I’m able to play thought-free, I am more dynamic and natural. This thoughtlessness is something that yoga and meditation instilled in me. There is also a core group of the national team that regularly practices yoga together during camp.
YJ: Are there any particular yoga poses that you use in your training, and why?
Press: The most important poses in my practice for training purposes are hip openers, shoulder openers, and hamstring lengtheners. These poses help me release some of the tension in my back. I enjoy balancing sequences with Tree Pose, Warrior III, and Half Moon Pose. And Rabbit Pose is a new addition that really helps release my neck.
Meet one of Hammitt’s biggest fans, Christen Press. This South Bay native currently plays for the Chicago Red Stars and the United States Women’s National Soccer Team, who recently won the 2015 Fifa World Cup. Christen took the time to talk with us in the midst of the national victory tour. Check out her interview below:
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE OF CHRISTEN PRESS?
A typical day looks like this: meditate, breakfast, training, rehab/recovery, lunch, yoga, write/interview, then social things/dinner. Unless I’m at home and then there are dog walks and dog playtimes included!
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE A WORLD CUP CHAMPION?
We have had an incredible reception from the World Cup and we are so proud!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF PLAYING FOR THE USWNT?
Being challenged every single day.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK & LIFE?
Balance is the hardest part of the job. We are away from our family and homes for 250 days of the year. I have so many things I’m passionate about outside of soccer: writing, yoga, meditation, food, dogs, Spanish, children… that I try to bring as many of the things I love with me wherever I go. And I force myself to make time for those things even when I’m exhausted from training and travel. I know that in the end being active and doing what I love gives me more energy than it takes.
Christen did an interview with CSN Chicago on September 10th. Check out the interview as well as screencaptures below: