Almost every soccer girl knows who Allie Long is. Allie was born on Aug. 13, 1987, in Huntington, and she went to college at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Allie currently plays on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team as No. 23, and on the Seattle Reign as No. 6, and she is part of their unstoppable midfield lineup. Forget about Allie’s amazing soccer skills, she is a great person and inspires me to reach for the stars.
Allie also comes to train and inspire young kids like me to play soccer. Allie told me she doesn’t really have a good-luck charm, and I know why — because she is so extraordinary at soccer, she doesn’t need a charm, it just comes naturally.
Here is part of my conversation with Allie:
When you were younger, did you ever think you would be playing on the women’s national team?
That was always my goal since I can remember, when I saw the 1999 World Cup, when USA won. And I always envisioned myself playing on the team.
Did you ever get to go to clinics and get influential speeches and get trained by professionals?
So there was no female soccer player on Long Island I could look up to, but I did go to clinics, and coaches helped me out.
Do you enjoy coming down to train young kids?
Yes, I love it. I get to give back to where I came from and the people that supported me along the way. And I think since I am from Long Island, it makes a big impact to all the little girls that want to play on the national team.
To be where you are today, did you miss out on social things?
Yes, all the time, even other sports that I wanted to try. I had to miss out on things like New Year’s Eve and Thanksgiving since I was away at tournaments.
What do you recommend for the kids who want to play on the national team when they get older?
I think if you keep the vision and see yourself doing it, work hard to the goal. There are going to be bumps, but that’s what makes you who you are. You just need to work hard.
How did you become interested in soccer?
My mom played, and I went to her games.
Do you train every day?
I try to, but I know how important it is to take a day off from the hard work.
If you didn’t become a soccer player, what was your backup plan?
My only goal was to be a professional soccer player, and I think since I was so focused on it, that’s how it happened.
Elisa Brosnan and Marybeth Clark’s writing and art club, West Hollow Middle School, Melville