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Soccer star Christie Pearce Rampone talks with LI kids

Soccer star Christie Pearce Rampone with Kidsday reporters,

Soccer star Christie Pearce Rampone with Kidsday reporters, from left, Isabella Moscatelli, Michael Roussinos, Kylie Munoz and Kara Gallo. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We watched the Sky Blue FC in the National Women’s Soccer League play a game and then afterward we interviewed their star player, Christie Pearce Rampone. She is the former captain of the U.S. women’s national soccer team.

Do you play soccer every day?

I play almost every day. Usually six days out of the week. We do get a recovery day. So tomorrow what we will do as a team is a little jog and stretch, and the next day we will be off, and then we will start our preparation for the next game.

At what age did you start soccer, and at what age did you realize how good you were?

I started playing when I was 5. I had an older sister, so I kind of just followed what she did. I realized I was good when I got invited to the national team when I was in college.

In high school you were a four-sport player: soccer, basketball, track and field, and field hockey. In college, you excelled in soccer, basketball and lacrosse, How did you choose to play soccer?

Actually I think soccer chose me. I went to Monmouth University on a basketball scholarship, and I was a walk-on for the soccer team. Then they started a lacrosse team and they didn’t have enough players, so they asked me to play. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I wanted to go and support the college. I think soccer, in the end, when I got invited to the national team, I just really focused on one sport.

Do you have any advice for younger players?

I do. I think it is about enjoying the sport and just trying to get better each and every day. I think over time you have to work on the technical and the tactical side of it. You just have to be all in when you are there. You have to give it all that you have that day and then leave it on the field.

What is your favorite position to play?

I was a forward when I started, all the way through college, and then when I made the national team I moved to defender. I think that I really enjoy playing defense and frustrating the forwards.

What was it like to play for the Olympic team?

Amazing. Being on that team was so powerful, and all the other Olympic athletes, meeting them and knowing we are all out there for the same goal and representing the country.

Is there a difference between playing for the national team and the Olympic team?

Pretty much the same. It is really, really competitive, and you are always pushing to be better than the players around you.

If you didn’t continue to play soccer, what would you be doing?

Good question. If I didn’t play soccer, I got my degree in special education, so I would be working in the school system helping children in need. I would just want to be there to support them and get a better education.

Do you have any good luck charms or pregame rituals?

I think my kids are my good luck charms. . . . I have two girls, ages 7 and 11 — they are awesome for me. They help put things in perspective. I am playing because I love it and I have the passion, and then I get to be a mom after it.

How does it feel to be rated by EA Sports as the eighth greatest player in women’s soccer for FIFA 16?

It is pretty cool that we are on a video game. The success of the World Cup and the Olympics is helping to keep the sport growing.

What was it like to be the first women’s sports team to be honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City?

Amazing. It was the ultimate honor. Only the elite get to do that, and winning the World Cup and then doing that made me speechless.

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