Tukwila, WA- Sounders Women midfielder, Keelin Winters, is currently training with the Team USA on the East Coast. Winters is part of a 28 player camp to decide who will represent the United States at this summer’s Olympic Games in London.
Winters was also a part of the U.S. National Team camp in Florida a few weeks ago. She is in search of her first ever Team USA cap. In between the two USA camps, Keelin played all 90 minutes in the Sounders’ victory over the University of Washington.
Keelin spent a few moments to answer questions for SoundersWomen.com regarding how camp is going and to update us on Team USA:
SoundersWomen.com - What is your daily schedule at US Camp right now?
Keelin Winters - Our daily schedule consists of 3 meals and typically 2 trainings. Some days we only have one training or some days we can have up to three workouts. Normally if there are 3 workouts in a day they are: individual/position training, weights, and a team training. Those are the particularly exhausting days, but I’d say it’s a pretty awesome, exhausting job.
SoundersWomen.com - When are your training games coming up?
KW - We just played an inter-squad game today, I think we are playing a boys team at some point, and then finally we play China in a friendly on the 27th in Philadelphia.
SoundersWomen.com - We heard from all the Sounders Women players who were at US Olympic Camp last time that you did lots of fitness and training. Since there are games this time around at camp, has the training focus changed?
KW - Last camp was primarily focused on the defensive aspect of the game. This camp has been more focused on the attacking aspect. This is not to say that we have completely forgotten about defense, but there has been more coaching on building up the attack.
SoundersWomen.com - How does this camp feel mentally after already spending a few weeks as a team down in Florida?
KW - We had a pretty short break between last camp, which was two weeks long, and this camp, which is 18 days long, so it has actually kind of felt like a continuation of last camp. This training camp is the last camp before the coaches name the Olympic roster so everyone is mentally sharp. It’s crunch time so no one really has the option of taking a "mental break." Every game, training, and moment matters.
SoundersWomen.com - Does it help that six of you have been playing together for the Sounders Women, in terms of cohesiveness, when you rejoin the National Team?
KW - Yeah, I think playing with the other five girls outside of national team camp with the Sounders has helped me learn their tendencies and particular strengths even more so than if I had just been playing with them at national team camps. This is especially true for me because I haven’t earned my first cap with the national team yet so I haven’t really played in a stadium atmosphere with these players with the national team. However, playing with the Sounders has provided this stadium atmosphere and given me the opportunity to play with the other national team players outside of camp.
SoundersWomen.com - How have your Sounders Women teammates looked during Camp?
KW - I think everyone has looked strong and confident. Having a team to play and train with outside of camp is great because the most important thing at this point is playing... and it’s hard to play soccer by yourself!
SoundersWomen.com - Of all the players with the US National Team right now, who has been the most impressive?
KW - I think Becky Sauerbrunn has been playing really well. In the inter-squad scrimmage today I thought she did a great job stepping into the forwards as they were receiving a ball and making it really hard for them to bring it down cleanly. That makes my life a lot easier as a defensive mid because then I am able to double down and either intercept the lay off or get a tackle in.
SoundersWomen.com - Has anything else of note, whether it be interesting or funny, occurred with the team so far this camp?
KW - Heather Mitts has done an excellent job of scaring nearly every person on the team who is unfortunate enough to walk unsuspectingly past the training room. Maybe I can find a video for you...
We’ll keep you posted on the video…
Tickets for the Sounders Women W-League Home Opener are available HERE. www.SoundersWomen.com. Kickoff is 7pm on Thursday, May 31st at the Starfire Sports Stadium against the Colorado Rush.