FIFA World Cup

Interview with Lindsay Agnew, soccer player for Canadian national team

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Lindsay Agnew, age 24, is a professional soccer player from Kingston, Ont. who plays for the Canadian national women’s soccer team, the Houston Dash of the NWSL and Sydney FC in the W-League.

Q: How did it feel to be selected for the Canadian national women’s soccer team?

A: It was truly a dream come true. I remember when I got my first callup, I had just finished my senior season at Ohio State University and I got the invitation in an email late at night. I immediately ran into my friend’s room, Nichelle Prince, who was also on the national team, and we were screaming in excitement. Then of course I had to wake my family up and tell them the good news. 

Q: You gained international experience at youth level from u-17 to u-20. What lessons did you learn during this time and how did that that help you prepare for your senior debut in 2017?

A: I learned a ton from the youth international experience I had. I think it really taught me how to be a professional and what I needed to do if I wanted to be successful at the next level. Being a part of those teams really raised my soccer IQ at a young age and allowed me to think differently about the game. I was fortunate enough to play in World Cups for both the U17 team and U20 team and I think those experiences showed me how to play under pressure and in front of big crowds. Having those experiences made the transition to the senior team easier because I was more used to the physical and mental load that comes with playing on the national team. 

Q: What were your ambitions in your early years as a soccer player?

A: It may sound cliché, but for as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a professional soccer player and represent Canada at the Olympics and World Cup. I started playing soccer when I was three or four years old and my parents always tell stories about how I was so competitive even at that age. I feel lucky because my parents put me in a lot of different sports growing up, but soccer was always my favourite. I even wrote in my yearbook in grade 5 that I wanted to be a professional soccer player. 

Q: How much support did you receive from your friends and family when you decided to pursue a soccer career? 

A: My family is definitely my rock. They have been so supportive and have always gone above and beyond to help me in my career. There are a lot of ups and downs in professional sports and I don’t think I would have been able to get through those low points without them. I come from a big sports family: my dad is a professional hockey coach, my mom was a gymnastics coach, and my brother played junior and collegiate hockey. So, not only have they believed in me throughout this whole process, but they also always offer up valuable advice and guidance in various situations. 

Q: So, you are currently playing in the USA for Houston Dash. What are your personal objectives for 2020? 

A: My personal objective for 2020 is to make the 2020 Olympic Team. It is a very competitive roster and only 18 girls are selected, but I am just going to do everything I can in and out of my professional environment to prove I belong on that roster. 

Q: What would you say are your best skills as a defender and what are you working to improve?

A: I think my best skills as a defender are my attacking characteristics. I am a possession based fullback and I am good at 1v1s and putting crosses into the box. I was a forward for most of my career and about two years ago switched full-time to defender, so I think my isolated 1v1 defending can still be improved a lot. 

Q: Can you recall your favourite memory in soccer so far?  

A: That’s difficult because there have been a lot of great memories but being a part of the 2019 FIFA World Cup was a dream I have had for a long time and an experience I will never forget. 

Q: What advice would you give to young girls wanting to pursue a career in the game?

A: The best advice I can give is to always believe in yourself and be persistent. There have been many people along my journey who have told me I wasn’t good enough and that my dreams wouldn’t happen. If I would have listened to those negative people, I would not be where I am today.  So, don’t let someone or something take away your self-confidence and no matter what obstacle or person stands in your way, continue to persist and believe that you will somehow make it.  

Q: How much has the game progressed since you first started playing? Are there any improvements you would like to see for the future to improve women’s soccer? 

A: The game has progressed so rapidly even over just the course of my professional career. Not only has the level of soccer been raised, but the professionalism surrounding women’s soccer has also improved drastically. I hope to see the continuation of sponsors and investors in the women’s game and also hope to see the pay continue to increase as the support grows.

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