Amber you have been a student of Universal Soccer Academy since the age of 12. How has the Academy impacted your soccer career thus far?
I’ve had nothing but a positive experience during my years of training with James at Universal Soccer Academy. By focusing on the basics, I’ve been able to hone and perfect my skills which in turn have enabled me to perform at the highest level.
You have worked alongside players like Carli Lloyd and Heather Mitts from a very young age. Has this helped you? How?
It’s been a very surreal and inspiring experience to train alongside Carli and Heather. As members of the Full Women’s National Team, a level I aspire to play at, they’ve shown me the hard work, discipline, and mentality it takes to get there. They’ve been very encouraging and there are no better players to train with than those who are where you want to be.
You still remain a student of Universal Soccer Academy. When you started with Universal your training program consisted of Foot Skills and your First Touch. Most recently your training program has been adjusted to improve your distribution and finishing skills. Have you noticed a difference in these areas?
Since I’ve improved my foot skills and first touch, I’ve shifted my training to focus on having an offensive impact in the game, whether through assists or goals. Therefore, I’ve most recently worked on my long range shooting, finishing off of corners and set pieces, and long range distribution. Whereas in my first collegiate season I didn’t score a goal, I scored seven goals in my sophomore campaign and eight assists my junior year. I have even tallied for the U-20 and U-23 WNT while playing defensive center mid.
You have had success at all youth levels for the United States National Teams and are now enjoying success with UNC. What is the major difference between college soccer and Youth Soccer?
In college soccer, everyone is just as athletic and physical. The speed of play is faster and you must continue to work on the little things that separate your game from others.
What is your ultimate goal for soccer?
Ever since I was little, my ultimate goal has been to play in a FIFA Women’s World Cup and Olympics, and of course, win gold at both. I also want to play professionally and just stay involved in the game for as long as I can.
What advice do you have for any youngsters that are looking to play at the highest level?
Everyday you have to make a conscious decision that you’re going to do something that will make you a better player. The quote that provides me the most motivation is, “There’s no staying the same. You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse.” There are thousands of girls who have the same dreams, so you must do something day in and day out that will set you apart. Also, always make sure you’re still having fun. Undoubtedly there will be days when your training is not so fun, but overall, you should still love the game as much as you did when you were younger.