Chicago Red Star and budding U.S. player Christen Press is playing at an extremely high level. In her first year playing in the NWSL, Press made 12 appearances while scoring six goals. Her productivity has carried over to this season nicely, scoring four goals in two matches.
At the national level, Press has quietly scored 20 goals with nine assists since making her debut in 2013. More recently, Press has had an ideal start to the 2015 year; making a steady amount of appearances and helping the Americans win the Algarve cup in March.
YouTube Video – Christen Press vs. Seattle 90th minute game-winner
The Los Angeles native was born to score. In her four years at Chadwick School, she netted 128 goals, including 38 in her junior year, the school record. The two-time Offensive Player and four-time Prep League Offensive MVP led the Dolphins to two Southern Division Titles.
Press holds the all-time scoring record with 71 goals in 98 appearances while playing for Stanford during her college career. In four years (2007-2010) she became the leader in assists (41), total shots (500) and game-winning goals (10). Accolades include PAC-10 Freshman of the Year, 1st team Freshman All-American, two-time NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team, All-PAC-10 first team, PAC Conference Player of the year, PAC-10 Scholar Athlete of the Year and in her senior year she was named the 2010 Herman Trophy winner as the best women’s player in the country. Press led her team to the NCAA DIV I Championship in consecutive years (2009, 2010) losing to North Carolina and Notre Dame respectively.
YouTube Video – Press vs. Portland another 2 goals
In her professional career she has played for the Pali Blues (2010), Women’s Pro Soccer MagicJack (2011), and Swedish teams Goteborg FC (2012) and Tyreso FC (2013-2014). While overseas Press scored 68 goals in all competitions; making a name for herself. In 2013 she was the first American player to be awarded the Golden Boot. She propelled her team to the UEFA Women’s Champions League, losing in the Round of 16.
So, given the chance, will Christen Press be a star for the U.S. this summer?
With her strength and ability on the ball, it will be interesting to see how and when USWNT coach Jill Ellis will use her. A forward her entire career, but at the national level she is used in the midfield. She is very technical, takes a lot of shots and likes to score early. That sets her apart from the other U.S. forwards.
In an interview with ESPNW, Press understands what the next two months means for her preparation.
”I would say I’m in a really good place knowing that the World Cup is two months away. Part of this job is peaking at the right moments. You sort of have to tailor all of your training to that. And I know I have two months of improvement to do before I would want to play on the world stage.”
When asked about where she was more comfortable, Press acknowledged the possibility of being used on the wing; “If you had asked me four weeks ago, I would have said I’m always going to be more comfortable playing forward. But as the team develops and I’ve been playing so much more in the wide position and in between the midfielders and the forwards, it does feel like that’s my role on this team, and I’ve started to get that understanding of where the players around me need me, and how I can find the holes from that wide space.”
Christen Press – 23 Stories
“Of all the players I’ve ever coached, you are the one who smiles the most while on the field”
If Press plays on the wing, she has to quickly adjust to that role and I think she is more than capable of doing that. With this being her first World Cup, I would like to see Ellis use her in the group stages to see how she handles pressure. Press one of the most exciting players going forward; we’ll see if she gets her chance. Until then, you can watch her with the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday May 2 vs. Sky Blue FC via YouTube.
USWNT reports to camp May 6th to prepare for a Friendly against Ireland on May 10.
Jacqui Porter. 23. 2014 Culver-Stockton College graduate w/ Bachelors degree in Media Communications, 4 year soccer player at C-SC. You can follow her on Twitter @SoccerAndLife23