The Jersey Turnpike & other soccer lessons from NJ legend | The Backgrounder … – NJ.com


By Paul Brubaker | The Backgrounder

For many soccer players, setting an NCAA record, playing on a national championship team, and representing their country on a U.S. national team would be crowning achievements of a respectable career.

Yael AverbuchYael Averbuch

But to Yael Averbuch, these achievements have been stops along the way of her long journey in pursuit of her dream to play in the Olympics or the World Cup.

“I remember at 9, I said I wanted to be a professional soccer player. I didn’t really know what that meant,” said Averbuch on the latest edition of The Backgrounder podcast. ¬†“But I saw with my parents that if you really want to do something, and that’s who you are, you chip away at it every day.”

Averbuch credits her parents for getting her started. Her father, she said, once placed fifth in Boston Marathon. And her mother is an avid runner who writes about running, health and fitness.

Today, Averbuch has gone from being a Montclair kid with a dream to a national soccer champion. She’s a midfielder for the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League Champions FC Kansas City and she plays midfield for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.

When she played for the University of North Carolina, Averbuch captured the NCAA record for the fastest goal ever scored. She has even developed her own signature move, the Jersey Turnpike, and has blogged about soccer for nytimes.com.

You can hear about Averbuch’s journey as well as her thoughts on women in sports today and her advice for parents of young athletes on The Backgrounder podcast. To listen to it immediately, simply click on the orange play button at the top of this page.

Paul Brubaker, former journalist and congressional spokesman, keeps it real with the people who make New Jersey the most fascinating place on Earth. Check back every week for a new episode of ‘The Backgrounder.’

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