Interview with Chicago Red Stars Forward Ella Masar
Q. What has been your most memorable soccer moment as a professional soccer player?
A. My immediate thought was surviving this year’s 6-week preseason. J However, after thinking a little bit more about it I would have to say our last home game last year. We were already out of the playoffs and had the number one team coming to our place. From the almost 8,000 fans to us smoking them 3-1, it made the season end on a high note.
Q. Can you describe your experience with the US Women’s National Team last year?
A. Heading to Germany last year was a memory I will never forget! Whether it was the 31,000 fans booing us as we scored our goal or me crossing the line in the US jersey, I am forever grateful for the experience.
Q. What is your typical day like during the season? Offseason?
A. Season – I am up around 7 and out the door by 8 to head to practice. We then have our training session from 10-12. After that we usually have to finish up treatments and hopefully out of there by 1. Then for the rest of the day I am usually relaxing, coaching, or doing kind of extra touches. These, of course our days we don’t have double sessions. On those “special” days, I will leave the house around 8 am and not get home til about 7 pm.
Off-season – In the off-season, I actually feel busier than the season. The reason for that is because in the off-season the envelope is made to be pushed. It’s the time to improve your weaknesses and perfect your strengths. With that being said, my days usually consisted of two-a-days. My morning session is either a lift or long run and then my evening training consists of some kind of ball workout.
Q. At what stage of your life did you realize you wanted to be a professional soccer player and how did you prepare?
A. This is a hard question to answer because for most of my life I wasn’t really keen on soccer. What I mean by that was with growing up with a dad that played college football and a brother that loved basketball, sports were just fun for me and not considered a profession. So even though soccer wasn’t the professional sport I necessarily wanted to play, I would always say that being an inspiration and help to young adults all over the world was huge on my list. I just got blessed from the good man above with being able to continue my playing career past college. Preparing for me was just having fun and working as hard as I possibly could every single day.
Q. What do you hope to achieve in the future? What do you want young girls to remember you by?
A. To represent my country in either an Olympics or World Cup would be a dream come true. Also to win a WPS championship and be a part of the All-Stars would be nothing short of amazing. Regardless if any of those dreams come true or not, I hope young girls remember me as one of the hardest workers in the game. That regardless of what happens with any of my aspirations, I am someone that displayed perseverance, courage, and heart. That at the end of the day, those are the only things you can control.
Q. If you were not a professional soccer player what would you be?
A. I would love to say that I would be trying to pursue a music career. However, I know if I were not playing I would be finishing up my masters in social work and trying to find an inner city high school to work for.
Q. Is there one individual who has impacted you the most throughout your playing career?
A. I would have to say my brother is the one that has influenced my career the most. He is someone that has always pushed me to be better and has supported me since I started playing around the age of 4. With him being 4 years older than me, he was always encouraging me to come play with him and his friends as well as always challenging me to beat him. – For the first 15 years of playing career, I have to say I don’t think I beat him once. Now it’s a different story.
Q. What are your goals post pro soccer playing years?
A. My ultimate goal would be able to find a way to give back to young adults. My heart lies with inner city kids and I would love to be able to work with them some day.
Q. What is the single most important piece of advice you can offer to young female soccer players today?
A. My best advice to young female soccer players would be to touch a ball everyday. I could go on and on about never giving up, don’t let anyone ever tell you that you aren’t good enough. Yet, the truth of the matter is that there is no shortcut to becoming great at what your heart desires. The one that becomes the best is the one that sacrifices the most.
Q. What are your favorite foods and are you on a special diet designed for athletes?
A. My favorite food of all time is spaghetti covered in a Gorgonzola sauce. This is a homemade favorite from my childhood.
Then dealing with a “special” diet there isn’t one specific one that we follow. Throughout all of our careers we have met with enough nutritionists to know what our body needs for each practice and game.
For example, game days we know that we need a larger amount of carbohydrates so our body receives the quick energy needed to sustain a 90-plus game. That also goes with making sure we have a good breakfast before training and a snack right after. This ultimately provides us with the right fuel to keep our bodies working as a fine oiled machine J
Brief Bio Glance (as seen in part at http://www.womensprosoccer.com/chicago/team/player-bios/masar-ella)
Played for the University of Illinois. Named All-Big Ten Conference First Team and Lowe’s All-American First Team as a senior in 2007. Compiled a total of 12 goals and three assists as a senior. Ended her collegiate career with the second highest number of assists in Illinois’ history (20) and tied in fourth place for goals, with 27. Named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and NSCAA Second Team All-American in 2006
Selected in the second round of the Women’s Professional Soccer General Draft (ninth overall) by the Chicago Red Stars; 2009: Started in five games and played in 16, tallying two assists in 655 minutes. She missed some time because of a hip injury she suffered against FC Gold Pride in June.
Earned her first international cap with the U.S. Women’s National Team when she played against defending FIFA World Cup champion Germany on Oct. 29, 2009. … Scored a pair of goals for the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team in the 2008 Nordic Cup championship match, a 3-0 win over Germany. Appeared in seven games in 2008, tallying four goals and an assist. … Played 12 games with the U-21 national team in 2007, scoring two goals and an assist.