Sarah Huffman has become one of the most talented midfielders in the United States. Recently winning the Western Conference Championship title in the W-League with Pali Blues, Huffman is endlessly leaving her footprint on every pitch she plays on. Huffman doesn’t just place the ball in the back of the net; she is constantly striving to assist her teammates in doing the same thing. With her experience and recent success, Huffman will be a vital player this upcoming season for her new team, the Western New York Flash.
First off, congratulations on the Western Conference Championship with the Pali Blues this past year, you had an incredible season. How did it feel to have an undefeated season?
We had a great season with the Pali Blues. Charlie always puts together a great team. We trained hard and it translated on the field. It was a fun mix of professionals and emerging college stars. Of course winning always feels good. Unfortunately, in the end we fell short of our goals, losing in the finals.
You have played in both the W-League and the WPS, what were you experiences like? Are there any similarities or differences that stand out from these two leagues?
There is nothing like a professional environment. Soccer is your life. Your job is to eat, sleep, and breathe soccer. With the W-League a lot of players are on a summer “break” from their college season. Their cycle of training isn’t supposed to peak at the end of the summer. Their bodies still need to last through four months of a brutal college season. I think there is a time and place for both leagues. Hopefully the W-League continues to produce great college players and allow them to continue growing to reach their goals. While I hope the NWSL stays around for those college players to play in once their finished with their eligibility.
What are your current thoughts/hopes for the NWSL and this upcoming season?
I am so excited for the NWSL to begin. I am excited to get to my new team and start working towards a championship. It will be fun to be a part of a team and organization again with one goal in mind. I’m looking forward to training hard with my teammates and playing games across America again. Above all I’m grateful for another opportunity to play professionally in the US again. It’s something that we’ve all learned not to take for granted.
What role do you see the NWSL playing in the growth of women’s soccer here in the United States, and more importantly, globally?
I think that there is no better time to piggyback off of all the USWNT’s success. They are so popular right now and it’s important to keep women’s soccer in the face of the fans. I think that we all hope to continue to be an inspiration for little girls out there. It’s important that they have something to dream about.
Out of the eight teams’ locations, are there any places you haven’t visited before? Or would like to play at?
I’ve been to every city except for Kansas City. It’s exciting to see the new cities buying into women’s soccer. I think everyone is looking forward to the Pacific Northwest, soccer crazy cities of Portland and Seattle. While, DC, NJ, WNY, and Boston have been so dedicated to the women’s side and it’s always fun to play in front of fans that have years of ties to teams. I’m most excited to play at my new home field.
You have done some volunteer coaching at the University of Virginia, would that be an avenue that you could see yourself venturing into after your soccer career?
I always enjoy giving back to the game and coaching. I’m not so sure it will be my career, but I’ll always stay involved with soccer, coaching, and kids at some level.
Now, you have trained with Beast Mode Soccer correct? What is the most important skill you have taken away from training with Beast Mode Soccer?
Dave is the man. He’s been invaluable part of my training the last year or so. I love all the little touches I get on the ball at his sessions. It’s tough to name one skill above all others. So I’d just say an overall confidence on the ball.
You have scored quite a few goals in your career, along with having numerous assists, what has been your favorite goal thus far?
There’s nothing like a cross coming off your foot for a goal. That’s my favorite thing to do.
When you are not playing soccer, what are your favorite things to do?
I love hanging out with my family, dogs, and friends. Traveling, drinking coffee, eating good food, drinking wine…
You are in a championship game and it comes down to penalty kicks, what four players, male or female, would you choose to take these PKs with you?
Today I’ll stick with all males, maybe next time I’ll do all females. So, this week I’ve seen both Messi and Ronaldo convert PK’s so I’ll take them. van Persie & Gerrard.
Tessa Coughlin (@razz099) asked: If there wasn’t a new league, would you have considered going overseas to play?
Yes. It’s something that I’ve considered a lot since the WPS fell apart. I’ve had quite a few options that didn’t work out for one reason or another. I had the opportunity to play over in Norway in 2008 and it was one of the best experiences of my life.
I would personally like to thank Sarah Huffman for taking the time out to do this interview. Fans make sure to follow Huffman’s success this season on Twitter at @shuffman_dc. Again, thank you to Sarah Huffman and good luck this season.