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USA star and AYSO Alum Christen Press went from Daisy-Picking to Goal-Scoring

By Mike Woitalla,
When you see World Cup-bound Christen Press play -- like her golazo against France -- you'd imagine she was a child who embraced soccer and fell in love with the ball the first time she stepped on the field.

The real story is an example of how children explore the game on their own terms, and it will undoubtedly delight advocates of small-sided soccer.

Before the USA’s 3-0 win over Ireland, I asked Press my favorite question: “What’s your first soccer memory … your introduction to the sport?”

Press said: “I don’t remember. But I know the story.”

At around age 4, her parents signed her up for soccer:

“Apparently I played 11v11, full-field, one of like two girls on the field. It was pretty intense. Not your average rec league in Torrance [Calif.]. My mom says the entire season I just picked daises and made daisy chains.

“My mom brought the camcorder every game because she wanted to record the first time I touched the ball. She had to bring it to every game because I never touched it.

“I did cartwheels. I waved. Toward the end of the season, she said, ‘Christen, why don’t you go to the ball?’

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