Forget endorsements, hype or face time, and ask yourself this: Is there a more accomplished young American player in women's soccer today than Lauren Cheney?
Still just 24, the forward-turned-midfielder has already become a mainstay of the U.S. women's soccer program, earning an Olympic gold medal with the 2008 squad and playing an integral role in the team's second-place finish at the 2011 World Cup.
Cheney is after even more hardware this summer as a member of the 2012 London Olympic team. And in that pursuit, she and several of her teammates rely on the TRX training system to stay fit. You can check out TRX's singular line of products on its website.
Thanks to TRX, Bleacher Report nabbed some time with Cheney to discuss, among other topics, where she gets her goal-scoring confidence and what she's learned from watching her boyfriend, Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday, take on the NBA's elite.
1. As a goal scorer, do you think your confidence comes more from team success or from your ability to get good looks at goal?
I think it’s a balance. Obviously if I feel like I’m playing well but our team’s not doing well, that’s going to hurt my confidence. And vice versa. If the team’s playing well and I’m not, I think that would do the same.
Obviously as a goal scorer or a playmaker I want to get as close to goal as possible, get as many shots [as possible] and I want to be able to set my teammates up.
I think right now it’s a good balance. I’m able to be involved and get a lot of touches on the ball and I think we’re playing well.
2. Have you ever taken anything from watching Jrue’s game? Has he taken anything way from watching your game?
He’s very level-headed. He doesn’t get too high or too low and he tries to stay emotionally in check the whole game. I think that I can get a little bit riled up. Watching him and his composure, I definitely try to take some of that from him.
I doubt that he tries to take anything from mine.
You don’t have to be so modest!
[Laughs] I don’t think he understands soccer enough.
3. The U.S. women’s soccer team is one of the most popular teams that the U.S. is going to send to London. What’s it going to take to transfer all that momentum into a women’s professional league that’s stable and thriving?
Marketing is huge for us. We have the fanbase. We have the following. It’s not just little girls. I think after the World Cup we proved we don’t just have little girls following us, that we have made a mark on the United States as one of the most popular teams.
I think it’s just marketing, being able to get to know the girls on a different level and know where we’re playing. We would have a successful league if we were able to do that.
4. What was the locker room like after the 2011 World Cup loss to Japan?
It was obviously very silent and sad. We don’t like to lose, nor are we used to losing. I think that we knew that we tried our hardest. We did our best. We had a great run, but it was sad. We didn’t want to go out that way.
What did [Coach] Pia [Sundhage] say, if anything?
I have no idea.
Is it all a blur at this point?
I don’t remember anything that was said.
5. What’s your favorite Olympic moment of all time?
I’m a huge fan of gymnastics, and so my favorite Olympic moment was obviously Kerri Strug sticking the landing after she broke her ankle. I’ll always remember that.