As the quasi-beat writer for the Boston Breakers of the Women's Professional Soccer League, I presented a weekly expose of the Breakers players last season in an attempt to introduce Boston's newest professional athletes to the fans of Beantown.
Though a valiant attempt, my "Meet The Breakers" series was at best, a recap of goals, assists, caps, and career highlights and never really presented the players as the down-to-earth, approachable athletes that they are.
I have never been and probably never will be a little girl (thank God for little miracles) but I've found the athletes of the WPS to be real life idols to the thousands of girls who watch them from the stands. In an effort to present the Breakers stars as a bunch of "little girls just like them" I thought it would be fun to "get silly" with the team this year and present them in a more personal forum.
I want to thank Erica Hunt, the Breakers Communications Manager, for being receptive to my out of the box approach and also to newcomer, Leslie Osborne for being brave enough to step into the leadoff position.
You'll find Leslie to be an open and willing participant and a big fan of the :) smiley face. I thank her for taking time away from her training in Germany to participate and I welcome her to Boston. I hope you enjoy getting to know Leslie as much as I did.
And without further ado, here is the maiden entry of "Getting Silly with the Boston Breaker's Leslie Osborne".
Civ: If you could win a World Cup or be named America's Next Top Model, which would you prefer?
Leslie: Hmmmm…let me think about this for a while...Okay, I think I would much rather win a world cup:) That was a tough one:)
Civ: You're a self-proclaimed PUMA gal, how many different pieces of Puma Designed clothing, bags, shoes and balls do you own?
Leslie: Well let's just say I have a separate closet for my Puma collection:) I am very lucky to be a Puma gal:) I am usually covered in Puma gear, along with my friends and family!!!
Civ: You modeled the new WPS uni as part of the Puma Fashion show, is that the most elegant outfit you've ever worn in a fashion show?
Leslie: Well I don't think it was the most elegant outfit, I would say the most comfortable outfit rather I have worn in a fashion show. I didn't have to worry tripping on my dress or rolling an ankle with heels on:) I felt very comfortable and athletic walking down the runway in New York.
Civ: Who is more attractive, you or Heather Mitts?
Leslie: You can determine that if you wish.
Civ: With Mitts taking her game to Philly this season, I'm going to pick Leslie.
Civ: The FC Gold Pride had a challenging year last year. Have you ever played for a team with a losing record before?
Leslie: Yes FC Gold Pride did have a challenging year last year. However, if you watched the team play you would have been surprised that the team was not more successful because we had very close games and lost most of the games by only one goal.
The team played possession style soccer that was very fun to watch at times. I have not played on a team before with a losing record but it was an experience that I know will help me down my career (both as a player and as a person).
Civ: What made you sign with the Breakers?
Leslie: Multiple reasons:) Great coach, new opportunity, awesome city, great talent and potential, Newbury Street:).
Civ: You're a Wisconsin girl who will be living in Boston; will it be an adjustment for you?
Leslie: Well, I am a Midwest girl at heart but have been a California girl for the last eight years. Of course it will be an adjustment coming to the east coast, but a pretty easy adjustment. Growing up in Wisconsin will help me adjust quicker:)
Civ: Do you own a Cheese Head Hat? And what are your feelings about Brett Favre?
Leslie: I did own a Cheese Head when I was younger and in Wisconsin, however I don't have it anymore. My family and I will always be a Packer fan and Brett Farve fan!! It's hard to see him in Minnesota now and hope that he can figure out his retiree plans without all of this unnecessary drama.
Civ: Have you ever been to Newbury Street in Boston and how much of your free time will be spent there?
Leslie: Yes I have been to Newbury Street and make sure every time I come to Boston I have a whole afternoon to spend there. From the cafes to the parks to the boutiques, I am in heaven:) I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of my free time there:)
Civ: Have you ever been to Fenway Park?
Leslie: Yes I have been to Fenway Park in 2005 and it was great!! I even got to sit in the Green Monster and meet some of the players in the locker room like David Ortiz (who is a big soccer fan) and Johnny Damon. Thank you Arden and Puma:) I hope to be at plenty more of their games!!
Civ: You haven't written on your blog on your Osbornesoccer.com site since February; what's up with that?
Leslie: I need to get on top of that:) I will be starting again for the start of the new WPS season:) I will have great things to blog and talk about from being in Boston:)
Civ: You've been training this offseason in Germany, do you speak German?
Leslie: Yes I have been training here in the off-season with a German trainer and team. The head coach doesn't speak much English and I'm learning German as we speak. Let's just say there is a lot of drawing, hand movements and translation between the girls and I. My boyfriend speaks fluent German so he is a great teacher to have.
The German language is challenging to learn but I am determined to get better.
Civ: Your boyfriend plays professional basketball in Germany. Who's a better dribbler in their respective sport?
Leslie: I would say Kyle is a better dribbler in basketball than I am in soccer:) His best attribute is his ball handling skills and I would say that although my dribbling is pretty good, it's not my strongest quality as a soccer player.
Civ: How loud was the pop when the ACL tore?
Leslie: It was a very loud and snappy pop!! Let's just say I was absolutely sure that my ACL just tore!! Heather Mitts was right there when it happened, we both just looked at each other because we knew.
Civ: On a serious note, you do a lot of charity work. Can you tell us about it?
Leslie: Oh good, we are being serious now:) Well I have been very blessed and lucky to have had all these wonderful opportunities. If I can help in any way that I can, I will do it. I love children so anything related to kids is my favorite:)
I am involved with the Grassroot Soccer, The Boys and Girls Club and the Women's Sports Foundation. Every day I remind myself how lucky and fortunate I have been and I hope to give as many kids as I can a sign of hope to go make their dream possible.
Civ: Best player you've played with? And best you've played against?
Leslie: All three of these players I have learned from, both on the field and off :( They are Shannon Boxx, Kristine Lilly, Formiga. The best I've played against are Kelly Smith and Marta (thank goodness Kelly and I are now on the same team).
Civ: Most inspirational coach you've played with?
Leslie: I have two coaches that have been very inspirational to me. One would be Jerry Smith. He was my college coach at Santa Clara University and I have helped coach for him at Santa Clara for two seasons. He inspired me to be be a better person, leader and player.
The other is Tracey Leone. Tracey coached me for two to three years in preparation for the U-19 World Championship when I was 19 years old. Her charisma, love, energy and dedication to every single player on our team, made our team come together and play for each other. I still have not been part of a team that had that chemistry, dedication and pure joy. Tracey is responsible for that kind of environment.
Civ: And lastly, in the spirit of Getting Silly, your nickname is Ozzy, is it true that you are the music legends long lost offspring?
Leslie: No, I am not related to the Osborne's, you would know that if you ever heard me attempt to sing!! I am tone deaf!! TC
Todd Civin is a freelance writer who writes for Bleacher Report, Sports, Then and Now, and Seamheads. He is a supporter of, A Glove of Their Own, the award-winning children’s story that teaches paying it forward through baseball.
The Joe Niekro Foundation is the most recent non-profit organization to join the A Glove of Their Own team and will earn $3.00 dollars from each sale of the book purchased using the donor code JNF636 Joe Niekro Foundation.