Meet Manya Makoski, a midfielder from Trumbull, CT who is now living her dream of playing professional soccer playing for the LA Sol. From Gatorade State Player of the Year in 2001 to a stellar career at Arizona State University to numerous championships with US Youth National teams, she has quietly been one of the nation’s best soccer players.
She is part of the dominant back line that helped the LA Sol to a .5 goals against average in the regular season, and helped Karina LeBlanc post 12 shutouts in the season, good for best in the league. Next year, she will be back in LA ready to start a new season, with the same goal she, along with the rest of the team, had in mind last year: to win the WPS Championship.
For now, she is back at home in Connecticut, playing in coed teams, and training on her own to become stronger, fitter, and better in time for preseason, which starts in February.
I got to ask her 22 questions (because she is No. 22) so fans could get to know her off the field a little better. It is always nice to know how players are off the pitch...Enjoy!
1. What was the best moment of your ASU career?
Making it to the NCAA tourney twice, becoming an Academic All American, and being awarded the ASU Coach Bill Kajikawa Outstanding Female Graduate Award and ASU Sparky Awards Female Scholar of the Year Award
2. Who from Hollywood would you like to meet?
3. What’s in your iPod?
A little bit of everything (except country)...MJ, Lady Gaga, NKOTB, James Morrison, Britney Spears, David Guetta, Timbaland, Far East Movement, Lil Wayne, Eric Hutchinson, Pat Monahan, Justin Nozuka, Joshua Radin, Matt Wertz, Matt Nathanson, Deadmau5, Akon, Craig David, Trans Siberian Orchestra
4. Do you have a favorite holiday?
5. Guilty pleasure?
Starbucks Chai tea lattes
6. Who was the funniest person (or people) on the team last season?
Aya was definitely the team clown
7. What was your first soccer team called and what were its colors?
The Smurfs...Ironically we were blue and white.
8. If the goalkeeper on your team got a red card or injured after the 3 subs were made and you were still on the field, would you go in goal?
Without a doubt. I love playing in goal. I am actually pretty good.
9. What’s your favorite movie(s)?
The Hangover, Wedding Crashers, Old School, Aladdin
10. What do you do when you’re not training?
Watching FSC, writing, studying for my real estate class, practicing my hip hop dance moves, watching It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
11. When you were a kid, what was the most trouble you got into?
I never got into trouble. I was an angel. My brothers got blamed for everything I did.
12. What nicknames have you had throughout your life?
Monz, Monster, MJ, Eminem, Mañana
13. Do you have any special memory with or of a Sol fan from last season?
All of the fans were so great. We couldn’t have done it without them.
14. What is your favorite food to eat?
Veggie burrito or gnocchi
15. Name your all-time favorite soccer player(s).
Ashley Cole, Lampard, Drogba, Essien, Joe Cole, Deco, John Terry, Ballack, Anelka...can you tell I am a Chelsea fan??
16. Name your favorite athlete of another sport.
17. Has there been a player that made you stop and think “Wow, I’m really playing with/against them!”
All of my teammates from the Sol and all of the players in the WPS
18. If you could appear in any TV commercial, what product would you endorse? (Mia Hamm did Pert Plus. Julie Foudy did Bud Light.)
19. Name one interesting fact about yourself that you wouldn’t mind fans knowing.
I’m very ambidextrous. In almost everything.
20. Give any thoughts on the next WPS season.
I am really excited because the level of play is going to get better and better. The support we get from our fans and the media will also increase, which is what we need to keep these league alive.
21. You have won the regular season title, but lost a tough game to Sky Blue FC. Do you feel that this has sown the seeds of a coast-to-coast rivalry with this club?
Against every team we played we had grown some sort rivalry. But since we lost to Sky Blue in the final, we will want to definitely beat them.
22. Has the defeat to Sky Blue FC made you hungrier to knock this club off their perch and in what ways?
Definitely. We wanted to win the regular season title and the championship final. Hopefully next year we can accomplish that.