Women In Soccer – NWSL Spotlight Series
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is a ten-team women’s professional soccer league featuring national team players from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. The clubs are the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, FC Kansas City, Orlando Pride, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC, the Washington Spirit and the Western New York Flash. Based in Chicago, the NWSL is supported by the Canadian Soccer Association, Federation of Mexican Football and the United States Soccer Federation.
With the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft, Seattle Reign FC selected Carson Pickett. The Florida State University defender, started all 25 games of her last season, as the Seminoles reached the College Cup for the fifth season in a row and ninth time overall. Pickett finished with 103 career appearances for Florida State, which is tied for second all-time in FSU history and 10th all-time in NCAA history.
SoccerToday interviewed Pickett to learn more about the newest addition to Seattle Reign FC.
Diane Scavuzzo: When and where did you start playing soccer?
Carson Pickett: I started playing soccer when I was five years old. I played on my first soccer team at Clay County Soccer Club, where I grew up.
Diane Scavuzzo: Did you think that Seattle was going to pick you?
Carson Pickett: I spoke to Laura Harvey prior to the draft, but you never know what is going to happen on draft day, so it was all up in the air as to where I was going to end up. But I have heard nothing short of amazing things about this club, so I was very pleased when I found out this was going to be my new home.
Diane Scavuzzo: How much are looking forward to working with coach Laura Harvey?
Carson Pickett: I am beyond ready to get to Seattle and start learning from all that Laura and the coaching staff has to offer. I continue to hear such positive things about her, which really excites me. I also can’t wait to start training with my new teammates and take in everything that they tell me. Laura is a quality coach and I can’t wait to begin this new journey with her and the Seattle Reign family.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you think you’ll be playing left back or left outside midfielder? Do you have a preference?
Carson Pickett: I’m not sure which position I will be playing quite yet, but I am just hopeful to make an immediate impact no matter where I am on the field. I am left footed, so either position will fit me well. I played both left back and left midfield at the college level, so I am prepared for either. I just want to help the team be successful.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you think playing with the U23 National Team has help prepare you for the NWSL?
Carson Pickett: Yes, I think it has prepared me very well. When you are surrounded by the best players at National Camp, you are able to get a feel for what it is like playing at one of the highest levels. I think the four nations tournament in Norway gave me a lot of experience because I was playing against teams such as England that have so many quality players on their roster. Playing with the U23’s allowed me to gain a lot of experience; it also allowed me to play with players that are my college opponents otherwise.
Diane Scavuzzo: At what point did you think playing professional soccer was possible in your future?
Carson Pickett: I have always had a dream of playing professional soccer ever since I was a young girl, but it became more and more evident that I could reach this goal towards the middle of my college career. I knew that choosing FSU was going to get me to where I needed to be. Mark Krikorian and the FSU staff pushed me to better myself and held me accountable every time I stepped on the field. There were players in each senior class at FSU that got drafted, so that showed me that there was a big chance, if I worked hard, that I could be drafted one day.
Diane Scavuzzo: What do you love about playing soccer?
Carson Pickett: I love the family atmosphere that being on a soccer team brings. You find forever friends while playing soccer because everyone has very similar goals. It is so nice to step on the field and fight for your teammates who are also some of your best friends.
I love how much sports can teach you about life.
I learned many valuable life lessons throughout my soccer career, some of which I would not have learned otherwise. I learned the importance of accountability, trust and respect while participating in athletics. And the last thing I love about soccer is meeting amazing fans that become so important in your life. I still keep in touch with fans that I met my freshman year of college. It is all about the relationships you build.
Diane Scavuzzo: Is there any advice you can give to younger soccer players who hope to follow in your footsteps?
Carson Pickett: Keep following your dreams each day. There will be times when nothing is going right, and that is the exact time to push harder and realize that you control your own destiny. Don’t ever give up, and remember to smile along the way. Chasing dreams can be frustrating at times, but there is no better feeling in this world than reaching something that you have dreamt about your whole life. Don’t ever let a coach or person tell you your not good enough. Use it as fuel to succeed.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you think of yourself as a role model?
Carson Pickett: Yes, I do think of myself as a role model.
Having one arm has allowed me to inspire others along the way. I just hope that each time I step on the field, I am showing someone that no matter what stands in your way, you can do anything you put your mind to.
Through hard work and faith in God, anyone can achieve his or her dreams. I want to reach out and meet as many fans as I can in Seattle, and build relationships with those who support the Reign!
Diane Scavuzzo: What super power would you like to have and why?
Carson Pickett: Hmmm, good question! I would probably like to have the power to teleport. Driving gets old and I’m not a fan of traffic, especially of big cities. To be able to instantly be somewhere without traveling seems ideal – and I could sleep-in longer (that might be the real reason haha).
Main Image Photo Credit: Larry Novey/FSU Athletics