ADO ladies American Trilogy
At the start of the new BeNe league football season for the ladies, people looked at what was left of the previous seasons all conquering side of double winners and were perhaps thinking the worst. So many players had left ADO to other clubs abroad, newer clubs with a bigger name in Holland, or due to more sportive demands on them, just retired from this level of football.
ADO brought in some new young and exciting talent and the pre season went well. The first competitive game of the season was against Standard Liege in the Super cup, when the champions of Holland and Belgium faced each other. The result, a 1-0 defeat for the ADO ladies; but, not to worry, Liege were a very strong side. The following game was against PSV/FC Eindhoven in the Kyocera, a 3-0 defeat looked bad and something the ADO ladies had to move on from quickly.
As the early season progressed three American ladies were brought into the squad: Ladies looking for a new challenge and hungry for success. Results picked up as they got to know their team mates and ADO’s younger players also found their footballing feet and they have not looked back since.
In a period of four games they played Russian champions FC Rossiyanka twice in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, losing the first home game 1-4, but then winning the away leg 1-2. They also faced Ajax, a big name in Dutch football, but new to the Dutch ladies scene and beat them, much to the delight of everybody at ADO, and then they faced annual rivals for the league title FC Twente away, a game that ended in a 2-1 defeat for ADO.
In the midst of all this action, I managed to get some time to talk to ADO’s American stars after they had just beaten Ajax 2-1.
So let’s meet the ladies; Firstly Teresa Noyola from California; A 22 year old of Mexican-American decent. Has played for various levels of the national American team, but has now been playing football for the Mexican national team and can therefore no longer represent the USA, although she says she feels more American, Has also played for Stanford Cardinal as a midfielder.
Then there is Brittany Persaud from Ohio, a 22 year old who played for Wright State University.
Finally there is Elizabeth (Libby) Guess, the last arrival from the states, a 27 year old attacking midfielder from Georgia and played for Atlanta Silverbacks.
First and most obvious question was why come to ADO Den Haag and how did it happen? All three gave similar replies. They heard that ADO was looking for players and they all had contacts to Sarina Wiegman, the ADO ladies head coach and associated coaches. After speaking to Sarina and listening to what ADO had to offer it was an opportunity for the ladies that they felt they could not pass.
Libby said that she wanted to come to Europe to play as there is not a stable league in the states for women’s soccer, despite their being much interest in the sport in the country and it is growing quickly, even more so than the men’s game, yet still no solid foundations. “I wanted to try something different and this was a cool offer.”
On how they are all settling in to the Dutch way of life, both Libby and Teresa had the same answers, “We are enjoying it and all we do is sleep, eat and play football” they said laughing. Brittany however decided whilst here to do an internship. Teresa is getting plenty of practice at Guitar hero in her free time.
All three of the ladies are living in The Hague and all love it! They like the city and the safe bars, drinking lots of cappuccinos and taking in the sights. Brittany was keen to say just how much their Dutch team mates had made them feel so welcome from their first day of arrival. “We love the girls, we already feel at home here, everyone has been so nice and friendly, not just the players but the staff and fans too, it has been really good so far. We really feel part of the team, they are all so cool”
Brittany Persuad, Libby Guess and Teresa Noyola
When talking about the language issues, they all seemed very relaxed. Teresa made it clear on how she felt about it. “Sarina has been great and so has everybody else, making things very easy for us all to fit in and feel part of the team at ADO. They could not have been more helpful, we all appreciate what they are doing for us.” They have begun taking Dutch lessons and they are already beginning to pick up the basics.
On to football matters and I mentioned the defeat by FC Rossiyanka in the Champions League game. I made a comment that I thought ADO were outdone by the more professional team. The reaction by Libby to that comment certainly showed her commitment to the new club. In a stern tone of voice she said” I don’t think they were that professional. I thought some of the young girls were a bit scared of them at the start, which is when they did the damage. It took a while for everybody to see they were no better than us and on another night we would have scored more goals, it was disappointing, we had the chances but didn’t put them away, we fought hard and had them going backwards, I thought we were unlucky and that we were the better team.” It came across with feeling and emotion, a great sign of her love for the new club already. A few days later she was proved correct as the ladies travelled to Moscow and beat them 1-2, a great result.
The good news is that Teresa and Brittany are contracted to the club until June 2013. At this present time Libby has signed a three month contract which will hopefully be extended in the near future. After that date as yet they have no idea what will happen next. As ladies football is getting big in Northern Europe I feel they may want to stay a while longer, I hope I am not wrong, as they have proved an invaluable asset to what was already a strong side, now bolstered by these new players, I can only see ADO again chasing the honours at the end of the season.
Just want to thank Teresa, Brittany and Libby for their time after a tiring match. I wish them all well for the future. They are great ladies, a lot of fun and think they will continue to enjoy their time at our wonderful club.