In the Book, with Becky Sauerbrunn

Editors Note: Throughout the season, Captain Becky Sauerbrunn will check in with her thoughts on various subjects. In today's initial installment she talks about FC Kansas City's first game of the 2014 season.

Opening Night

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts...” -   William Shakespeare, As You Like It

It’s difficult sometimes to think of myself as a performer on a stage, probably because the idea of doing any sort of performance art causes me to break out in nervous sweats.  I cringe whenever I hear the words “talent show” and “team bonding” in the same sentence and I hear those words together more often than I like.  Partly because I have no hidden talent, and partly because of the expectation that you’ll entertain the audience.  But performers we are.

I liken our home opener on Saturday to opening night of any play.  A lot of work goes into the production of a single show.  Aside from the talent, there are so many people that are needed to execute the operational, behind-the-scenes logistical stuff that ensures opening night runs smoothly.  For all the people who did that for FCKC and who will continue to do it week in and week out, this is a huge THANK YOU for making it happen.  Needless to say, it is a team effort that goes way beyond the actual team you come to see play.

We, the divas, are the ones that show up and entertain.  It’s taken me a few years playing professionally to see the truth in that concept.  We are the entertainment and our success as an organization largely comes from our ability to entertain people and keep them coming back for more.  Our coaching staff trains us to play an attractive brand of soccer.  We move the ball well, we have players who are comfortable with the ball at their feet, and we have enough attacking flair to fill out several teams worth of rosters.  But, like any opening night, there are problems that need to be worked on before the next show.  Our 1-1 tie to Sky Blue highlighted a few areas of concern we need to work on as a team.  And within that ensemble, individuals must rate their own performance and ask what they could have done better.

Shakespeare, the insightful man that he was, refers to man playing many roles in his lifetime.  He talks of man’s life from infancy to death and the many “roles” he plays in between, examples being the petulant child or the aged philosopher.  It may seem grandiose to compare Shakespeare’s stage to my profession, but why shouldn’t the comparison be made when my life’s work is other people’s entertainment?  I’ve dedicated a large part of my life to this game, it will be one of my life’s major roles when all is said and done.  And like the players on Shakespeare’s stage, a player goes through her own journey.  In soccer years I’m middle-aged and I’ve already gone through plenty of roles.

On every team there are stars, workers, starters, reserves, leaders, followers, and the occasional “bad eggs.”  I’ve always known I’d be a worker.  In soccer there’s a saying that a player can be simply described as an artist or a soldier.  I’m a soldier.  Although some roles hold less glory, they are no less important and with time I’ve evolved within mine.  I’ve gone from rookie follower, to experienced veteran, to my most recent foray into leadership.  Captaining a side brings its own status, and while I am beyond honored, my mindset is no different when it comes to who I am.  And who knows what the twilight of my career will bring or what my next major role will be.  All I can focus on right now is what I can do better for my team.  What could I have done to make that tie a win?  I have my notes and, as they say, the show must go on.