April 18, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. – After the season is over, most senior student-athletes spend the next term relaxing and getting ready for graduation, but for senior soccer player Brittany Galindo, she had other goals in mind.
Galindo finished her senior season with the Oregon State women's soccer team in 2011, but instead of taking winter term off to rest and relax, she continued training with the underclassmen. She continued her training in hopes of trying out and making one of the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) teams at the end of January.
Galindo and fellow senior Colleen Boyd were both invited to try out for the Philadelphia Independence and were two of five athletes called back for a second look in their preseason camp. Although Galindo had been through tryouts before in her career, this one had a little more riding on it.
“I was extremely nervous,” Galindo said. “Although I had been training and running and doing everything necessary to be at my best, I just couldn’t shake the nerves. I’ve wanted to play professional soccer since I was like seven-years-old. About a week before tryouts though, I realized my confidence was half of what makes me a decent player, so I shook the nerves and started to believe in myself again.”
After Galindo and Boyd were given the news that they would be invited to the preseason camp to train with the full squad, they were given bad news two days later. The WPS suspended play for the 2012 season and would try to get a 2013 season scheduled as soon as possible.
Most athletes would call it quits after their dreams were put on hold like that, but Galindo knew that she still wanted to play for the 2013 WPS season and knew she needed to be prepared for another tryout. Luckily for Galindo, her assistant coach was in contact with an agent in Sweden who was looking for a center defender.
“The agent in Sweden said she needed a center back who was interested in traveling overseas to play,” Galindo said. “After making a huge decision in a week, I decided to travel. Playing in Europe was amazing because of how much the people appreciated the sport of soccer so much more than in the United States.”
After traveling to Sweden and playing for a short time, Galindo made the decision that it was not going to work out and traveled back to the United States. She returned to the U.S. and immediately started working on other options to keep her dream of playing professional soccer alive.
Galindo is currently in contact with the Vancouver Whitecaps, which is a team that is part of the semi-professional W-League that consists of teams out of Canada and all over the United States. Because the WPS league was postponed for the 2012 season, some of the best talent in the country is now playing in the W-League.
“The league is similar to how collegiate soccer is played,” Galindo said. “There is a playoff system that results in a final four against the other division winners throughout the U.S. and Canada.”
Galindo is coming off a stellar career at Oregon State where she instilled toughness in the defensive line for four years. She finished at the top of the Oregon State all-time list with career games started and games played with 83, and she credits her time at Oregon State and with head coach Linus Rhode with helping her prepare for the transition into professional soccer.
“Playing at OSU has helped me develop into a better player,” Galindo said. “Not only do we play in an extremely competitive conference where you are forced to perform well to win, but the levels of our training sessions are incredible as well. Our coach expects high quality practices and the team is filled with such talent that you are challenged at every training session.”
Galindo has had a busy winter and spring term doing all her traveling and tryouts, but one thing has stayed consistent throughout it all. The support system she has gained during her time at Oregon State has helped her through the experience and she is grateful to have it.
“Without a doubt, my favorite part of this experience has been all the support from my teammates and coaches,” Galindo said. “They have been nothing but supportive and inspiring towards me following my dreams. It means a lot to me because I would not be in a position for success if it were not for my team pushing me in practice and games over the past four years.”
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