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Q&A with Colombia's Isabella Echeverri

By Jorma Kansanen, Director of Communications, United Women's Soccer (UWS), 18-Aug-2016

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - It is certainly a hectic time for women’s soccer players, coaches and fans alike as the Olympic tournament finishes up on Friday with the medal games, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) re-starts after its Olympic hiatus while the fall campaign in the collegiate ranks kicks off as well. Colombian international and Houston Aces star Isabella Echeverri is right in the middle of it all. Fresh off her continental summer road trip, Echeverri will suit up once again for the University of Toledo this fall as a junior midfielder.

The past few months have been a whirlwind for the two-time All-Mid-American Conference selection, going from Toledo to Houston to Rio de Janeiro back to Toledo. In that time, Isabella was named to the 2016 United Women’s Soccer (UWS) All-West Conference Team for her efforts with the Aces, took to the Arena Amazonia pitch in Manaus in the Olympics against the U.S. Women’s National Team and now is back with the Rockets, who start their 2016 season on Friday afternoon with a road match vs. Quinnipiac University.

The Medellin, Colombia-native was kind enough to take some of her valuable time and answer some questions for us. With a professional women’s soccer league in the planning stages for Colombia, the future looks bright for Echeverri and her “Las Cafeteras” teammates.

Q: While Colombia didn’t move on to the Olympic quarterfinals, your team did end its run on a positive note with a 2-2 draw vs. the gold medal favorite U.S. Women’s National Team. How was your experience in Brazil? What does the future of Colombia women’s soccer hold?

A: Well, getting a draw against the U.S. was a huge thing for a country like Colombia. The USWNT are the world champions, the defending Olympic champions and at this point, we don’t even have a professional league in our country. The future holds great things for Colombia. We are a young group of players who dream and work to achieve big things in the near future.

Q: After a tough start to the UWS season, your Houston Aces side were literally seconds away in their last regular season game from winning the West Conference title (the Aces drew 2-2 with the Colorado Pride). How did your time with the Aces prepare you for the Olympics? What did you think of the quality of play in UWS?

A: The time with the Aces was a critical part for my preparation to the Olympics. It kept me playing at a high level and it helped me get my body in the shape I wanted for the Olympics. I believe the level of the league was really good. You could really see fantastic players and the phase of the games was great. You could score or lose in any second. Its a really good chance for players to evolve and enhance their game. I am really happy I took my chance to play with the Aces. I would want to do it again next summer. Coach “Gui Gui” [Aguinaldo Ferreira] was great and I was really sad to see my team lost the West title in the last second while I was in camp with Colombia. I regret I wasn't there to help them, the girls deserved it.

Q: Lastly, from Houston to Rio and now back to Toledo… its certainly been a long and winding road for you over the past few months. How does this year’s University of Toledo look? Will you be able to put in a challenge for the MAC title?

A: Its been a long, winding road for me since I got to Toledo three and a half years ago. I have been in every major tournament Colombia has played including World Cup, Pan Am games, South American championships, Centro American Games, etc. while playing in the MAC and studying my double major. Its been hard but I have been able to enjoy the journey and love every step of it. This year looks good for Toledo. I am pretty confident we will be able to win the MAC again. I will give everything I have on and off the field to make that happen.

About United Women’s Soccer (UWS): UWS is a national women’s soccer league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer through the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). UWS is a professionally operated league created for teams that meet high minimum standards. The season runs from May until the end of July, culminating in a National Championship match. The UWS player pool is comprised of college players, aspiring & former professionals and international stars. You can follow UWS on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

UWS is managed by EDP, a leading soccer management company that runs a number of leagues and tournaments. In addition to UWS, EDP operates youth leagues that includes an NPL league, the EDP Super Club program, the EDP Premier League and the EDP Championship League. EDP also runs EDP Futures programs for U-7’s to U-12’s and it conducts more than 20 youth tournaments, including tournaments within its EDP Cup Series and EDP Showcase Series.

Media can contact UWS Director of Communications Jorma Kansanen by e-mail at Press@UWSSoccer.com. You can visit the league’s official website at UWSSoccer.com. Interested team applicants can contact League Commissioner Joe Ferrara by e-mail at Joe@UWSSoccer.com.

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Cheers,
Jorma Kansanen
Director of Communications
United Women's Soccer (UWS)
Web: www.UWSSoccer.com

Phone: (413) 887-8145

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