Ashlyn Harris on Making her USA Debut: “I just felt like I belonged.”

Ashlyn Harris in action against Sweden

Ashlyn Harris in action against Sweden

By Kara McDermott

Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris has been part of the national team program since she was 14 years old. But it wasn’t until this Monday, on a windy day in Lagos, Portugal, that she could finally put an important tally in her career by earning her first cap for the senior squad at the age of 27.

With starting keeper Hope Solo out for the Algarve Cup, coach Tom Sermanni called up Harris to be part of the squad for this year’s tournament, with the promise of getting her between the posts.

That chance came at a pivotal time for the team and for Harris in the final match of group play against a fierce rival that would determine if the US would play in the finals or not.

After helping her team secue the needed tie to go forward, Harris took time to chat with Prost Amerika about that memorable first game.

On earning her first cap:

“I mean you wait for this moment for your whole life. This is what you work for, this is what everything leads up to. I’ve been on this team for a few years now and there’s just been a lot of adversity I’ve gone through, injury, to get me to this point and I’m just honored to represent my country and to put that jersey on and to stand out there for the National Anthem.

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On her family’s reaction:

I know this is a proud moment for my parents and my family and even my teammates. Everyone’s smiling and congratulating me and supporting me 100 percent.

It’s a great feeling and I’m going to enjoy he moment because not many people get to do what we do each day and I’m just being grateful and appreciative and not taking it for granted.”

The moment Harris knew she was getting the nod:

“Well Paul* said something at the beginning of the trip that all three goalkeepers would play. You know, sometimes they say that and you never really know what’s going to happen.

But he stuck to it and put me in for the most important game of the group and that’s a good feeling,to feel supported and to feel that they’re confident enough to play me in a make-or-break game. I was out there, no nerves. I just felt like I belonged.”

Using the experience of other players:

“I’m a goalkeeper who’s loud and it’s part of my game and I’m confident. Even though I don’t have over 100 caps maybe like a lot of the players here, I’m not going to play any different, I’m going to play like I have 100 caps.

I’m going to yell at her whether she’s got 100, 200 or two; and she’s going to listen, I think that’s what creates such a good environment here is that we all respect each other whether it’s two caps, whether it’s 200. When we get on the field it’s game time and we play well together. It’s good to have that experience but I’m confident in any person you put in front of me on this team. We have depth like you wouldn’t believe, and that’s what makes it difficult in the States to get caps.

* US Goalkeeping Coach Paul Rogers

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  1. Have you seen some of her videos on youtube or seen her play? This girl is pretty amazing. Saw her once a couple years ago when the WPS was still going on, this girl is a beast.