July 6, 2012
Interview by Mike Woitalla
Kristine Lilly, the world record holder for national team appearances with 352, debuted for the USA at age 16 in 1987 and retired in 2010 at age 39. We checked in with the veteran of five World Cups and three Olympic Games for her insights on American youth soccer, past and present.
SOCCER AMERICA: What have you been up to since hanging up your cleats?
KRISTINE LILLY: Raising two kids … I’m assistant coach of theBoston Breakers [WPSL]. I coach at my camps and give private lessons [Kristine Lilly Soccer Academy]. … I’ve built some partnerships. One is with Korrio. … I give speeches, promoting the game. …
SOCCER AMERICA: Is there anything you remember about the coaching you got during your youth days that you think was especially important to your success?
KRISTINE LILLY: I can tell you that most of what I remember was oranges at halftime. Sodas or drinks after the game [laughs]. And having fun. I have good memories. That means people were doing the right things.
A lot of the coaches I had back then were just fathers. Some didn’t know the game and some did. I was fortunate to have some good people around me all the time.