Natasha Anasi is a veteran member of the US U23 National Team and Duke standout. We caught up with her to discuss her experiences in last month’s Four Nations Tournament in Spain and her transition from rookie to veteran in the US Soccer program.
You were one of the younger U23s, now you’re one of the oldest – how has the transition been?
NA: The transition has actually been quite interesting. Before, I felt as if I was working and soaking up all the knowledge that was being presented to me. But now as an older player, I feel like there is an additional factor of teaching the younger players. It is cycle that will continue on.
How does the international game compare to the college game?
NA: The international game is much different than the college game. Each player is incredibly talented, which makes the game much faster. It also forces you to have clean touches. Their different styles of attack are also well planned and executed.
I know you hurt your ankle while in Spain and had to sit out several games. How was it being injured at camp and not being able to play the first few games? Did you gain a new perspective?
NA: I definitely got a new perspective being injured at camp. I was able to observe both practices and games. I was able to see how people were taking what they learned and translating that on to the field. While ideally I would have liked being able to play in every game, I still feel like I grew as a player watching the games and practices.
What did if feel like to win the tournament?
NA: It was amazing to win the tournament. We had a very solid squad with a mix of both the old U23s as well as the girls coming from the U20 World Championship team and to be able to mesh over that short ten days was remarkable.
Anasi breaks down the U23 roster after the jump.