Watch Lauren When: Today at 1:45 Central Standard Time,
In What: Olympic Semi-Finals, when the US Women's National Team takes on Canada in the Olympic Semi-final
Where: Channels 49 or 1051 in HD (Time Warner Cable)
At some point in their lives, most every young soccer player, at least briefly, aspires to earn the opportunity to pull on a national team jersey and compete on the world stage. To play alongside their nation's best, against the world's brightest stars, is among the greatest honors one can achieve in the game. Whether it's to one day earn the right to hoist (and perhaps plant a fat kiss on) the coveted World Cup, or to stand on the podium draped in Olympic Gold, the dream of national team membership and glory is ubiquitous in the soccer community.
For Stevens Point native and former FC Milwaukee Nationals standout Lauren Sesselmann, the dream has become reality. Unfortunately however, for those of us who are both fans of FC Milwaukee Alumni and the US Women's National team, loyalties may very well be tested when watching today's US Women's National Team game. You see, FC Alumnus Lauren Sesselmann, whose father was born in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada, will don the Canadian colors and try to derail the U.S. Women's quest to defend their Olympic Gold medalist status in today's Olympic semi-final match. So, how does one divide their loyalties between club and country? The answer may not be easy to come by, but it certainly is a bitter sweet problem to have.
To date, the physically gifted, hard working and determined left footed Sesselmann has already earned 24 international caps and 22 starts. In these Olympic games, she has started all 4 fixtures; played the full 90 minutes at both full back and center back, in each; helped her team mount an epic 2nd half comeback 0-2 down against world power Sweden; and stingily assisted in shutting out 2 opponents; and stunningly upset Olympic hosts Great Britain to earn Canada's place in today's semi-final, at 1:45 central time. Additionally, en route to the current place in the Olympics, Lauren also played a vital role in Canada's Gold Medal run at the 2011 Pan Am Games.
It is revealing to note that during her time with FC Milwaukee (then Milwaukee Kicker Nationals), Sesselmann was known for her goal scoring prowess which she parlayed into continued success at the University of Purdue, where she still ranks 2nd in all time scorers with 34 goals between 2001 and 2005. Such a revelation demonstrates that great players often must adapt and expand their game and play out of preferred positions to find their way onto the field amongst other great players.
In Lauren's quest to continue playing the game at the highest level possible, her perserverance and passion for the game has seen her post-collegiate soccer journey take her from from FC Indiana, to Sky Blue FC and then Atlanta Beat, both of the now defunct Women Professional Soccer leagues.
Though our loyalty to country may make it difficult to wish the Canadians luck today, we certainly hope Lauren plays a great game, and cherishes the experience. From all of FC Milwaukee: Good luck today, Lauren!