On Tues. May 19, Meghan Klingenberg, a defender for the United States women’s national soccer team hosted a special training clinic at Highmark Stadium. The clinic involved the Under-15, Under-16 and Under-17 girls’ teams from the Riverhounds Development Academy.
The event was a part of the #SheBelieves campaign created by the U.S. women’s national team to deliver a message to young girls that they can accomplish their dreams. The women’s team started the #SheBelieves campaign to give back to the young fans that have continued to support the team on and off the field. Klingenberg explains the importance of the #SheBelieves campaign, “We know that young girls have these dreams and we want to encourage them to go after their dreams with their whole heart.” In efforts to give back to their fans, players from the women’s team have been participating in a “#SheBelieves in her Community” celebration from May 19-24, in which players return to their hometowns and host special events that involve interacting with fans and young children to spread their message for the #SheBelieves campaign.
During the clinic, Riverhounds Development Academy coaches Mark Steffen, Josh Rife and Niko Katic assigned each team to a certain soccer drill. The U-15, U-16 and U-17 teams were split up and worked on a variety of skills while Klingenberg joined in with each team and offered helpful tips to the players. Klingenberg participated in each activity with the players and frequently rotated between each team to meet new girls and add a bit of advice for each play.
After the skills clinic, the three RDA teams gathered around Klingenberg as she discussed the importance of the #SheBelieves campaign and answered each of the players’ questions. Klingenberg gave advice to the young girls, “Don’t play for a goal, as in playing in college or playing on a national team but play to get better and play to have fun,” said Klingenberg “because those dreams that you have are going to come true anyways.” Each player then filled out a piece of paper that read “My dream is to ____” with their ultimate dreams, whether it be on as a soccer player or just in general. Klingenberg’s guidance and kind-hearted personality was indeed an inspiration to these young girls and a successful initiative for the #SheBelieves campaign.
About Meghan Klingenberg:
Meghan Klingenberg is a native of Gibsonia, Pa. and a graduate of Pine-Richland High School class of 2007. Klingenberg attended the University of North Carolina from 2007-2010. Klingenberg competed as a UNC women’s soccer player with a total of 18 career goals and 24 assists. After college, Klingenberg played for the Washington Freedom, Boston Breakers, Tyreso FF (Swedish club) and is currently a member of the Houston Dash team. Klingenberg has also played for the United States women’s national soccer team for the Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 levels. Klingenberg is currently a senior player for the U.S. women’s national soccer team and will participate in her first FIFA Women’s World Cup preliminary match in Winnipeg, Canada against Australia on June 8, 2015.