Hey everyone! My name is Amanda Da Costa and I currently play for Liverpool FC in England. I played college soccer (or football as the English say) at Florida State University, and from there I played a couple of seasons in the United States before shipping myself off to England. I began my WPS campaign in 2011, when I played for MagicJack in West Palm Beach, FL. While the league was going through some changes shortly thereafter, I decided to stick around and play with the Boston Breakers in the WPSL Elite League. I made the move to Liverpool in January of this current year, and I have absolutely loved my experience abroad so far.
England has many similarities to the States, namely the language, but also has some differences as well. The main sport in England is football (not American Football), and living here has allowed me to completely immerse myself in that culture. It is really refreshing to see the love of the game everywhere you turn, and this passion definitely carries onto the pitch when we play.
One thing that has actually taken some getting used to is everyone’s English over here! You would assume it would be really simple to understand it all (since we practically speak the same language), but I have learned that there are a ton of different types of English accents and some of them are actually pretty hard to understand. When my coach gets going about something and I’m not completely tuned in and focused on him, anything he says just goes right over my head leading me to just smile and nod—he might as well be speaking French at times.
I was fortunate enough to have some of my friends from school visit me in Liverpool, and it was really fun being their tour guide around my new city for a few days. Now this next part is up for debate, but they told me I’ve developed an accent? This is news to me…but to be honest, it is possible that the way that I order my sentences and pronounce certain words has been a bit different. I can’t help it! They use the same words here they just use them differently, and hearing it all of the time has admittedly rubbed off on me.
The hardest thing about my profession is having to continuously say goodbye to family and friends. I love traveling and getting to play football all over the world, but I also love being at home. I am fortunate to have an amazing support system in my family and friends, and I have become a whiz at communicating through Skype, FaceTime, Facebook, and virtually any other form of technology you can think of. Seeing the pixelized face of my mom, or trying to give my dog a high-five through a computer screen isn’t ideal, but you learn how to make do with what you have. After all, distance makes the heart grow fonder!
So far since living in England, I have had some amazing experiences. I’ve created new friendships that will last a lifetime, traveled to some neighboring cities for weekend trips, and played in historical stadiums such as Anfield and Emirates. I have absolutely no idea what tomorrow will bring for me, but I am enjoying not knowing. Football continues to show me new and exciting paths to take, and there are sure to be some interesting stories to share with you along my way.