February 11, 2013
ACROSS THE POND
Somers' Da Costa to play for Liverpool Ladies
While many women's soccer players in the United States whho went through the Olympic Development Program are preparing for the inaugural season of the National Women’s Soccer League, one player is taking a different route.
Somers, N.Y. resident Amanda Da Costa has crossed the Atlantic to play for the Liverpool Ladies in the Women’s Super League in England.
The season kicks off in March and the women’s side will not be playing their home games at Anfield but at Halton Stadium, with a capacity of more than 13,000 and an artificial surface. The stadium is located between Liverpool and Manchester in the northwest of England.
“I am thrilled to be playing for a club with such a unique culture and history. Being surrounded by the standard of excellence here at Liverpool is an amazing opportunity for any footballer, and I am eager to start the season with my new teammates,” Da Costa said when her signing was announced on Jan. 30.
“Being raised by European parents, I was always infatuated with not only the game itself, but the culture surrounding it as well. Liverpool Football Club is one of the oldest clubs in history, and the chance to be in a country where the game is loved so much is a really amazing opportunity that I would have been crazy to pass up.”
Liverpool Ladies head coach Matt Beard felt Da Costa's professional experience was a big reason why the team decided to sign her.
“Amanda is a great signing for us. She has represented the USA National Team at Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 levels, played professionally in the USA for Magic Jack and Boston Breakers,” he said, “Amanda is an energetic attacking central midfielder. She has great feet and will be a great asset to Liverpool Ladies.”
In the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association, Da Costa played ODP from 2000 to 2005, using it as a springboard to playing Region 1 ODP during that same time and representing the United States internationally. In club soccer, Da Costa started playing for the Somers Strikers and competed for the Monroe United Magic, both affiliated with the East Hudson Youth Soccer League. She decided as a young girl that she wanted to play professionally after watching Mia Hamm on the U.S. Women’s National Team.
“I started off playing for a local club team when I was very young. The practice field was just down the road from my house in Somers and we were called the Somers Strikers. My Dad was my coach from a young age, and when it was time to move on, I sought out other, more competitive, options,” Da Costa said. “I ended up switching clubs when I was maybe 14 and made the drive to Monroe where I played with the Monroe Magic. It wasn’t nearly as convenient for my parents and I, about an hour drive to training, but it was well worth it.”
Da Costa, 23, played varsity soccer for five years at Somers High School, earning All-Section and All-League honors four times, while receiving league MVP accolades twice during her junior and senior years. The honor roll student also received the Con Edison Award, North County News Player of the Year and Journal News Player of the Year accolades as a senior as well as being named to the Parade All-American team. She led the Tuskers to the league championship four times.
She enrolled at Florida State University via an athletic scholarship. Da Costa continued on the honor roll and was a four-year starter in Tallahassee, Fla., receiving four All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors, the most in Seminoles’ history. Her favorite memory on the soccer field was scoring the game-winning goal as a freshman against Notre Dame to lead FSU to the national championship game.
Da Costa spent her summers playing with Soccer Plus Connecticut of the Women’s Premier Soccer League in 2008, the Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues of the W-League in 2009, Magic Jack in 2011 and the Boston Breakers of Women's Premier Soccer League Elite last year.