Allison Tenney is a coach with the Seattle University Redhawks Women’s soccer team. She is also an accomplished player in her own right, and a solid addition to the 2010 Seattle Sounders Women roster. Last name seem familiar? Allison’s husband is Seattle Sounders FC fitness coach David Tenney.
We talked with Allison as she prepared for the 2010 W-League season. Little did any of us know that when she took the pitch for pre-season last week that she would take an unfortunate tumble and break her collar bone in a match against Seattle Pacific University at Interbay Stadium.
Sounders Women Media Director Jon Billings gives us an update: “Allison did break her collar bone. She had a plate inserted along with a number of screws to hold the repair in place. She is out roughly eight weeks. She, being the competitor that she is, says she’ll be back in six! She was in an arm sling on Sunday, but did come out to see the latest pre-season game.”
Seattle Soccer Examiner wishes Allison all the best as she runs down her road to recovery! Here is our pre-injury chat with Tenney.
How would you describe yourself as a player?
Allison Tenney: As a college (Geroge Mason) and youth player, I was someone who played in the center midfield, covered a lot of ground, and just tried to make things happen. As I have gotten older, I find myself moving further back on the field!
I would describe myself now, however, as someone who reads the game and organizes well. As a result, I think that I will end up playing central defender for the remainder of my career.
What is your favorite soccer moment (funny, exciting, proud… any of the above)?
The one that first comes to mind is my Senior game for college; being announced in the starting line up for the last time at our home field and having my mom there to walk me out and hand me my flowers. That was a very proud and emotional moment.
What are the Sounders Women’s chances this season for a Western Conference title?
Typically, over the last 3-4 years, the western conference has been won by Pali Blues, Vancouver, or Seattle. I wouldn’t expect it to be any different this time around. The conference will be won by the team that can go on the road and get good result. There’s no reason to think that we can’t be the team to do it this year.
Tenney, #16, motions to where she wants the ball delivered. Shortly after this photo was taken she broke her collar bone. (Sounders Women photo)
Tell fans a little bit about your soccer career at the youth level. When did you fall in love with the game, and why did you continue on when so many players stop playing before they even become adults?
I always think of my Dad as my coach when I think about my youth career. He was a huge influence for me early on because of all the extra time he would spend with me practicing. At the youth level, I loved nothing more than dribbling through as many players as I could to score goals.
I have always loved playing and have been blessed with really great coaches throughout my entire playing career.
I have been lucky enough to continue with my playing career because of the people in my life that encourage and support me to continue to try. I think it’s important to aspire to play at the highest level possible. At the end of the day, they can only say no. When that day comes, I’ll hang up the boots.
How did you get connected with the club for 2010?
I was coaching at Cornell University when I got engaged and my fiancé (now husband) accepted a coaching position with the Seattle Sounders MLS team. Knowing I was moving to the area, I contacted Seattle University and was lucky enough to be hired as an Assistant Coach and heard that the Sounders Women was a high quality, competitive team in the W-League. I contacted the coach and came out for a tryout and was able to play a quality game against the UW to make the team last summer. It was a no brainer to play again this summer… great girls, great coaches, and high level of competition. I couldn’t ask for a better situation.
What is it that you can bring to the Sounders Women, both on the pitch and off, that you think can help the club this season?
I think my coaching experience these past few years at the youth and college level has really helped to develop my game and allowed me a broader perspective, both as a player and coach. I understand now a lot better what it takes to be successful than I did a few years ago.
I also want to be active in the community to promote the women’s game and the team and let people know what a great experience they will have when they come to games.
Tenney sees the open player ahead. (Sounders Women photo)
As a fitness coach and a soccer player, how is getting ‘in shape for soccer’ different than getting in shape for other sports?
The physical demands in soccer require you to be powerful, explosive and able to cover a significant amount of distance for 90 minutes, while making explosive 10 yard runs during that entire time. Those two opposites make it difficult to train for. Soccer players need aerobic fitness, strength and speed. Most other sports don’t require all three.
For me, I have always had a great aerobic base, so I tend to focus on the power aspect of the sport incorporating a lot of lifting and working on short burst sprint workouts to help with my anaerobic capacity. It also doesn’t hurt that my husband is the fitness coach for the Sounders.
Is there such a thing as an “east coast style” and a “west coast style” of play or coaching in women’s soccer at any level? Are you a product or blend of both?
In my opinion, yes, there are two distinct styles of play for both east and west coast. Just watch an ACC game versus a WCC game for proof. Being exposed to both helps you adjust your game accordingly. I have only been on the west coast now for a year, and I’m loving the style of play.
If you had the money to put a WPS pro club in Seattle, would you do it? Why or why not?
Of course! Look at the success that the men have had here in Seattle. They have such a loyal fan base that I think a women’s team would do very well here. There is a need for it, and with the right people on board, it would be a great opportunity to provide young women the chance to play professionally in a city that loves soccer.
What is it like being a player and coach right now in the “Puget Sound soccer scene?”
I have the best job in the world! I am provided the opportunity to be part of an excellent staff at Seattle University and have a great group of fun and talented u12 girls at Eastside FC. With all the buzz around the MLS Sounders team, it’s a great time to be involved in soccer in this area. Seattle truly is a great “soccer city.” I’m really looking forward to what the W. Sounders will accomplish.
Sounders Women to face UW Women’s Soccer in Spring Battle
Match to be televised for free on Comcast On Demand
SoundersWomen.com – The Seattle Sounders Women will play their final preseason exhibition against the University of Washington women’s soccer on Thursday, May 6 at 7 p.m., a match that will air on Comcast On Demand.
The match will take place at Starfire Soccer Complex in Tukwila with game time shifted to 7 p.m., one hour earlier than previously scheduled. Comcast Digital customers can view the game for FREE with On Demand. Tickets for the match are available on the Sounders Women website – www.SoundersWomen.com . Tickets are just $5 for students and $10 for adults. Groups pay $4 & $8.
The Huskies are coming off a solid 2009 campaign in which they advanced to the NCAA Second Round for the second straight season. UW returns leading scorer McKenna Waitley along with All-West Region midfielder Kate Deines, goalkeeper Kari Davidson and top defender Kendyl Pele. All in all, UW returns seven starters from last year’s squad that finished 12-6-4.
The Sounders women’s club competes in the United Soccer League’s W-League, the second-highest level of women’s professional soccer in the U.S. After her release from the UW this spring, Kate Deines will also play for the Sounders Women during the 2010 Season before returning to UW in the fall. This campaign is the 10th year of Sounders Women soccer. They have made the national semi-finals four times in their history. The club finished third last year in the Western Conference.
The Huskies come into the match after their victory of Seattle University last Friday by a score of 1-0. The Sounders Women continued to fine tune their squad over the weekend in a match against Oregon State.
For more information on the Sounders Women, including the schedule, see: www.SoundersWomen.com