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Red Eleven's Keli McLaughlin
W-League translates into collegiate success for Iowa’s McLaughlin

USL Feature Article

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

IOWA CITY, IOWA – Keli McLaughlin helped the Chicago Red Eleven complete a 10-1-1 season in the W-League’s Midwest Division this past summer. For her trouble, McLaughlin has been rewarded with her best collegiate season to date, netting nine goals and an assist for the 9-10-0 Hawkeyes. The junior midfielder from Alsip, Illinois had a moment this past weekend to discuss the advantages of playing in the W-League with Describe the differences in play (speed/style of play) between the W-League and your collegiate season.

McLaughlin: I don’t believe there is much of a difference in the physical level of play. But the speed and style of play is different on every team you play with. Playing with the W-league team, the players obviously have more experience than most college-level players. I personally learned to be more patient. Not every play is going to go the way you want it. As a player you need to take a situation and make it effective in the game. Did you come into camp a step ahead of your teammates physically or mentally? 

McLaughlin: Playing in the W-league was definitely an advantage for me. I knew the things I needed to do prior to pre season, so that way during pre season I could work on more things. Physically my tackles were a lot stronger than before. Mentally I just had a better understanding of what it takes to get things done. If you were a college coach, would you be for or against your players playing in the W-League.

McLaughlin: Yes! I think it is one of the best decisions I have made in my soccer career. Although it is time consuming and tiring, it is worth it. Who is the best player you have ever played/trained alongside?

I don’t know about the best player, but the player I have learned the most from while playing is a girl on my team named Nicole Slevin. She is a defender on my team and when we scrimmage in practice she makes me work and I believe most of the reason I beat people in games is because of playing against her in practice.
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