Playing professionally abroad- a dream job with hidden challenges

Athletes Abroad

Getting paid to travel the world and pursue your professional athlete career seems a no-brainer. A dream come true for many athletes. But how does the reality of the life of an athlete abroad look like? Is it as adventurous, exciting and exhilarating as expected? Or does the bubble burst pretty quickly after stepping off the plane in your new “home away from home”? We interviewed and surveyed over a hundred professional athletes from all kinds of sports (soccer, volleyball, basketball, hockey, American football, etc.) these and a few more questions to explore their motivation, challenges and perceived integration abroad.

Good news first: Almost all of them (99%) recommend the life as an athlete abroad to others that are contemplating the move overseas. When we asked athletes what motivated them most to go abroad and play professionally, the number one answer was the search for new challenges (78%), closely followed…

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NWSL attendance figures match leagues worldwide

According to Women’s Soccer United, the home of worldwide women’s football, in the opening two weeks of the NWSL attendance matched that of other clubs around the world. The full report  has the NWSL at the top of list with 16,116 in attendance in the opening week with four matches and 23,321 in week two with four matches. These figures speak to the growing popularity of women’s professional soccer in the United States and hope that the league can sustain itself.


NIU goalkeeper Amy Carr heads to Sweden


NIU Goalkeeper Amy Carr is set to play professionally in Sweden after graduation this May. (Photo by Rob Winner)

NIU Goalkeeper Amy Carr is set to play professionally in Sweden after graduation this May. (Photo by Rob Winner)

Northern Illinois University women’s soccer player Amy Carr is taking the big step to the pro circuit following her graduation this year. Carr will be playing professional soccer for the Idrettslaget Sandviken women’s football club in Sweden. With a successful four years at NIU under her belt, Carr is taking her talent to the third highest level of play in women’s soccer in Sweden with the 1. Divisjon (First Division).

Here’s more on her story:

WSOC: Former Syracuse midfielder Mottershead signs with Germany’s SC Sand

Josh Hyber, Sports Writer

Former Syracuse midfielder Alyscha Mottershead has signed a contract with SC Sand of the 2nd Bundesliga in Germany, she announced on Twitter Wednesday morning.

In three years with the Orange, from 2010 to 2012, Mottershead registered seven goals and four assists. After transferring from Iowa her sophomore year, the Brampton, Ont., native played a major role in turning around the SU program.

In her first season at Syracuse, the team went from 5-11-3 to 6-9-5.

In her senior season, Mottershead scored the game-winning goal in overtime of Syracuse’s season opener against Colgate and capped the year off with a goal on senior day against St. John’s. She also scored game-winning goals against Seton Hall and Rutgers.

“I don’t think I’d be where I am today if it wasn’t for the program I had at Syracuse,” Mottershead said. “It was a pleasure playing there and it’s exciting to be able to…

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Jamaica Has a Soccer Team! For Now

141 BLOG


Very similar to the story in the 1993 movie Cool Runnings, the Jamaica women’s national soccer team can finish in the top three of its group in a qualifying campaign beginning this year, it books itself a trip to the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.

If the money doesn’t dry up first.

Their qualifying campaign is currently threatened by something more fearsome than any opposing goalie, defense or striker: A lack of funding that might nullify the squad’s World Cup chances, no matter how well the players perform.

To raise money, the Reggae Girlz have resorted to using crowd funding site GoFundMe. With only $20,000 of the $750,000 goal met, the Reggae Girlz will need a fundraising comeback for their shot.

But hey — if the kindness of strangers can help send the Jamaican bobsled team to the 2014 Winter Olympics, then anything is possible.

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30 for 30: Soccer Stories, A Look Back and Ahead

ESPN making efforts to feature some of soccer’s greatest stories.

Salmon Says...


ESPN’s fantastic 30 for 30 film series took an adventurous step last January announcing a set of films that will focus solely on soccer stories ahead of the World Cup coming in June (which will also be broadcast on ESPN). The move took gumption on the part of the media giant as the United States has little soccer history outside of the past 20 years meaning the films center around events in foreign countries and majority of them requiring subtitles for speech.

Those aspects could drive away an audience but soccer fans rejoiced at the news and the momentum that the 30 for 30 series built up, suggested those with no knowledge of the events or passion for the sport could still be sucked in.

A group of seven films are in the process of being shown that wrap up on May 6. The eighth, a profile of Argentina star…

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How women’s professional sports salaries compare

Ever wonder what women’s professional soccer players get paid compared to other women’s professional athletes? An article from looks at salaries women’s can earn playing professional sports in 2014. It also ranks the top sports women should pursue if they want to make money playing sports professionally. Overall women can earn the most money playing tennis and seven of the ten highest paid women athletes in 2013 were tennis players. Women’s soccer falls at number four in the list, and that is largely due to the fact that women’s soccer salaries are all over the place, from $1 million down to $6,000 a year.



How professional women’s soccer in Sweden compares to America

Can Women’s Pro Soccer Work In America? An Investigation, In Sweden
European soccer world is by no means ideal, but according to Alison McCann, a former WPS player, the stability of Sweden women’s soccer is evident through the success of Swedish powerhouse Tyresö. Tyresö is currently one of the best women’s soccer clubs in the world and one of the 12 teams in Damallsvenskan, Sweden’s top women’s league. And with 5 Americans on the team those players have chosen to slide by professional soccer in the U.S. and make their careers in Sweden for a successful club.

The women of the Damallsvenskan are thriving. And a little part of that, a small reason, might be the fact that in Sweden they don’t have to worry about how to sell more tickets or carve out more time for appearances. They don’t have to worry if they’ll have jobs come next season. The Damallsvenskan will still be there.



The Equalizer highlights latest international women’s soccer news

Women's professional soccer has grown into a worldwide sport.

Women’s professional soccer has grown into a worldwide sport at a highly competitive level.

The Equalizer is the #1 source for women’s professional soccer news. For the latest stories in the international realm check out and find out what American athletes are doing abroad.

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