Q&A with Washington Spirit’s Kelsey Wys
1. What was your path to your current team?
I got drafted from Florida State in 2014 to play for the Western New York Flash, where I played my rookie season. I was then traded in the off season to the Washington DC Spirit, where I played my second and third seasons and am now returning for my fourth season in the league and third season with the Spirit.
2. What are the biggest differences from college to pro?
I would say that the biggest difference from college to pro is the speed of play, physicality and the overall talent level of each player across the league.
3. What changes have you specifically made to adjust to pro?
The biggest change I made, and am still working on, is communication. Since the game is faster, you have to learn how to read and anticipate the game better in order to communicate more effectively a lot faster than at the college level.
4. What does a typical day look like in season?
A typical day in-season for me would be to wake up around 7:45, get ready, have breakfast, arrive at the Soccerplex around 8:45-9:00 where our team watches video or has a meeting, then we do our prehab (foam rolling, trigger point therapy, stretching, etc.) and go out to the field for training. Training ends around 11:30-12:00. The rest of the day is usually low key, hanging out at a coffee shop or with teammates.
5. Favorite Dynasty memory?
Favorite Dynasty memory was the overall environment of the camp and how it felt like a little family for the few days we spent together.
6. How did Dynasty help you prepare for pro?
Dynasty helped prepare me for the pros by hitting on every single little aspect of goalkeeping, and being provided with such detailed feedback on each aspect so that you left knowing what your strengths and weaknesses were.
7. What was the training environment like with Ashlyn Harris? What things did you pick up on from her and her experience? Did she remember coaching you at Dynasty when you were younger?
Training with Ash was fun. We shared some great memories that make me laugh every time I think of them. Ash is a very technical goalkeeper, my favorite thing about her game is how good/brave she is at 1v1s. She did remember coaching me at Dynasty.
8. You have now played with 2 different clubs during your pro career, what are some of the differences between Western NY Flash & Washington Spirit?
There are so many differences between playing for the WNY Flash and Spirit, I would say the biggest differences for me are the style of play and the overall difference of living in a city like Buffalo and D.C. I really enjoy D.C. as a city.
9. You have now played in a NCAA College Cup Championship game and a NWSL Championship game, how do they compare?
Being able to play on the highest stage of collegiate soccer and now the highest in professional soccer, I would say they had similar feelings simply because it was the highest level and because the way they both ended similarly in overtime and pk loses. As a player these are the games we dream to play in so they both felt equally as important and unfortunately equally disappointing.
10. You recently traveled abroad to play with the Newcastle Jets in Australia. What prompted you to decide to play abroad in the NWSL offseason and how did you get connected with a team in Australia?
I decided that after my last two off seasons of just training at my college that it was time to broaden my horizons and take the chance at an overseas experience. I liked the idea of being able to continue to get games in and to be in a routine training environment with a team. Some of my teammates from the Spirit had formerly played for the Jets and were also planning to go back again. I had heard nothing but good things about their experience of living and playing in Newcastle, so one of my teammates connected me with the coach of the Jets. I really enjoyed my training and playing experience despite how it ended.
(Note: Kelsey unfortunately tore her ACL shortly after arriving in Newcastle and will miss the beginning of the NWSL as she recovers from surgery)