Q&A: Thorns FC’s Nikki Marshall

Nikki talks life outside of soccer, USWNT call-up and love of Portland’s public transit

Nikki Marshall Feature 2014

Photo Credit: 
Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Thorns FC

Editor’s note: This Q&A with Nikki Marshall was taken from the Thorns FC match-day program. For each home match, one Thorns FC player is featured in a Q&A. See who this week’s featured player is as Thorns FC take on the Washington Spirit on Sunday at Providence Park at 2 p.m. (Pacific).

Last season you often took public transport to and from training at Providence Park. Do you still use public transit this year?
“Yes, I love public transportation. I didn’t have a car last year, by choice. I enjoyed it. I like public transit because you get to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet. I think Portland has one of the best public transportation systems in all the cities I’ve lived in. I’ve only taken my car to a few cities that I’ve been in, so I love it. I love the MAX and the buses. Sometimes, I still use public transit. I have a car this year, but last year I only used public transportation.”

You were recently called into your first-ever U.S. Women’s National Team camp. What was that experience like?
“It was pretty much exactly how I thought it was going to be. It was cut-throat and intimidating, but just being around those players and being able to talk to them about their experience [was great]. I roomed with Amy Rodriguez. I picked her brain and she let me talk to her the whole time. She went in when she was like 16-years old, so she’s a seasoned veteran and we got to talk. The whole experience was incredible. Everything I’d hoped for and kind of everything I expected.”

You have a full-time job on top of being a professional athlete. What is it like balancing the two commitments?
“It’s difficult. It’s definitely not easy. I have a lot of great people around me, supporting me. At Avnet Technology, which is where I work, they know that soccer is my first priority, so they’re very flexible. I just put in those work hours outside of soccer work hours. I’m working a lot, probably 30-40 hours a week outside of soccer, but just on weird off times and on weekends when we have more time or during game days or when we have a little bigger break I get some more work in.”

When you were a senior at the University of Colorado, your sister was a freshman and you both played on the women’s team. How was that experience of playing with your sister?
“That was probably the best soccer experience of my career, just being able to play with my sister. She’s my best friend and being able to not only mentor her, but also just be her teammate was awesome. It was a cool experience, unlike anything I could ever really describe.”