“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”
Thus spoke the famous words of a love-struck Juliet as she pined for her Romeo in Shakespeare’s famous play. In the Rose City, the phrase, “By Any Other Name” was adopted by supporters of Portland Thorns FC to represent the spirit of the team and the club. As Juliet points out, it’s not the name that should matter, it’s what’s inside that counts.” And so too with the Thorns.
This year, to expand on this idea, we've had Germany Women’s National Team legend and Thorns FC goalkeeping coach Nadine Angerer do a series of interviews with players to hear more about who they are in their words, what inspires them, and where their personal stories lead.
But we also want to hear your story.
- READ: By Any Other Name: Meghan Klingenberg
- READ: By Any Other Name: Nadia Nadim
- READ: By Any Other Name: Emily Menges
In the latest interview, Angerer chats with rookie defender, 2016 NWSL College Draft first overall draft pick and U.S. National Team member Emily Sonnett.
ANGERER: Who are you?
SONNETT: Who am I? Who is Emily Sonnett?
ANGERER: Who is Emily? Who is this girl?
SONNETT: I am a 22-year-old out of Atlanta, GA. Went to University of Virginia, now playing for the Portland Thorns, and I am enjoying life.
ANGERER: This is good. What are you enjoying in life?
SONNETT: What am I enjoying in life? I think one, just transitioning to Portland and exploring a new city. Staying on the East Coast for most of my life and now being in Portland, again a new city, is awesome for me. And being young and being able to do that.
ANGERER: What’s your impression of Portland?
SONNETT: It is different but I am starting to love it and really grasp what the community has for us, just for soccer purposes. Great fans, love that part. But overall, it’s been great.
ANGERER: That’s interesting because I fell in love with Portland directly my first year. But what makes it so special? Why do you think it’s different?
SONNETT: I think it’s a different speed. And I think just leaving college and getting adjusted to a more adult lifestyle and professional lifestyle, has been a little bit of a curveball for me. But getting closer to teammates, coaches and being able to actually have time to explore the place that I live is what I’m getting used to.
ANGERER: Do you think it’s a big step from college? Your rookie year in the league and then also in the U.S. National Team?
SONNETT: Yeah. I think the speed of play from the college level to national team and the speed level from college to professional team is very different. Everyone is going to be good. Even just playing in Portland, everyone here is either with their national team, and if not, they’re a very high ranked player. And it’s great coming to practice and being able to get better with such a quality group of teammates.
ANGERER: Yeah, of course. The national team is even faster than here. Do you think it’s good to practice every day with them and get more experience? Is it kind of an everyday challenge even in training, right?
SONNETT: Yeah. I think the important thing is to set goals. You have these little goals that you want to fulfill, and having professional environments like Portland, professional environments with the national team, that’s just what’s going to further my development and being able to reach those goals.
ANGERER: And do you have a very close person here on the team that you can share your thoughts or your experiences with?
SONNETT: I’m very close with Lindsey Horan. We love to get coffee. We love to get smoothies. We go shopping. I’ve known Lindsey [for a while]. We did a U-18 national team camp. And that’s when she went overseas and played in France and I stayed here. But Lindsey is my closest friend, I would say here.
ANGERER: Sometimes it seems like you two are twins. Are you used to being a twin?
SONNETT: [laughter] Yeah, I am [also an actual] twin. My twin sister’s name is Emma Sonnett. She went to the University of Georgia. Just graduated with an Animal Science major. Played all four years for the Georgia Bulldogs and is back in Atlanta.
ANGERER: Is she playing outside back?
SONNETT: She did. She played outside back and center back in her career.
ANGERER: Okay, cool. So you both have the defense gene. You are both defenders.
SONNETT: Yes, but I was a goal scorer in high school and I was a center-mid a little bit in college. I had the most goals in Georgia—After Morgan Brian because she technically lives in Georgia. But when she graduated, I had the most goals.
ANGERER: Okay. Is that change from offense to defense crazy?
SONNETT: Yeah, it was a huge transition. I think when I went to college, there was couple injuries my freshmen year and they needed someone to fill in in the back. And it was a very similar center of the field. So I ended up playing there and I guess I wasn’t bad at it. So they just kept me there.
ANGERER: What did you feel when you first received an invitation for the national team?
SONNETT: I got called in October of my senior year of college. They were playing Brazil and when I got the call, and when they invited me to play, I was like, “Oh!” This is a great time for me to, one, further my development and see if I can actually play at that level. So obviously I’m excited but on the other side you kind of have to relax and be like, ok, it’s time to work, it’s time to see what I can bring to the table.
And going off that then I actually got to play, which is kind of rare. I got to play my first camp and I had to miss my Senior Day for college. So that’s a big deal. I wish I could have been there for my Senior Day but it ended up working out.
ANGERER: So being here, these surroundings, all these national players and world-class players, do you feel like you have good support, that they help you? Teammates that you can talk to?
SONNETT: Yeah. I think when I go into trainings or if I go into camps, I try to pick something from every single player that they do well at, and take what they do and try to implement it into my game. And whether that is encouraging off the field, encouraging on the field, their first touch, the way they’re able to head the ball…I think everyone does something special. So being able to go in, take what Tobin Heath does and try to take some of that and input into my game, I think will help me raise it to the next level.
ANGERER: Yeah. That’s good. I think it’s important that you look at what the others are doing and learning. Always learning.
SONNETT: Yeah, it’s also great. They have so much experience. Obviously, it’s my first year out of college. They’ve been in the game, the professional game, for a while now and whatever advice they have it’s great for me to just soak it up. Whether that’s game situations or training. Whatever to make me better and they’ve obviously done some good things. So it’s good to get their advice.
ANGERER: Yeah. I think it’s just important to have people you really trust. Especially if you are young, everybody tries to help you but you can’t listen to everybody. I think you need some players you really trust. And it doesn’t matter if it’s positive or negative, but you know honesty and then you can improve.
Switching gears. What’s Lindsey Horan’s deepest secret?
SONNETT: Lindsey Horan’s deepest secret?
SONNETT: Let’s see here. I can tell you she really does not like bugs or worms or lizards. Do you remember when we were in Washington and we took all these earthworms and we put them on her stuff and she freaked out? So I don’t know if this is a secret, but she is definitely scared of insects, tiny animals, lizards. That’s just not her thing. But that’s the only thing I can think of.
ANGERER: What do you do in your free time?
SONNETT: My free time I am cooking.
ANGERER: Are you a good cook?
SONNETT: I am. I think I am.
ANGERER: What do you like to cook?
SONNETT: My favorite dish to cook is stuffed peppers. Do you know what that is? Like huge ball peppers, you put the black beans, quinoa, corn. Yeah, great healthy dish. It’s my favorite. But if I’m not cooking, I’m either going out and finding a new place to eat, getting coffee with Lindsey, or I’ve actually been in the Council Crest Park. Have you been there?
SONNETT: It’s one of the highest points in Portland where you can see all three of the mountains. You can see Mt. Hood, St. Helens, all of them. They’ve got a dog park up there so I’ve rode up there about four or five times to see the view of the city.
ANGERER: And would you prefer to read a book in your free time or would you say that you would want more TV?
SONNETT: I’m a little bit of both. But I would say TV… Book before bed, TV during the day. And one of my favorite shows is… I keep watching two: Friends and Glee.
ANGERER: Friends I know. I’ve heard about it but…
SONNETT: Glee? Glee is like a singing musical thing. And I really like music. It’s like really funny and….
ANGERER: What kind of music do you like?
SONNETT: Music that I like? I really like country.
ANGERER: I love it. Yes.
SONNETT: Do you like country?
ANGERER: Yeah, I do like it.
SONNETT: So we would go to country concerts all the time growing up but then go into Virginia and getting pumped for games were different, more like…
ANGERER: This techno.
SONNETT: Yeah. Great beats, fast paced music. It’s pretty good.
ANGERER: So you don’t like the music before the games in the locker room.
SONNETT: No, I do. You’ve got to make it that switch, but if I’m just relaxing it’s going to be country. Another one is going to be pop, hip-hop.
ANGERER: And then this TV show. Chee? Clee?
SONNETT: Glee. It’s like singing.
SONNETT: It’s like they act and they they’ll do popular songs. Like they’ll do Rihanna songs, Lady Gaga…And they will just perform songs. It’s like based in a high school and they are all struggling with different things and then they all sing about it.
ANGERER: Okay. I’ve never heard about it.
SONNETT: It’s really good. Check it out.
ANGERER: Okay. Last question. You list watching movies as a hobby. What’s your top three? And what’s your favorite actor, actress, director.
SONNETT: My top three movies would be…
ANGERER: It’s a hard question.
SONNETT: I know. There’s just so many.
ANGERER: Say one or two.
SONNETT: What a Girl Likes. That’s with Amanda Bynes. Amanda Bynes is one of my favorite actresses and she was a kid actor and I really liked her. And then a movie called Love and Other Drugs, with Anne Hathaway. She’s my other favorite actress. So like I could always watch Princess Diaries 1 and 2. I don’t know if you’ve seen that. But they are like Disney movies and they’re great. Any Disney movie really I’m in love with, I like to watch. But my favorite actresses I would say are Amanda Bynes and Anne Hathaway.
ANGERER: Okay. Good. One more last question. If you can choose one week on the beach or one week in the mountains, what would you choose?
SONNETT: Beach. Because I never get to go there. [laughter] Beach like Miami or Hawaii. I went to Hawaii for like a week it was raining, I didn’t get to go on the beach that much. So either back to Hawaii or Miami.
ANGERER: The Oregon beaches are not far away from here, right, you can go to the beach. It’s like one hour drive. Cannon Beach.
SONNETT: The coast. They filmed a movie there called The Goonies. Do you know what that is?
SONNETT: You need to watch The Goonies. It’s really funny. They film the beach scenes there.
ANGERER: Okay. You will have to write it down.