However, communication and understanding between Carler, the center-back and her teammates took a long time to develop.
She said: “In the Netherlands we are very direct, especially on the pitch. You communicate fast and loudly, and everyone knows what is expected of them.
“And when he came here[naar de VS]came over, everyone thought, ‘Dang, okay, that’s what you wanna do. “
It was team-building activities such as coffee shop tours, movies, and game nights that helped Carler and his colleagues understand each other better. And she remembered an unforgettable road trip to Dana Point, Calif., With the team. Although she has never surfed before, she said “trying to catch waves” was a great experience with her teammates.
Callie Darst, the young woman who played in the back with Carlier, considers her a great model. But in a team with so many international players, serious conversations have to take place.
“I think it ultimately boiled down to a conversation we needed to be having, like, ‘Hey, this is what we’re used to,'” Darst said of the different styles of communication. .
Winkworth said the Dutch could make a surprising appearance, but after the team figured out Carler, they liked her.
“Laiski is a very experienced player so when she speaks her teammates listen,” he said.
The coach said it’s not just about how she communicates with her team, but also strives to understand her teammates and coaches.
Carler’s leadership, football skills and playing experience in the Netherlands and the United States, with different styles of football, helped ASU achieve an 8-1-1 start to the season.
“At home, we focus a lot on the tactics – the technical skills – and less on the physicality, the desire and the culture around it,” Carler said.
The defender represented her national Under-17 and Under-19 team and in 2019 she played in the UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship.
Winkworth said the Dutch defender still retains possession, but is adapting to the American style – playing faster and more physically.
But football was not the only change.
Dutch is the official language in the Netherlands, but English, French and German are spoken in major cities.
Carler, a student at Barrett Honorary College at Arizona State University studying kinesiology, recalled how difficult it was to attend her first English class. Although she took English lessons in the Netherlands, it was difficult at first to read, write and formulate ideas in English.
Another adaptation was American food culture, which was very different from what she was used to – at least in some ways.
“The biggest difference is that we cook at home and I think Americans eat out all the time. Or eat here and there, ”Carler said.
She added that her family don’t always eat the typical Dutch meal – potatoes, meat and vegetables. They enjoy a wide variety of cuisines from different countries, but always prepare food as a family.
Family time and food are important to her parents and two brothers.
“I feel like I’m in America, it’s a matter of time efficiency. Everyone is like ‘time is money’, ”she said. “I don’t have time to eat,” she said.
Carler said American food can be found in the Netherlands, but she had never tried acai bowls before moving to the United States – and she loves them. However, some traditional American dishes do not satisfy her.
“Macaroni and cheese are not my favorite,” she said with a laugh. “I wouldn’t order it myself. I don’t understand what’s good about it. “
Despite their differences, the United States has family in both countries. His Dutch family, who organize long weekend Facetimes, and his family play football at Arizona State University.
“Sure, sometimes you want a hug (from my family in the Netherlands), but now I’ve started a family here,” Carler said.
The defender’s dream is to play professional football in Europe and to be selected for the Dutch national team. But for now, his goal is to help his team give new impetus to the NCAA Championships in November.
Carler’s soccer dreams aside, her teammate says her admiration extends beyond the confines of the pitch.
“There’s more for the eyes,” Darst said. “I think it’s easy to see her as a super competitive footballer, and she’s basically dedicated her life to the sport.
“But when people start to know her, she seems like a really cool person outside of football.”
For more stories from Cronkite News, visit cronkitenews.azpbs.org.
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