The American dream of ADO goalkeeper Mike Van Klink

The American dream of ADO goalkeeper Mike Van Klink

Although she has not yet wandered the corridors of Florida International University (FIU), Mikey Van Klink (22) already has a good idea of ​​this campus in Miami (USA). “I did a virtual tour,” laughs ADO goalkeeper Den Haag. “When you enter the campus hall, you see the flags of all the countries the students come from. There are probably a hundred, an impressive sight.”

De Voorschoten can’t wait to settle in Miami this summer, to pursue a master’s degree in ‘world affairs’ and – and perhaps most importantly – become the first goalkeeper for the FIU Panthers, the local university’s women’s soccer team. This team plays in Division 1 College Soccer, America’s highest ranked among colleges and non-professionals.

“I also spoke to the coach of the team online. He spoke at length about the type of club game, where he attacked with good accumulation from behind. So they want a goalkeeper who plays football, and a good goalkeeper with the ball at their feet. They have seen videos of me and think I am a perfect fit. For their kind of game. Nice compliment.”

annoying

In July, Van Klink will cross the Atlantic and bring the illustrious football season to an end in The Hague. On the wings of ADO Stadium, in a white T-shirt behind a desk and a glass of water in hand, she talks about “college football”. “You can’t play for a university team unless you’re already studying at that school. My master’s degree lasts for two years, after which I have to play football somewhere else, haha. It sounds strange, but it has advantages,” Van Klink says.

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[Tekst gaat verder onder afbeelding.]

Photo: DHC/Anniek Molle

“Look, sometimes it’s hard to combine sports and study in the Netherlands. You have an exam on Friday, so to speak, and a match against Ajax the next day. This breaks the preparations for the match. Besides, all the girls have a different agenda. Work and study varies from person to person.” This is not a concern in America.Football and study seamlessly blend in with each other.So there are no exams about big competitions.For example,in the first half of the year,the focus is on football,from February,when the competition ends,the lectures are And exams are more important.”

She continues, “And you know what else I like?” “The participation is great. The university also has a basketball team and a volleyball team. And these teams are always in the stands at each other’s matches. There is always a lot of atmosphere around the matches, in the stadiums that are full.” According to Van Klink, it says something about women’s soccer life in the United States. “American women are world champions, and the sport is very big there. It continues at the university level. For example, the facilities on the sports campus are state-of-the-art. And a lot of scouts from professional clubs are watching the universities,” she laughs. “This is a dream for me.”

Mike van Klink’s debut against Ajax

However, leaving ADO is not easy for her. “Women’s football has grown so much here in recent years, more fans in the stands, more matches on TV. I’ve experienced this process up close, and letting it go now and being away from it seems strange. Plus, I made friends. A lifetime at ADO in five years. I saw more of my teammates than my brother and sister.”

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