Whitney Engen was on hand at the Boston Breakers jersey reveal on Thursday night. She took a minute to answer a few questions about the Breakers back line, the USWNT's wage discrimination case, and the Olympic draw.
The Bent Musket: Welcome to the team. How are you feeling about Boston?
Whitney Engen: Boston's been great. I just kind of got settled. I had a long trip with the US team and I'm just getting back, getting my feet, but Boston's been nothing but welcoming and I'm starting to get to know the city a little bit more and the team's coming together, and to be able to kick off our season this weekend with this great event and all these fans is really awesome.
TBM: You're kind of coming in and being asked to anchor that back line right away and I was just talking to Cat [Whitehill] and she said you've been doing a great job and becoming a vocal leader, which the team needs. How are you feeling about coming into a back line and assuming a leadership role?
WE: I think that there's a lot of experience on the back line. The girls that I'm playing with have been playing almost as long as I have and I think that it's been nice to get some practices together. Back line's really just kind of about cohesion and I think that we've got a pretty good chemistry and we've clicked pretty quickly so that's always great. Like anything you just want to come in and perform for the city that you're playing in.
TBM: The back line's also picked up some younger players especially the rookie Christen [Westphal] and I think Brooke [Elby] is still pretty new despite being a little older. Are you taking on a mentorship role with the younger kids, the rookies?
WE: I mean, for me, I honestly just try and go out and do my best every day in training and obviously if they have any questions or whatever I'm happy to help, but at the end of the day I think that we're all a team and you know, they have questions, I'm here, but I'm not trying to mother anybody. You know? They're great players, they've got great skillsets, and they're gonna do just fine in this league.
TBM: Becky [Sauerbrunn] gave an interview on a media call yesterday and she really wanted to focus on the league and said the team hasn't really discussed how a potential boycott would affect NWSL clubs. Do you have any thoughts on that?
WE: We have representatives within the team that are handling those questions. We've got a commission that we've elected, Becky's on that commission, so I'm gonna leave it to them to do the talking points. Hopefully it all works out because at the end of the day all we want to do is represent our country in the best way we know how, but we also need to fight for what's right for women. Equal pay for equal play. It's an important topic and we have a chance to hopefully make an impact with that and we're hoping for the best possible outcome.
TBM: The Olympic draw was also today. Did you see the group the United States got drawn into? That's France, New Zealand, and Colombia. France maybe the heavy hitter in that, but New Zealand's no sleeper and Colombia, we'll see. So out of that group, how are you feeling?
WE: I mean, only 12 teams go to the Olympics. Every team that's there is high quality. Every game's going to be a challenge. We're not going to take anybody lightly. At the end of the day it's going to take a great performance in every single game and if we give nothing short of our best I think we'll find some success, but at the end of the day, every team's going to be a great team.