I played volleyball, basketball, softball, and I started to love soccer the most around 7-8 years old because it was a physical game. I could use my speed and strength to my advantage.
What I really appreciate is the people who come up and say, 'Thank you for representing our country.'
With me and Portland, it wasn't moving anywhere. I wasn't given a bigger role as I played more and more with the club. I felt I could have been utilized in a bigger way.
I feel like you have to use the platform you're given to voice concerns and also to praise things when they need to be praised.
Once I got to college, I realized that practicing 3-6 days wasn't going to be enough for me to get where I wanted.
I know the trend I would love to bring back is floral. I think that it's just so much fun, whether it's with shoes or outfits or even pants.
Even when I'm training alone, I always prefer doing soccer-related stuff. On my own, I'll run through cones or do some shooting exercises or pass the ball against the wall.
Scoring a goal in a World Cup was my dream as a little girl. I didn't really dream of being in 'Maxim' when I was 5.
I think it's important to keep things positive. Sometimes you don't win, and that sucks, and you work on improving.
I feel like I'm always looking to continue improving myself. I'm always looking to win. I'm super competitive, so going into the Olympics, I feel like that's nothing different.
One thing I'm proud to do like a girl is represent my country in the Olympics and at the highest level, at the highest platform that I can.
I wasn't the most technical player. But I was fast, and if I push the ball past a player, I can get there. Everyone always made fun of me in a good way for that.
My off-pitch style is probably girly and comfortable. I like a lot of loose-fitting material on top and more tight-fitting material on the bottom.
I could be a model for one night. But I'm also a professional soccer player, and I like to be taken seriously on the field.
Music is so huge to soccer, to my life, to working out. I usually have headphones when I'm cleaning the house or making dinner.
I don't really have many regrets. I did miss a lot of the events in the days leading up to my sister's wedding because I was at a U17 camp. There were moments like that growing up when I felt like I focused too much on soccer. But that's probably the reason I am where I am today.
I don't want to say names, but there are certain companies I won't work with because of previous people they've worked with. I don't want to be put in the same category as another athlete that I don't necessarily think is a good role model.
People know there's more than one side to me. You can have beauty and brains and athletic ability. You can switch up the cleats for heels once in a while. You can do both.
I would like to win the Ballon d'Or for women. But every top professional should have that ambition.
My dad has been to every soccer game that I've played in, both at the amateur level and at the professional level, and he always had great things to say whether we won or we lost, whether I felt great or not so great.
I could always score goals. I loved that feeling of having your team look to you, that feeling of leadership.
I'm a big advocate of starting soccer young and always having the ball at your foot, but that's because I didn't do that. If I'd focused more on that when I was a kid, it would've been so helpful. It took me, like, halfway through college to feel comfortable with the ball.
Whenever people say 'women's soccer,' I want to correct them to say 'soccer.' Every girl has had their sport diminished because they're girls.
I always map out how to get a good eight or nine hours of sleep before I even start my day. And my rule is to put my phone on silent when I go to bed; that way, no texts or emails can disturb me.
To force a change, sometimes you need to stand up. You know what you're worth -- rather than what your employer is paying you.
I find my motivation from everyone who looks up to me and my teammates. From the little girls that look up to me and tell me they want to be like me when they grow up.
I went from never doing interviews to doing 10 in one day and standing in front of 60,000 fans. Now people look up to me, and I'm seeing little girls wearing my jersey.
My goal against Italy in the World Cup qualifier was probably my most memorable: we had to go to Italy and had to win, or we wouldn't go to the World Cup, and I scored in stoppage time.
When people say, 'You run like a girl; you play like a girl,' it's not what it used to be. That shouldn't be negative. You should be proud to play like a girl.
I have a couple of go-to sneakers off the pitch. I like to have shoes that I can slip on and wear with anything. I travel often, so it's about finding those two or three pairs of shoes that can go with any outfit, whether they go with leggings or a skirt or a dress or jeans.
In the 123rd minute of the semifinal game at the Olympics against Canada, I scored the game-winning goal that brought us to the finals. You can't replicate those do-or-die moments in practice or a friendly game.
At home, my mom and my dad shared equally in the responsibilities of the family and our home and always demonstrated the importance of men and women having an equal role.
I want to keep improving, continue to help my teammates improve, make my teammates look good. Continue bringing something new to the game, never getting completely content and always trying to get better.
My goal is to show girls that I'm fighting so they don't have to, so they don't have to fight the same battles, so they don't have to fight for wage equality or whatever it may be.
I want young girls to dream about being professional soccer players instead of just watching the boys go out and play.
I'm never just on the couch. Being busy is part of who I am. But it's hard juggling my family, my husband, balancing that time.
I start warming up before training an hour before at the hotel. That's not because I feel old and my body needs it. It's because it's prehab. It's preventing those injuries.
At the FIFA World Player of the Year event, FIFA executives and FIFA president Sepp Blatter didn't know who I was. And I was being honored as top three in the world. That was pretty shocking.
Really get to know and establish relationships with your teammates because they are your new family and they will be the ones there for you when anything goes wrong.
The head-banging music gives me a headache. Katy Perry is fun, Rihanna, old-school '90s hip-hop. Salt-N-Pepa. I like listening to that. Get the nerves out before the games.
Ninety percent of the time, when I put on my headphones, I forget to turn on my music. Literally 10 minutes will go by before I realize that there's no music.
Messi is out of this world. Scoring 86 goals this year... In 2012. What an incredible accomplishment.
Every time you step onto the field, you have to set goals. My goals are to either score a goal, to have an assist, or to play well.
There's those young girls that I once was, looking up to Mia Hamm, Christine Lilly, all those players, and I know how much of an effect they had on me. Knowing that, I feel like I'm in a position where I can really help be a positive influence in girls' lives.
I don't think the entire world respects women in sport. But if FIFA start respecting the women's game more, others will follow.
I have done 'Sports Illustrated,' but I don't regret it because it portrayed me in a positive way -- as an athlete.
I always, always decide where I'm going with the ball before I take a penalty shot, stare at the ball, follow through, and never look at the place that I'm going to shoot.
I think it's huge, especially in team sports, for players to be able to rely on each other and to really trust in each other.
When I play on grass, my body doesn't ache. It can get sore, but it doesn't pulse, and my legs don't ache. When I play on turf, my legs can pulse and ache for up to 24 hours, and it could take 3-5 days to recover, whereas grass, after 24 hours, I'm ready to play again.
Pregame, I eat pancakes for a meal. I always do mental visualization before the game to prepare myself. Postgame, I typically take ice baths.
I am hugely honored to represent my country in the Olympics and in World Cups, and I'm grateful for all the advantages being a professional soccer player brings my way -- the opportunities to see the world, the camaraderie and friendships, and more.
It's an obstacle being a girl when you move all over and don't have half the things you need. It's like everything is wrinkled in your life.
I love yoga. There's a lot of stretching involved, which helps with my flexibility and injury prevention. Vinyasa is my favorite as a recovery tool and for me to continue having my legs feel good.
Soccer is what I grew up doing -- it's my passion, and I'm way more comfortable on the field in my soccer cleats.
I really try to take a step back from the soccer world and going a thousand miles an hour every day. I like to do some sort of either meditation or mental visualization or breathing exercises -- something to calm my mind down because a lot of times, it's just going faster than it should.
Social media has come a long way. With the good has come some bad, and you always have a lot of people hiding behind their computers and being very critical of what you do on and off the field, of what you tweet, of what you say, of everything you do.
Around the age of 14, I was very discouraged from a coach. It was my first youth club team while playing soccer. She told me at the time that I wasn't good enough to play on the team, that I would never get into the game.
Sportsmanship is definitely an important thing in all sports. In soccer, we all respect each other on such a high level, between Sweden and Brazil and Japan or whatever team it is.
As a professional soccer player, I need to get touches on the ball every day, and obviously it's a lot easier to do that with a team than to motivate yourself to do it by yourself.
I certainly don't feel like I have the perfect body type... It's through your own eyes. And for every female, you're going to see flaws in that; you're going to see flaws regardless. So for me, it's just important to have that confidence and self-esteem no matter what body type you have.
I really started to enjoy Instagram more recently because it's something that shows people what I'm doing and what I'm going through, but it's so simple. I don't have to come up with something witty; it's just a funny photo, and you can be as artistic or as plain Jane as you want.
Always work hard, never give up, and fight until the end because it's never really over until the whistle blows.
It wasn't until 1999 when my idols Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly took home the women's World Cup trophy at the Rose Bowl in front of 40 million TV viewers that I remember thinking how rare it was to see women play sports on TV.