Ramona soccer player meets with young athletes before heading to Holland

As #23, Courtney “Coco” Goodson plays for the University of California Irivne Anteaters, playing center fullback.   Photo courtesy  of Lynn Knowd
As #23, Courtney “Coco” Goodson plays for the University of California Irivne Anteaters, playing center fullback. Photo courtesy of Lynn Knowd

By Lynn Knowd

Ramona soccer player Courtney “Coco” Goodson is continuing her professional soccer career in Holland.

Before the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) disbanded earlier this year, Goodson was the 12th player drafted overall in the WPS by the Philadelphia Independence.

Goodson’s heart was still set on professional soccer so she looked internationally and chose Holland and the team FC Twente as her home and family away from Ramona.

Before she left in June, Goodson sat down with a small group of aspiring female soccer players in Ramona Oaks Park to share information about her life and to “kick it” around a bit.

Goodson began by telling them about her beginnings as a soccer player. She was 8 years old when she played her first Intra game for Ramona. Intra is the name given to travel soccer teams in Ramona.

Goodson said she didn’t know much about soccer but had the competitive spirit from also participating in softball and swimming. She said her parents chose travel soccer, as opposed to recreational, because recreational was coed then and they thought she might get hurt—something she and her parents laugh about now.

Over the years, Goodson tried out different soccer clubs, from Pegasus to the Surf, and eventually ended up playing in Camarillo, 120 miles away, for The Eagles. While Goodson played for The Eagles, the team won four national championships.

When she was a middle school athlete, Goodson decided she had to focus just on soccer. She believed if she could progress, soccer could help pay her way through higher education.

Goodson attended Cathedral Catholic High School and received a full ride scholarship to play college soccer in Texas for the Longhorns. She stayed in Texas for two years and  then switched to University of California Irvine (UCI) to finish her college soccer and education, which she said proved to be a better fit. Goodson was the highest collegiate defender her junior year.

When asked what advice would she give the young athletes, Goodson didn’t hesitate in respond- ing, “Work hard on and off the field, always practice when you are not at an official practice, and find the right coach for you, you must have good communication with them.”

Goodson answered questions from the girls at the park and signed soccer balls, photos and shirts,  and took pictures with all of them.

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Courtney “Coco” Goodson, in back, talks soccer with, from left: Cheyenne Stevens, Riley Thornton, Ryan Din, Grace Knowd, Maddie Knowd, Sidney Din, Chloe Knowd and Sophie Seol at Ramona Oaks Park. Photo courtesy of Lynn Knowd

Then she demonstrated her hard, long kick that she is known for by kicking the ball from the pool area to the playgound area at Ramona Oaks Park.

The young athletes requested a scrimmage with Goodson and she demonstrated her fancy footwork and camaraderie.

Whenever anyone scored, she reminded them to “celebrate together,” by flying like airplanes together through the pitch.

   
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