by Faye Rapoport
Her bio lists off her accomplishments as an Olympic gold and silver medalist in soccer, a two-time world champion, a member of the WUSA Carolina Courage and a “soccer mom.” Carla Overbeck is all of these, and more.
The Dallas, Texas native and soccer defender/midfielder is one of the most capped players in the history of the U.S. Women’s National Team. As a college player, she helped the UNC Tar Heels win four consecutive NCAA championships from 1986-89. North Carolina did not lose a single game during her time there.
As a U.S. National Team member, Overbeck has appeared in 168 games and was a member of the U.S. team that won the inaugural 1991 Women’s World Cup in China. She captained the 1999 World Cup Champions, the 1996 Olympic gold medal winners and the 1995 World Cup bronze medal-winning team.
On the professional side of her sport, the WUSA, Overbeck scored the Golden Goal in the 2002 semifinal overtime game to propel the Carolina Courage to the Founders Cup Final. As the Captain of the Courage in 2001, she started every game, logging all but 18 minutes.
Overbeck’s 1996 U.S. Olympic Team was recently inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame, recently revived with the help of U.S. Olympic Sponsor Allstate Insurance Company. Now retired from her soccer playing career, Overbeck has time to enjoy family life with her husband Greg Overbeck, her son Jackson and a daughter, Carson Elizabeth.
Just before her trip to the Olympic Hall of Fame ceremony, Overbeck answered a few questions for Foot.com.
Foot.com: Tell us how you got involved in soccer, and what it is that you love about the sport.
Overbeck: I got involved in soccer because my two brothers and sister all played. I love the competition and friendships I have made through the sport of soccer.
Foot.com: How did you work your way up to the Olympic level?
Overbeck: I started out playing on a recreational team at the age of 5 in Dallas, Texas, then played on a travel club team. I also played ODP for North Texas. I was recruited to go to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and made the Olympic/National Team in 1988.
Foot.com: What kind of footwear do you use, and why?
Overbeck: I wear a molded soccer cleat because it works best on grass.
Foot.com: Do you use any special kind of orthotics or footcare products?
Foot.com: This is clearly a sport focused on the feet. What kind of training do you do to strengthen your legs and feet?
Overbeck: We do plyometrics, speed and agility training, fast foot work and weight-lifting.
Foot.com: Do soccer players have to watch out for any common foot or ankle injuries?
Overbeck: Yes, many players tape their ankles prior to practice and games.
Foot.com: Have you ever had any foot injuries or conditions that have affected your play?
Overbeck: No, only knee problems. I fixed them with surgery and rehab.
Foot.com: What are your goals as you continue your soccer career?
Overbeck: My soccer playing career is over. I want to stay in the game by coaching. I am the current assistant coach at Duke University.
Foot.com: Any tips for young players who want to achieve the Olympic and professional level?
Overbeck: Always work hard, and have fun too. If you have dreams and aspirations to be in the Olympics, set goals and work hard to achieve them.