Fuel Soccer Talk: Stanford’s Catarina Macario wins Player of the Year – again; Health tips for families on the road; More honors for Megan Rapinoe

Are we seeing a once in a generation type of player?

Stanford’s Catarina Macario was named espnW women’s NCAA Soccer Player of the Year for the third time in a row. Only a junior, Macario led the nation with 32 goals and 23 assists, the first to double up since Kerri Hanks in 2006. Only five Division I players ever scored more goals in a season, and Christine Sinclair was the only one to do so in the past 20 years. The same Sinclair who will soon set the world record with Canada for the most goals scored in an international career.

“She’s got the unique combination of athleticism, skill, and she has an IQ about her,” USC coach Keidane McAlpine said of a player his team has faced plenty. “She plays with a level of smarts that separates her a little bit. All of those things put together give her a confidence that she can pull off whatever she wants to pull off. I think that part is the part that has made her special.”

Stanford knocked off North Carolina 5-4 on penalty kicks after a scoreless draw Sunday night in the NCAA championship game. The Cardinal (24-1) won their third overall title and first since 2017. North Carolina (24-2-1) lost for the fifth time in 26 national appearances.

Catarina Macario is the type of player every young player should read more about. She is setting a new bar in women’s collegiate soccer.


Five tips to help families maintain a healthy diet while on the road

Erika Sharp, RD, CSSD, is the director of nutrition for Pro/Elite Sports. She understands how difficult it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle for families on the move, especially for families traveling to soccer tournaments every weekend. Sharp provided a list for FUEL Soccer of FIVE things families can do to stay healthy while on the road.

PACK A COOLER WITH A SEPARATE CONTAINER FOR ICE. Game days and especially tournaments turn into very long days, typically in warm environments. Pack a cooler to keep your beverages cold and snacks safe from food-borne illnesses. Adding a separate container dedicated for ice for your drinks takes it to the next level. And pack the cooler with plenty of water.

REQUEST A ROOM WITH A FRIDGE AND MICROWAVE. As simple as this sounds, most hotel rooms do not have these standard. Call ahead and make sure you have these in your room.

BREAKFAST – A SUCCESSFUL GAME DAY always starts with a solid breakfast and most youth have their go-to foods or must-have choices. Make sure you pack these with you or locate a place where you can get a complete breakfast for your stars. Aim for a lean protein, healthy fat (avocado, nut butters, nuts/seeds), lots of grains/starches (cereal, bagels, oatmeal), and fruit (dried, fresh, or as juice). Grains, starches and fruit are your child’s fuel so make sure they load up on their favorites in a natural/unprocessed way to give them energy all day long.

SNACKS! SNACKS! SNACKS! This is a big one and can come in many different forms. It is important to have options depending on what mood, mindset, or need your athlete has. Pre-packaged snacks are readily available at grocery stores and most gas stations. Stock up on these easy grab-n-go items like: cheese sticks, yogurts, pretzels, bars (protein and granola), fruit cups, apple sauce, beef jerky, and trail mix. Whole fruit is great because it comes in its own wrapper, popular choices are grapes, apples, oranges and bananas.

RECOVERY ITEMS. These days you hear that performance is really all about how well you recover. Make sure you have the 3 R’s to recovery plan. 1) Re-Fuel your mind and body with carbohydrates, 2) Re-Build your muscles and immune system with protein, and 3) Re-Hydrate your body with fluids. A quick way to get all 3 R’s is through Chocolate Milk, which can be found at all gas stations or even purchased as a shelf-stable option and then chilled in your cooler.

Rapinoe named Sports Illustrated 2019 Sportsperson of the Year

Megan Rapinoe, co-captain of the US Women’s National Team, will appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated as their 2019 Sportsperson of the Year.

“Even in a year with many great candidates, choosing Megan as the Sportsperson of the Year was an easy decision,” said Steve Cannella, Co-Editor in Chief of Sports Illustrated. “She is a force of nature on and off the field, a trailblazing soccer player who also proves every day how large and loud a voice a socially conscious athlete can have in 2019.”

Rapinoe, 34, is a two-time World Cup Champion. She led the team to their 2-0 victory against the Netherlands in the Women’s World Cup final in France on July 7.

When the team returned home, they were welcomed with a parade in New York City.