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Zerr (Edm Sun): Lang in fine speaking Voice


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From The Edmonton Sun:

Lang in fine speaking Voice

Being the face of soccer in Canada requires a great deal of planning and organization

By SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

There's not much downtime in the life of Kara Lang.

If she wasn't being "handled" properly by the Vancouver Whitecaps, her phone would certainly ring off the hook and the young soccer sensation couldn't do a thing to prevent being pulled in several different directions at once.

It's a process just to arrange a chat with the Golden Girl of Canada, who sparkled during the FIFA women's under-19 world championship here two years ago.


Whitecaps GM Bobby Lenarduzzi, the former national men's team player and coach, hooks you up with Diane Voice, manager of the women's W-League team, whose duties include prioritizing and arranging Lang's hectic schedule. So, on a drive home from a late-night movie, Lang gets the call to make a return call.

"It does get to be a bit much sometimes but I don't mind," said Lang of the multitude of requests on her time.

A couple of hours of her time tonight will be spent on the pitch at Commonwealth Stadium when the Whitecaps meet the Edmonton Aviators.

Voice fields at least a half-dozen calls for Lang every week. That may not seem overwhelming, but consider Lang is just 17 and living on her own in Vancouver (her parents still reside in Ontario). She doesn't attend school, instead fitting in studies between her travels with the Whitecaps along with Canada's under-19 and women's World Cup squads.

She is the face of women's soccer in this country. Check that. Maybe not just the women's game but the sport as a whole in Canada.

She is front and centre on every commercial for upcoming games and the key figure in any promotional duties for the teams' various sponsors.

And she's quickly becoming one of Vancouver's most sought after motivational speakers for youngsters.

"It's good experience for me speaking in front of large crowds because I'm hoping to study broadcast journalism," said Lang, who at 15 became the youngest player to score for a senior national team, eclipsing the mark of women's soccer standardbearer, Mia Hamm.

"I don't think it's ridiculous and it doesn't seem to consume my life. Diane's so organized and she always knows what's going on for me.

"She sends me four or five e-mails a day so I know where to be and what I'm doing. I still try and do all the normal stuff."

Sorry, young men everywhere, the normal stuff includes a boyfriend.

"He's not a soccer player. I get enough of that from my own life," Lang chimed in.

Lang's soccer-related schedule keeps Voice hopping.

"The interviews are something we can almost always accommodate. It's getting her actual body to everything that sometimes can be very hard," said Voice.

"She's very good at her speeches. We've gone to a number when she's asked at the last minute to talk and she comes up with something that's wonderful. She just has a way about her and she's very grown up. It's just part of her makeup."

Lang said, "They are just about things that I would have liked to hear when I was a young player.

"I think they're mostly about the awareness of what's out there for you. Soccer may not seem as big, but when someone's up there in front of you who you can see that's really done something, it makes them realize that they can do it, too."


The rat-race pace is just something to which Lang has become accustomed. And she says she really wouldn't change a thing.

"I like all the opportunities it's given me and it's a bit of attention, too," laughed Lang.

"I don't think everyone would agree that it's good to get all that attention, but when young girls look up to you that's very nice. And if it wasn't for being able to do all this stuff, what would I bei doing otherwise?"

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