Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sara Silvetti Shines

The USA had just tied Korea 2-2 in the fourth game of the World Cup Qualifier. Despite the physical exhaustion of the hard fought battle, an energetic buzz pervaded the air as the team waited, in anticipation, for Lee Bodimeade to conclude a post-game interview.

Purveying the scene, some distinguishable things stuck out - a bottle of wine, a blue Tiffany’s bag, a bouquet of flowers, and a collage of smiles directed toward one special teammate.

The team was eager to celebrate the milestone achievement of their teammate, and friend, Sara “Betty” Silvetti, who in her resilient, determined and cheery manner had earned her 100th Cap wearing the Red, White, and Blue.

And as they waited, Betty shared the joy of the celebration, entertaining her teammates while posing with her massive vase of flowers. And in that action, the essence of Betty’s presence on Team USA is understood.

Sara Silvetti is the ultimate team player. Genuine, trusted, willing and able, she possesses an irrepressible glow that emanates from her and shines on those around her.

When I asked Maren Ford to describe Sara, she said:

“Sara is flexible. She can be anywhere and do anything. On the field and off the field, she is multi-dimensional. She can play any position or role. She does whatever is asked of her – willingly and ably. On and off the field – she performs her role with a laugh and smile.”

It is this flexibility described by Ford that makes Betty such an incredible asset on the field to the USA program. In the beginning of her career, the young Silvetti played the highly-pressurized center-midfield position. Then, during the 2005 World Cup Qualifier in Rome, Italy, Sara was called upon to play right half-back, a new position for the midfielder. Yet, undaunted by the change, she performed her new responsibility brilliantly.

After spending the last three years of her career in the midfield and backfield, this year, Betty was called upon to perform a new role – on the forward line. Again, she transitioned into her new role with seamless simplicity.

Most inspiring about Betty’s journey, is that the road to 100 has not always been easy. She has persisted through broken jaws, changing positions, different roles, and missed teams. And yet, despite the bumps along the way, Sarah has remained a continual, positive and consistent force within the team.

With disciplined resilience (and a smile), Sara has continually strived to better herself and those around her. So yesterday, it was an honor to celebrate the individual achievement of a teammate who had given so much more to her team and country then 100 games.

So as Betty opened her Tiffiany’s box, and the gleam of a shiny-jeweled necklace peaked out – I thought to myself, how appropriate for the girl whose smile and laugh has shun upon us all.

No comments: