New kids on the block: Gina Lewandowski

One in an occasional series about the fresh faces

hoping to join the U.S. women’s team

Gina Lewandowski (Lennart Preiss/Getty Images)

Gina Lewandowski. (Lennart Preiss/Getty Images)

 

At 30, Gina Lewandowski is hardly a ‘new kid.’ She’s had a long, productive career in Germany.

She didn’t earn her first cap with the U.S. team, however, until the Oct. 25 game against Brazil in Orlando, Fla. , when she came on in the 74th minute.

A Pennsylvania native, she played at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., from 2003 to 2006.

She headed overseas shortly after college, and, except for a couple of brief stints with U.S. club teams, she’s been in Europe ever since.

Since 2012, she’s played for FC Bayern Munich, a German powerhouse.

“Lewandowski has been a rock for FC Bayern,” Phillip Quinn wrote in an article that appeared on SB Nation. He added: “Whether deployed in defense or the midfield, Lewandowski brings a steadying presence.”

In 2014, Vice Sports called her “the best American soccer player in Germany.”

(She is not directly related to Robert Lewandowski, the superb striker for the men’s Bayern Munich team, although The Equalizer reports that the two discovered not long ago that they had relatives living near one another in Poland.)

Gina and Robert Lewandowski. (Twitter)

Gina and Robert Lewandowski. (Twitter)

Before Bayern, she spent five years with FFC Frankfurt, where she and Ali Krieger were teammates in 2008,  the year Frankfurt won the Bundesliga, the German domestic cup, and the UEFA women’s championship league.

When she graduated from Lehigh in 2006, the United States didn’t have a professional women’s league. She had an aunt and uncle who lived near Frankfurt, so she headed overseas.

“Soccer is my passion and this was the only opportunity for me to keep playing,” she told Vice.

The October call-up to the U.S. team was her second.  In May 2012, she was placed on the American roster for a match against China, but she didn’t play .

When Jill Ellis called her this time around, “I was quite surprised, but excited,” she told The Equalizer.

“It’s always an honor to get into camp just to spend a week with the team and train with the best of the best.”

While living in Germany, she has earned a biology degree from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt.

Earlier: 
Emily Sonnett
Stephanie McCaffrey

 

 

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