BRAD SMITH/ISI PHOTOS

Jordan DiBiasi is a midfielder for the Washington Spirit. The 3rd overall pick in the 2019 NWSL draft, DiBiasi played her college soccer at Stanford, where she helped the Cardinal win the 2017 College Cup. DiBiasi spoke with Just Women’s Sports from the national team’s camp in Florida, where the USWNT is training for the upcoming SheBelieves Cup.

How has your first national camp been? 

It’s been awesome. It’s been a really, really good experience, and I’m super thankful for it. This has always been a dream of mine, but I didn’t have any idea that it would happen now. I mean, on the first day, I came in and they were recapping qualifying games. And I’m like, oh my goodness, I was just watching those on TV at my house, and now we’re talking about the strategy they had going in. It’s also been cool to see everyone at this level because I’ve competed against them in the NWSL, and I trained with a lot of them in college. But to see them united and all together in person, day in and day out, on and off the field has been amazing.

You’ve played with a lot of these players before. What’s it like having so many familiar faces around? 

I think it just gives me a lot of confidence because there is this sense of familiarity, even if it is a totally new environment. And outside of the people I already knew, everyone’s been really cool to me. We had pick-up hours before training started, where we were playing on small goals, and my team was literally Andi [Sullivan], Tierna [Davidson], Lindsey [Horan], and Rose [Lavelle]. I was on cloud nine. It was so much fun. And off the field, they’re all very inclusive. I don’t really feel like I’m burdening them as much because I know them, and we’re friends [laughs].

Does it feel like a big jump from the NWSL or does it feel like you’ve been here before?

I feel like as you go up the ladder, it’s always a little faster. The biggest thing I’ve noticed here is that everyone’s on the same page, so the speed of play and the speed of thought is really, really fast. Everyone is being proactive in their runs. They’re all just so smart and efficient. Sometimes when you’re watching soccer, you think, “Oh, it’d be cool if someone did X, Y, then Z.” But now on the field, everyone’s so in sync and playing at such a high level, they’re actually executing it, which is amazing. They don’t even have to talk about it, they all just know what to do, and they do it all with one touch. They play it perfectly with the right pace and the right texture on the ball. It’s the little details and the slightest of things, but they’re expert at it and they do it very nonchalantly. A lot of times I’m like, oh, that was sweet. I would act way more excited if I did that [laughs].

How did you find out you’d been called up? 

I was in Colorado training in the off-season, and it was right before I went back to DC. And I got this message from my coach in DC, and he told me to call him after I talked to Vlatko. I was like, wait, what? It totally came out of left field. And then I got this email about SheBelieves and Vlatko called. He basically said he wanted to bring me into the environment and expose me to it and see how I did just so I could get comfortable. All I could think was, holy smokes.

Everyone dreams of playing with the USWNT. What was it like to have come true? 

Obviously I was super excited. You never know when you’re going to get these opportunities, and this was something I’d been dreaming about for a long time. When I first found out, I was just overwhelmed. I was just like, wow, and I called my parents, and they said, what? And I told them, I know, I know, I’m so excited. But I’ve also competed with a lot of these players before, and I always believed that if I worked hard, I could get to this level. I know I’m here for a reason, so now I just have to give it my best shot.

What was your mindset when you actually arrived at camp? 

I didn’t have any expectations. I told myself, you know, I’ve been training really hard. I’ve always really wanted this. I know I can compete, and I’m just going to give it my best. That was my thought process, and I think it’s paid off. It’s a different level, and I don’t really know the system and I’m still learning all the details. And because it’s been my dream for so long, obviously I’m a little nervous. But I’ve been able to take a step back and just enjoy it. I’m embracing it and trying to learn and grow as much as I can.

And getting called up once isn’t my be-all, end-all. I want to be on this team, so now the question is, what am I going to do with the information I get from this camp, and how am I going to better myself when I go away in order to give myself the opportunity to come back.

It sounds like there’s a bright future for you. 
Okay, so SheBelieves is this weekend. You were called into camp, but you won’t be on the roster. What will game day be like for you? 

I’m going to the game, and I get to sit in like a box or something. I’m not exactly sure what the set-up is, but I’m really excited. Initially, I didn’t think I was going to get to stay for the game, but now that I am, I’m just super excited to see what everyone is like before the match, what they do and how they handle it. Are they listening to music? Is it quiet? Like, what’s the vibe? And then to watch them play will obviously be really fun.

You’ve been in the ID camp, but this is like your first true call up. It ends in a couple days. What’s next for you? 

I have my process and I just want to keep working on that. This camp has been awesome, and the end goal is obviously to be consistently called in. I mean, that’s the angle. There’s a lot of steps I have to take to get there. And now that we’re starting the NWSL season, I’m taking what I learned from here, going back to my NWSL team, applying it, and working really hard. I’m totally invested in the Spirit, and I know that being the best version of myself is what’s going to help the team most, so I want to do whatever I can to bring my game to the next level.

This is only your second year in the league. What are some of your personal and team goals for the season? 

I’m super excited to not be a rookie anymore [laughs]. I made a lot of mistakes last year, so I’m excited to learn from them and grow. Our team obviously hasn’t met as a conjoined group yet because not everyone has been in DC. But without anything being said, we all want to win. Obviously that’s the end goal, but that’s everyone’s goal. So now we have to figure out how to make it happen. Last year, we didn’t make playoffs, so I think the first step is to do that. And then we’ll go from there.