Shae Yanez, the American-born keeper leading London City into a promotion battle for England’s Super League, joins Footwork.
Every week, Dylan and Sean at Footwork Podcast bring you original interviews from players and coaches making their own path around the world. Below we have a short excerpt from their latest podcast guest Shae Yanez. You can find the full interview on your preferred streaming platform here (Footwork Podcast).
The philosophy of a keeper is completely distinct from that of any other player in the eleven.
They are tasked with the final say of whether a goal is conceded, an unrivaled pressure. So much rests on one player, so much rides on the actions of one individual.
That’s why the position is so crucial and why you’ve started to witness millions of dollars/pounds/euros spent on that last guard. Shae Yanez is the last guard for London City FC.
A club in the midst of a battle for promotion, from their current Women’s Championship position to that of the Women’s Super League. Joining the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea.
With only one available slot, the competition level is elevated and that makes Shae’s guard all that much more paramount.
Yanez, a Downingtown, Pennsylvania native, spent high school as a two-sport athlete, juggling between softball and soccer. Championships, personal honors, and successful club ball led her to the University of Tennessee, where she didn’t slow down.
For example: set Tennessee single-season records for save percentage (.856), goals-against average (0.66), and win percentage (.795). She finished third in program history with 21 solo shutouts over the course of her college career.
Just to name a few.
With success comes recognition. It also brings new opportunities. Shae signed her first professional contract in 2019 with the Washington Spirit of the NWSL, joining the likes of standout players like Mallory Swanson (née Pugh) and Rose Lavelle.
After just a single season, she made the daring move to Spain, where she shares dual citizenship, and hopes to eventually represent the national team. Her experience there, however, left a bit to be desired.
That’s why the next decision was so crucial and one that would later lay the stage for her “new home” as she describes it. The Lionesses of London City.
This year has been outstanding, as co-captain, Yanez has helped lead the Lionesses into the promotion race, raking in clean sheets and using her voice to help shape success for the group.
It’s not always so simple though, the pressures can sometimes feel overbearing, and the process can sometimes seem uncertain. Mistakes can transpire, lapses in judgment too, and staying in that ‘zone’ can be complicated.
Even so, these things are only temporary. Things that she’s experienced before and things that she knows she’ll see through.
“Maybe you need to step back and wait for the picture to change,” Yanez recommends. “As you grow you end up seeing similar pictures, and that’s what helps you make the right decision for the next play.”
Shae recognizes all of these events. She accepts them. That’s because her approach has been cultivated with years of experience.
Her comfort zone has expanded through various ups and downs. This was crucial to her development as a player and as a person, and it still is.
“We need to try something,” proclaims the Lioness stopper, before expanding “ It’s being vulnerable and having an open mind to everything that you do.
“Not getting caught up in ‘this isn’t what I’m used to so I’m going to crawl back in my little shell.’ You need to push yourself out of your current boundaries because you never know, you may end up loving it.”
How she responds is what’s important to her. Because in the end, that’s the full extent of her control at that moment.
“Taking a deep breath, assessing the situation, and not just reacting. So it’s a response rather than a reaction.”
The desire and preparation for success outweigh the fear of failure.
Find the full podcast episode here:
Episode 1:17 Response Over Reaction with London City Goalkeeper Shae Yanez
Or Watch A Youtube Highlight Version Here:
HIGHLIGHT SHOW with London City Goalkeeper Shae Yanez