Catching Up with Ella Masar State Side

By Nell King

Ella Masar, currently a striker for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and former member of magicJack during the 2011 WPS season, takes sometime during a short holiday break to catch up with Pitchside Report on the last day of the year and her last day State Side until June. During her short time with PSG, Masar has already made quite the footprint for her team. Read below to see how her game is going, playing with former rival Allie Long and what will set the tone for her in 2012.

N.Enriquez: How are things going in France with PSG?

E. Masar: They’re going well. The girls are great there. I’m enjoying my time there. I think it’s good for me to be away from home. I realize that more being home for the holidays. It’s not an easy time specially with what has happened in my life the last few months. I enjoy it. I enjoy just being able to play football and not worry about anything else. I can get up go train in the morning. Train with the girls. I really enjoy it. And Allie Long is an added bonus as well.

N.Enriquez: How is your French coming along?

E. Masar: I’m learning. I try to do an hour a day. Although, I haven’t done as much being home, but I did get Rosetta Stone for Christmas. Hopefully when I go back I’ll pick up more and more. They say it takes about three months to do it. Most girls, if they speak to me and speak slow,
I can understand a little bit so I feel the progression. So I just gotta keep going and keep pushing through that wall. Sometimes it can feel like I’m not learning as quick as I’d like to be.

N.Enriquez: You mentioned earlier that having Allie Long there with you, is an added bonus. Does having her on the field with you create a different dynamic since both of you have played for the WPS in the States?

E. Masar: Yes. I mean, Allie and I have never played together before, but as we get more comfortable, we’re learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I think that we’re both great at different things. I think we bring something to the team that they haven’t seen before. I think we also make each other better because now were learning fully where else to put that ball or do a run through. She loves to give it right back. She plays my feet. I love to play make with her. I think we’re slowly making that relationship. At the beginning I’d say it took a little bit. I mean I’m excited to go back and play with her because I know she’ll play me great balls through. She just loves to play football.

N.Enriquez: Tell me about PSG’s style of play.

E. Masar: I think it’s a lot more patient over there. Normally when I play it’s a lot more direct. Here we try to play to the midfield but not really. There they really play through the midfield almost to a fault. They can go left, right, left, right. You know? And I’m like ok, I want the ball at my feet please. You know? Play me, Play me. But yea, I’ve been impressed by how they want to move the ball. A lot of times their outside backs attack a lot more than they do in the States. Numerous times our flanks are getting in attack and putting the ball at your feet. Very much like the men’s game.

N.Enriquez: What has been your favorite moment there so far?

E. Masar: Playing Frankfurt and getting that winner. I think that was a really cool experience. To play with players like, center back, Saki Kumagai, who just won the World Cup, you got Ali Krieger. I guess setting a tone and winning on our home turf and proving, specially, that we were a help to the team. That’s a moment I won’t forget.

N.Enriquez: Have you already developed a routine?

E. Masar: You know they play at about 3pm and you have to be there quite a bit early. Games are typically on a Sunday. So just getting up in the morning. Taking your time, relaxing. I might watch a Friends episode in French. That’s what I’ve been trying to do to learn. You know? But nothing to specific. On Sundays I always go to church. Luckily they have services in English. I just try to go out there and enjoy it. I mean there is an excitement that I get from putting on the jersey and earning the number to be on the field. I haven’t felt that for a long time.

N.Enriquez: Looking a bit forward in your career. Once the season is over with PSG, in June, would you return to the WPS?

E. Masar: Well, I’m there till June. A couple of (WPS) teams have contact me to come back and play with them, which is very humbling. I’m going to cross that bridge when I get there. It’s very different playing now with my father gone. I’m not sure. I’m just going to pray about it and see what happens. I still love the game. I love football. I love that feeling of playing. That feeling of putting on my boots. That hasn’t gone away. You just gotta step back to see what’s next. If God wants me to keep playing, I’d love to keep playing and if not, I hope that another door opens up.

N.Enriquez: What are you looking forward to most in 2012?

E. Masar: A good year. Just enjoying everyday as it is. I’m not looking forward too much into the future. Just getting up and taking the day for what it’s worth and then moving on to the next one. Just building relationships with my family and friends and seeing where that will take me.

Masar has been part of the U.S. U-23 and U-21 teams and earned her first cap in 2009 as a part of the US Women’s National Team in a game against Germany. She also played for the Washington Freedom in the W-League, as well as, the Chicago Red Stars in the WPS. Masar writes a blog for Pitchside Report twice a month. Check out her latest entry here: Ella Masar: A Year – Entry #8

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