'Extended offseason:' NC Courage, NCFC players reflect on life at home during COVID-19 pandemic

The North Carolina Courage ended last season on top of the women's professional soccer world as champions of the NWSL. Their title defense? Well, that's on hold.

"So excited," star forward Lynn Williams told ABC11, "I was so ready to go and then for everything to be put on hold, it's just like an extended offseason, it's just like when is this going to be over?"

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Williams still anticipates playing at some point this summer but the postponement of the Olympics and her chance to represent the USA hit hard. Those windows of opportunity open and close quickly for many players.

Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23-August 8 in 2021

"I'm happy it was postponed instead of canceled. But that was I think more of a big one, knowing that I was so close to making that team and now hopefully in a year I'm still at the same spot but you just never know."

Williams rooms with fellow U.S. National Team star Sam Mewis, so they're trying to keep each other in game shape.

"Definitely doing all I can to stay ready for when the time comes, so still doing a lot of the fitness, still doing like individual touches, still getting shots on goal. And thank goodness I have a good roommate who can pass the ball back and forth," Williams laughed.

They've even instituted a no TV before 6 p.m. rule to limit screen time.

"I think the first week I had like seven hours on my phone screen time and I was like 'Lynn, you gotta cut it out,' but at nighttime let me tell you I am I am ready for some Netflix."

Williams said she's also purchased a tie-dye kit to occupy the extra hours at home. She joked that she and Mewis never used to go out at night anyway, but they miss at least having the option.

NCFC defender DJ Taylor is determined to use the quarantine to better himself. He just started a social media cleanse, and has begun work on a marketing degree at Wake Tech. He looks up to retired teammate Austin Da Luz a great deal and recognized the need to have a post-playing career plan in place.

"Obviously you have time to do all this stuff that you never get to really do when you're in season, and not being as busy and obviously trying you know to better myself anyway possible during this time. Now's a perfect time" said the 22-year old Taylor, who's staying at home in Raleigh with his folks and little brother.

The club meets weekly via Zoom and everyone has a workout plan to adhere to. He's enjoying family time but can't wait to be back with his teammates.

"Oh man I miss it, so bad. I mean, you really take it for granted as professional athletes of going out every day and doing what we enjoy. The whole culture is a big thing, you miss the culture of going out being with the teammates, doing little things with your teammates like after practice grabbing lunch."
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