If it were up to Tseng Shu-O (AO), the pace of a soccer game would be a mile-a-minute, with no need for stoppages and a tempo that would have most players doubled-over in exhaustion. Such a circumstance would perfectly suit the Chinese Taipei international, as it seems AO (pronounced Ow) hasn’t stopped running since arriving this spring to suit up for Vancouver Whitecaps FC women as they chase down their third W-League title in seven years.
“I'm very happy to join Whitecaps FC because everything is well organized here,” said AO. “People care about players and the team is really strong. Whitecaps FC are a real big football club. It's really nice being here. Vancouver is a new place to me, but it’s been very easy to get used to.”
It’s also been an easy transition for her on the pitch. The speed and footwork of the crafty 26-year-old makes her one of the most dynamic players on the team, directing the attack with her outstanding creativity and exceptional work rate. Whitecaps fans may well remember her skill displayed last summer while a member of divisional rivals Colorado Rush. The Rush made an appearance at Swangard Stadium on July 10, 2010, with AO notching two goals in a three minute span on the way to a 2-2 draw. It was a performance that caught the eye of many in the ‘Caps organization, including coach Hubert Busby Jr.
"AO is a player who I’ve been monitoring for a while," said Busby. "She’s a very crafty player who can score goals, as well as create goals for others. She is another valuable addition to the squad who fans will enjoy watching."
AO is just as excited about playing for Busby, finding a home amongst the young and energetic squad. “Every player is very good and very friendly, and the coaches are very professional. Coach Busby is very clever and I like his sense of humour.”
Besides being capped internationally for Chinese Taipei, AO’s skills have seen her suit up for squads in her native Taiwan and Australia before joining the Rush for the 2010 season, where she made nine appearances, registering three goals.
This Friday sees her former team return to B.C.’s Lower Mainland, with the Rush set to play against Whitecaps FC at 7 P.M. at Chilliwack’s Exhibition Stadium. The Rush come into the game after opening the season with a 4-1 win over Los Angeles Strikers FC and a midweek 1-0 victory against Victoria Highlanders FC. It will be a good test for Busby’s team, and one that AO hopes to play a large part in. “Playing for the team means a lot to me because it's really competitive and I can improve myself a lot and become a better player.”
Now Colorado get to do what the ‘Caps did last season; find out what it's like to play against AO.
That’s got to hurt.