KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City NWSL midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta is no stranger to the area.
She’s one of seven players making their return to KC after playing with the Utah Royals. The women’s soccer team kicks off the season this Friday against Portland Thorns in the Challenge Cup.
FOX4 sports reporter Jessica Eley sat down with LaBonta for a fun ‘Four Questions with FOX4’ segment.
Q: What is the meaning behind your name?
A: Lo’eau means ‘spirit of the heavens’. Which being born into that, I’m like ‘okay, expectations are kind of high.’ Even my middle name is Hawaiian. Only my mom’s side is the Hawaiian side, so then my middle name is Ka’iulani, which means ‘the royal blessed one.’ Which because that was the princess’ name before when Hawaii was its own island. There was a lot put onto me.
Q: Who are you closest with on the team?
A: We did this cute little team bonding thing, where you write on a sticky note someone’s strength, what they bring to the team. Someone told me I always include everybody. I’m clearly very social. I love hanging out with everyone.
The team has changed so much, going from Kansas City to Utah and back. I had one of my best friends on the team. She was unfortunately released.
I’ve built a great relationship with Elizabeth Ball when she came to Utah the last year. Rachel Corsie, she’s like my banter partner for sure. She’s Scottish like Johnny Russell. They just love to be a clown. I just love hearing her say English words wrong. I would say those are my homies for sure.
Q: If you weren’t a professional soccer player, what would you be doing right now?
A: Over quarantine, everybody’s been building these hobbies. For some reason when Roger said we couldn’t get a second dog, I’ve become the craziest plant mom. Every other week, I’ve been hopping around the local nurseries and getting some. So maybe I could run one of those, I don’t know.
The answer the other day when somebody asked me, I said a professional volleyball player. I absolutely love that sport. I clearly think that’s a dream because that could never happen. I played in high school and people, I came up against a libero who was like 5’10. I go, ‘you’re supposed to be the small person’. That would be a fun one.
Q: Who do you consider the G.O.A.T, the greatest of all time in women’s soccer?
A: I think the G.O.A.T, like a pioneer to this sport would be Mia Hamm. That’s for sure one I relate to. Even though we’re different positions, we’re similar heights. We play with tenacity, we’re feisty. I always looked up to her.
From my alma mater (Stanford) is Julie Foudy. She’s still commentating for our games and stuff. I think she’s very knowledgable. S
I refuse to give current Women’s National Team players, saying the G.O.A.T, because I’m still competing against them every single day. If someone were to ask me this in the offseason, I’d be like ‘oh yeah, kudos to these people’. But right now going into our first game I have to keep my compliments to a minimum.