By David Bayer
It was old home week as Philly (our old hometown) came to Atlanta with two former Beat players, Kia McNeill and Leigh Ann Robinson, both favorites of ours. Our interview was scheduled with Leigh Ann, so we waited … and waited … and waited some more. But we did so patiently because she was busy talking to the many fans who wanted to see her; some even had signs for her. When I think of Leigh Ann, two main things come to mind: the funny way she holds her hands when she has the ball, and the fact that after every game – win or lose – she always made her way to both sides of the stadium to greet the fans.
Leigh Ann Robinson – Defender – Philadelphia Independence
Birth date: August 17, 1986
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Nickname: None yet, but the team is looking.
Age she started soccer: 4 (in an indoor league)
College: University of San Diego – communication studies major (with a minor in Spanish)
Why she wears number 7: It’s the number she was given when she started playing at 4, and she’s stuck with it.
Favorite pregame foods: Chicken breast, pasta, and veggies. She also likes going to Panera & Cosi with Kia.
Workout music: Rap and hip-hop (Drake, Lil Wayne)
Pre-game Music: Something mellow (Jack Johnson), “(to) get my mind right.”
Superstitions: Used to have them, but now she thinks, “It just makes you crazy.”
Career after soccer: Some type of “active profession,” not a 9-to-5 desk job…maybe coaching.
Favorite Cartoon Character: The Oblongs
Favorite Movies: Garden State and Little Miss Sunshine
Something people may not know about Leigh Ann: She and her mother have matching tattoos (Two hearts – a big one and a smaller one linked together)
Mentor: Her dad—“He works hard and gets his stuff done. What more could you ask for?”
In soccer, she likes watching Rachel Buehler. “She has a great work rate.”
Favorite charity or cause: Humane Society (especially dogs). She has also worked for the American Cancer Society.
Pets: Ziggy – a pitbull mix that she got at a shelter in Atlanta last season.
Life Motto: “Live and love” (tattooed on her side). “Live in the moment and love what you’re doing…do everything you’re doing with love for the people around you…for the things you’re doing, do them passionately.”
Leigh Ann in the words of teammate Kia McNeill: On the field – “Determined, hard-working, and gritty.” Off the field – “Genuine and fun.”
Leigh Ann in the words of former teammate McCall Zerboni: “Confident and spunky.”
Leigh Ann in the words of Philadelphia Independence Head Coach Paul Riley: “She is athletic, mobile, a terrific engine and has been a revelation in the locker room … great team player with a determination to improve every facet of her game. She has made a huge impact on the Philly fans already.”
Our thanks go to Leigh Ann for sharing with us. I’m not surprised by her impact on the Philly fans. We felt it here, too.
Update: Our congratulations go out to interviewee No. 2, Carolyn Blank. She recently graduated with her masters degree!