Not many people have quite the auspicious start to their professional career like Hamilton. Orphaned as a child in the Caribbean – wait wrong Hamilton.
Let me start over.
Her name is Kristen Hamilton and just like her team, she’s lean, mean with high esteem.
Hamilton was a star forward at University of Denver, starting almost every game. She earned a number of accolades, including NSCAA First Team All-American, Summit League Offensive Player of the Year and a MAC Hermann Semifinalist. She left Denver as the all-time leader in goals with a staggering 51. She entered the 2014 NWSL draft and was picked dead last by the Flash, but you know what they say.
In New York, you can be a new woman.
Hamilton didn’t have the smooth start to her professional career that she hoped. In a preseason game in March, she tore her ACL and MCL, beginning the first of a series of setbacks. Tearing your ACL is almost every athlete’s worse nightmare. You can either make a full recovery or fall short and have to make some serious decisions you weren’t prepared for. In interview given to the YouTube channel ‘theACLclub’ in 2016, Hamilton talks about her injury and what her recovery process was like, mentioning how the hardest part was not being able to walk six weeks before and after her surgery.
In the eye of a hurricane, there is quiet. And in that quiet, Hamilton found the strength to go through her recovery, trusting the process and her faith in God. She made a full recovery, impressing Flash Head Coach Aaran Lines, who was all too happy to have Hamilton back on the squad. She would come on as a sub in extra time during the 2016 NWSL Championship and exit as a Champion.
Hard work and determination – they get the job done.
After working her back up to full fitness and biding her time on the bench, Hamilton would get her first start in June 2017 against the Boston Breaker. With both Lynn Williams and Jess McDonald out due to injury, new head coach Paul Riley had to pick a new right-hand man. Looking over his bench, thinking to himself he needed someone who would know what to do in the trench, someone who had such resilience and would match his tactical brilliance. And who better…. than Kristen Hamilton.
Hamilton stepped onto the pitch and scored a brace within 13 minutes. The first of many. Though she would continue to be a super sub, she would get another chance and replace the injured Debinha in the 2017 NWSL Semifinal game. She earned the start for the following Championship game before facing yet another setback in the form of an injury in the 39thminute. It was reported to be an MCL tear, something she know had experience in.
Playing her way out of her injury, Hamilton would have a quiet 2018, starting 8 games and super subbing for 15. She would sub on in the second of the NWSL final, gaining another Championship ring.
But in 2019, Kristen Hamilton would finally rise above her station. With the World Cup about to begin, she wouldn’t take a break or say no to this. Knowing that Jess McDonald would be gone, and Williams needed a strike partner, Hamilton was not throwing away her shot.
June would prove to be HER month as she piled the pain on the Orlando Pride and scored her first hat trick. Even though it hurt to watch Hamilton dismantle my team single handily, it was hard to deny how beautiful her goals were. A month later in July, Hamilton tied an NWSL record and scored four goals against the Houston Dash.
Man, the woman is nonstop.
As the World Cup raged on, Kristen Hamilton began collecting NWSL awards, winning Player of the Week three games in seven games. At the end of July, she was named Player of the Month after the way she destroyed Houston’s will to live and scored a breathtaking half volley against Utah.
Hamilton is now a powerhouse player in her own right, showing the world just who is she and overcoming injury after injury. As it stands right now, Hamilton has 8 goals, 3 assists and 17 shots on goal.
And now, a very well deserved spot on the senior squad for their friendly against Portugal. Granted it is only because of injuries, but even still… history now has its eye on her.
Hamilton is truly a dynamic player to watch. The way she’s able to get behind any backline, outplay any defender and stay with the ball is a site to behold. Hamilton is one of those rare players who actually stay with a play and find a way to score, when some other forwards to give up. And not only can she score, but she’s a team player in every sense of the word, setting her teammates up and creating chance after chance to secure the win.
Kristen Hamilton may not have had the greatest start as a professional soccer player, but she never backed down, she took her time and believe it or not, there’s a million things she hasn’t done.
Just you wait