Christen Press and Whitney Engen grew up just 13 months and a few miles apart on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. And they've been virtually inseparable on a soccer field ever since, playing together as kids, against each other in college and now as teammates with the U.S. national team.
Both, however, saw their careers get off to inauspicious starts.
As a preschooler, Press was forced to play with older kids in a coed league because one team was short a girl.
"I didn't touch the ball once," she remembers. "I picked daisies and waved to my mom."
Engen played because she got candy when she showed up at practice. And her parents encouraged her because,...