Liverpool Ladies midfielder Amanda da Costa talks about why she's a big fan of Luis Suarez, how Reds teammates will have welcomed Philippe Coutinho and how she has found her first preseason in English football.
After his misses against Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League last week, to see the way he took his goal on Sunday was just fantastic.
Nobody can have a perfect game, and that’s what makes this sport so amazing. Every player has been in Suarez’s shoes when the ball can hit everything except the back of the net.
As a midfielder, when one of my teammates experiences a game like Suarez did in Russia, I think the most important thing is to make sure their head never goes down. Which is one of the great things about Steven Gerrard and his leadership.
Even if a striker is having an off night, it is my job as a midfielder to continue involving them in the play and putting them in the best situations to allow them to finish. Sometimes all it takes is making simple passes, just connecting with the ball and your teammates to get your confidence back up.
When I first started to really follow Liverpool over the summer, I didn’t have any thoughts on Suarez. But I was quickly won over after one specific moment.
It was in one game when Liverpool was down 2-0, and there were maybe only two minutes or so left in the match. Liverpool won a corner kick and Suarez sprinted across the field to get the ball, then sprinted to the corner flag to take the kick. I think it was at that moment when I became a fan.
His work rate on the pitch is unmatched, and the energy he brings to the table lifts the entire team. You can tell when he plays how much passion he has for the game and how much it means to him, not to mention his ability to find a way to score and make something out of nothing. These qualities are all something that I admire in any player, and his high-energy style of play is something I try and include in my own game.
Of course, against Swansea we also saw Philippe Coutinho score his first goal for the club.
Seeing the Brazilian settle so quickly at Anfield isn't a great surprise knowing how the foreign players have been welcomed to the Liverpool Ladies squad.
Sometimes I can’t even understand what my coach (Matt Beard) is saying when he gets going, so I can only imagine what it sounds like to them! My roommate when I first arrived in Liverpool was Nicole Rolser, a midfielder from Germany, and she spoke very little English. I tried my best to make her feel comfortable and communicate with her the best that I could. I did a lot of charades and acting those first couple of weeks to try and get her to understand what I was saying some times!
I think the biggest thing that is helpful when your teammates can’t understand the language is making them feel like they belong with the team. Nicole and I would go pretty much everywhere together, and the team was always great about doing things off the field to make her, along with the other non-English speakers, feel welcome.
Liverpool Ladies really haven't put a foot wrong in preseason.
The transition to life in Liverpool has been seemingly easy for me thus far. Not that I was worried before arriving or anything! But moving to a new country always has its unknowns. The women on this team are all so amazing, both on the pitch and off. I think the staff has done an unbelievable job putting a good group of people together that get along so well. If you were to come watch a training session of ours, you would think we have known each other for years; it really is hard to believe we have only been playing with one another for just about a month.
Speaking so highly about the way things are going is really all we can do at this point!
My new teammate Natasha Dowie, fresh from Everton, has gone on record saying that we can win the title, and she has every reason to believe that. As a competitor, that is why you play: to win titles.
I came across the pond to play for Liverpool because I admired the tenacity and the confidence of the staff and players, and I believe in this program with all of my heart.
Winning a title was mentioned in every conversation I had before deciding to sign with LFC, and it will continue to be mentioned every day until it’s ours.
Follow Amanda: @ADacosta13.