Tavern Interview: Caitlyn Schrepfer

Photos Courtesy of Hype Projects Agency

This past summer, the world’s best footballers took to the biggest stage to show off their skills at the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Not only is the World Cup a stage for footballers, it is also a huge opportunity for brands to promote their products to a global audience. One of the most ubiquitous commercials from this summer was Adidas’ “Create the Answer” spot. Take a look below to refresh your memory.

In a commercial that featured superstar athletes and celebrities like Pharrell Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Justin Turner, and Damian Lillard and footballers like Messi, Salah, and Ozil, there was a particular player that caught the eye. I’m sure many people were wondering the same thing as us here at the Tavern: who is that girl who goes past Jesse Lingard, impresses Zidane, and shows off amazing skill to set up Dele for the goal? It was Korean-American freestyle footballer Caitlyn Schrepfer, currently ranked #1 female in the US and #2 worldwide!

We spoke with Caitlyn recently to talk about how she got into freestyle football, some of her favorite experiences, that Adidas commercial, and her future goals.

Tavern: How did you originally get into soccer? What positions did you play growing up?

Caitlyn: My dad actually coached my older brother in soccer so I started playing soccer when I was 4. Goalkeeper was my main position, but I tried a little bit of everything.

T: How did you find out about freestyle soccer? How did you originally learn to do your tricks?

C: I got injured a few years ago and all I could do was learn how to juggle perfectly so that was how I got my start. After that, I learned my first tricks from friends of mine and the ever-useful Youtube.

T: What’s the freestyle community like? How is it different from soccer teams you’ve been a part of in the past?

The community is pretty small but it’s one of the most supportive communities I’ve been a part of. Even though the community can be pretty male-dominated, everyone is so encouraging and always wanting to help each other get better.

T: Talk about the most meaningful comment or experience you’ve had from someone who watched one of your performances.

C: I was performing at a charity event in Jamaica and one of the parents said something that I still remember now. She told me that after watching my performance she said she had never seen her daughter more excited and “alive”.

T: What is one thing people don’t know about being a freestyle footballer that you want to share?

C: I think people sometimes don’t really know about the fame to work ratio. People sometimes see the lifestyle and just think everything is very glamorous. However, on some days I might train for 3-5 hours, be shooting for another couple hours, and then edit video at night. It can be a lot more work than people think!

T: You’ve traveled a lot around the world. What was the coolest place you’ve been to so far? Is there a place you want to visit next?

C: Jamaica is probably the coolest place. The natural beauty of the environment was like nowhere else I’ve ever been. For a place I want to visit, I’ve never been to Korea but one of my goals for next year is to finally make a trip out there.

T: You repped a custom Korea/US soccer jersey a lot on Instagram during the World Cup. Talk about what this jersey means to you.

C: To me that jersey is my tie to my background. I’ve grown up in a pretty Americanized environment so it’s particularly special to me to have that physical reminder of where I came from and the community I’m representing.

T: Talk about your experience filming the Adidas World Cup commercial. What was it like seeing yourself on TV while watching the World Cup?

C: First of all, I had never been on such a big set to film a commercial. Also, it was insane to see myself on TV during the World Cup. When I was asked to be in the commercial, I was told I would have a principal role. However, when you’re going to be shooting with so many superstar athletes and celebrities, you sort of think you’ll be after them. So I was really surprised to see how big of a role I actually had.

T: We’re focused on Korean football so I have to ask: what was it like to meet Son Heungmin?

C: My dad is a fan of Son Heungmin so I’ve been watching him for years. I was just surprised by how nice of a guy he was!

T: What’s the most starstruck you’ve ever been to meet a celebrity/athlete?

C: I don’t think I really get starstruck, but if there was a moment I was starstruck it was probably at the Adidas commercial because there were just so many people there!

T: What are your goals for the next year in freestyle football?

C: At the moment I’d say my main focus is to win a world championship. It’s been something I’ve had my eye on ever since I started competing.

T: Anything our readers should look out for?

C: In terms of freestyle competitions, there will be the US and World Championships coming up. Also, I am not sure exactly how I’ll be involved but I’m sure I’ll be in France next summer for the Women’s World Cup.

T: Finally, who are the players that you admire most?

C: One of my favorite players is Ronaldinho because of what he did for the culture of freestyle football with his playing style. For a current player, I’d say Jesse Lingard.

You can follow Caitlyn on Instragram at @caitfreestyle and @caitlynandlizzy or on Twitter at @caitfreestyle.

Let us know in the comments what you thought of this interview and who we should interview next!

About Michael Welch 89 Articles
That Halfie Korean-American who loves football (I mean, soccer).

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