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They call it ‘the beautiful game’ because of its simplicity; you can play this sport anywhere and at any time, as long as there is a ball around.

And yet soccer, or as they call it in the UK, football, has a bevy of beautiful people who just happen to play this beautiful game. Thanks to our friends at the New England Revolution, who play professionally in a league called Major League Soccer, Her Campus was able to pry into the minds of these men, who on the pitch are known for their relentless energy, an unbridled passion and a remarkable drive.

A.J. Soares, a 23 year-old defender from Solana Beach, California who played collegiately at Cal and Kelyn Rowe, a 20 year-old midfielder from Washington by way of UCLA, were more than happy to escape tactics, strategies and formations to gab about dating, life and even a favorite spa treatment or two.

HC: What’s the best thing about being a pro athlete?
A.J.: It’s kind of like when I played college soccer, except that I get to play every day and I don’t have to go to classes. It’s my favorite thing to do and a cool job to have.
Kelyn: Being able to wake up every day and do what I love. It’s a privilege.

HC: What did you enjoy most about your college experience?
A.J.: I loved college. I went with someone who had been my best friend since I was eight. We lived together in a house with five guys and that was, like, the most fun thing ever.
Kelyn: Really, it was just hanging out with my friends. I could walk to a friend’s house, or I could walk to class, or I could go hang out in the locker room. Everything was all around me, which was pretty cool.

HC: You both went to school in California, are you West Coast guys, or have you become East Coast guys?
A.J.: Definitely a West Coast guy. I’m from San Diego, so when I’m there, I’m at the beach every day. I like the East Coast too. I like to put a suit on and go out and you can’t really do that as often on the West Coast.
Kelyn: Growing up on the West Coast, first in Washington and then college in California, I’d have to say West Coast. I do love it over there. I’m starting to get acclimated to the East Coast though and Boston is actually really beautiful, so I don’t mind it. Though I’m definitely a West Coast guy.

HC: Who has the better shopping – West Coast, or East Coast?

A.J.: The shopping on the East Coast is definitely better. I like Newbury Street in Boston. I like 5th Avenue in New York. My guilty pleasure is suits. I like being fitted for suits all the time.
Kelyn: Well Newbury Street is pretty cool, but I would say that driving into Oregon from Washington, there is a place called Woodburn that I love. Oregon has no sales tax, so every time my family went to go see my sister at the University of Oregon, we’d always stop there and mom would always give us $150 or $200 to buy things with. We’d go back to school shopping there, buy clothes, it was the best time, like a little kid at Christmas.

HC: What is your ideal first date like?
I like to do breakfast dates. Back home, in the morning, you could go down to the beach, get some coffee, eat some pancakes and keep it casual. You can extend the date as long as you’d like, or you could cut it off early. It’s the best first date, super chill and no pressure.
Kelyn: I’d probably go pick her up. I’ve always been taught to be a gentleman, so pick her up, open up the door, that kind of thing. Maybe I’d take her to dinner, or maybe I’d make it at home because I like to cook.

HC: Do you have a specialty?
Kelyn: A lot of different chicken dishes. There’s a chicken feta with tomato on top that’s pretty good with balsamic vinegar, maybe a little pesto too.

HC: So after the meal, what’s next?
: I’m a classic dinner and a movie type of guy. Dinner and a movie and then I’d take her back.

HC: What kind of movie would you go to on a first date?
I would say a comedy. You want to make her laugh a little and a girl loves to laugh, so I would say a comedy. Then I’d bring her back and do the awkward ‘do I kiss her or not’ on the porch.
HC: Let’s say that you had a single teammate you were trying to set up on a date. How would you go about doing that?
A.J.: (Laughing) I would try and make it super awkward, which is what I’m trying to do to Lee Nguyen right now. I don’t know … I think I would just try and make it really uncomfortable for him and probably laugh about it.

HC: And then they’d bond over how awkward the date was?
Exactly. Exactly.
Kelyn: In college, I set up my buddy, a roommate, with one of the other soccer girls that I knew. It was mostly … well … I really talked him up to her. I talked him up so much and I don’t think he lived up to my talk. I got them together over dinner and just kind of left, leaving the two of them there to sit and talk.

HC: Did she not know he was coming?
No, she didn’t know what was happening either. I made it a little awkward for both of them, but they made it through and they ended up hanging out a couple of times after, so it worked.

HC: What is a song on your iPod that would be considered a guilty pleasure?
I mean, they’re not embarrassing, just classic music like Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ and that ‘Call Me Maybe’ thing that’s been going on lately.

HC: What about a go-to song on your iPod?
My all-time favorite would probably be ‘Free Falling’ either by Tom Petty or by John Mayer. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the car or in the locker room, that’s my favorite. Pregame, I like to get pumped up a little bit, otherwise, I’ll put on some John Mayer to relax.

HC: What is the coolest/most interesting thing a fan has done for you?
This really sweet girl, she made me a keychain with my name on it. I ended up putting my house keys on that, so it was pretty nice.
Kelyn: There are two. One would be when a girl made a whole plaque with pictures of me, some with her and I after the game, or just of me playing. It was pretty cool because I’ve never gotten anything like that before. It’s actually in my room at home.

The second is when we went over to our fans in “The Fort” after a game and said thank you to them for their support. They started chanting ‘Rowe! Rowe! Rowe!’ which made me feel so good. It was the first time I really felt like I was a part of that whole experience.

HC: What do you do on a day off in Boston?
Kelyn: That depends on who I’m with. If I’m with Lee Nguyen, or some of the guys on the team, we’re probably getting massages. We treat ourselves pretty good. If I’m with Lee, we usually get Vietnamese food after, or if I’m with some of the other guys, we’re probably just walking around Boston, going shopping on Newbury Street. These guys make me spend so much money and I hate that, but I love going to Boston with them because it’s pretty fun.

HC: So you are a massage guy, do you do pedicures as well to keep your feet in good condition?
I have. I’ve gotten multiple pedicures. They’re great for your feet and I feel so good … I walk on clouds afterwards. I won’t get them painted, that’s a little too far for me, but the massage of the calves and the feet, it’s amazing. I love it!

HC: What about you A.J.?
My feet … nah. I got one pedicure and it was a horrible experience. It was awful! I’ll never get one again, I don’t think. Everyone says to do it again, but I swear, I did it one time and it was awful.

HC: It’s bad if you are ticklish.
Well, I’m not even that ticklish. I just wasn’t feeling it. The water was dirty. It was actually pretty grimy. It wasn’t cool.

HC: What else do you do to keep yourselves in shape as a soccer player?
My job helps me a lot, but I do a lot of yoga. I like it more because it’s peaceful, it calms me down and it lets me relax. There’s a cool little studio right by my apartment in Boston that I like to go to.
Kelyn: I don’t think I do anything different from the other guys, but we’re all on pretty good diets, or at least trying to be, I’m still trying to get over my 20 year-old college eating habits with the fast food and whatnot. It’s just getting out here, working hard every day, going in afterwards and working out. It’s hard, especially with the diet, so keeping that every day and not being lazy enough to cook your own meal and not going out much.

HC: Do you go with your teammates?
No, I do that one by myself. I always hang out with Lee (Nguyen) and he wants to come with me, but I don’t know if I can take him. I don’t know if he’s got that kind of quality in his yoga game.

HC: Alex Morgan or Victoria Beckham?
Well, Alex Morgan is like my sister. I’ve lived with her, so she’s my fave! She’s a really good friend of mine and she actually goes out with one of my good friends.
Kelyn: The thing is, I’m an Alex Morgan fan because she’s beautiful and she’s a great soccer people, but I have a thing for accents and Victoria Beckham’s is amazing, so I’d have to go with her.

Georgie Hazell is a final year Anthropology and International Politics student at the University of Exeter, UK. Georgie became involved with Her Campus during her semester studying abroad at the College of William & Mary, along with Rocket (the campus fashion magazine), Trendspotters (the campus fashion TV show) and Tri Delta sorority. She hopes to pursue a career in media or marketing in the future. Georgie has a passion for travel and experiencing new cultures, and spent five months travelling the world on her Gap Year.
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