Canberra United import Simone Charley had to sacrifice her triple jump career to pursue her World Cup dream with the United States' national team.
It pulls on her heartstrings when she sees her former competitors ramping up their preparations for next year's Olympic Games but Charley has narrowed her focus in a bid to play international football.
The 24-year-old forward developed her trades through the American College system and attended the University of Vanderbilt, finishing her track career in her senior year.
Charley, a three-time All-American for the track event, fell narrowly short of advancing to the finals of the United States' trials for the 2016 Olympics.
She also holds the school's records in both indoor and outdoor triple jump, but her decision to focus on football paid dividends when she signed with the Portland Thorns.
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"It was definitely a hard decision because track has been part of my life for a long time but my heart goes with soccer," Charley said.
"Soccer is something I've been passionate about for the majority of my life and I felt like track was always the compliment as opposed to being the main thing.
"I also really like the team aspect of soccer, you're like a family and I really appreciate that camaraderie which you don't experience as much with track.
"I do miss [athletics] though. A lot of my friends are competing professionally now and when I go onto social media I see them at the Diamond League meets, the World Championships and Olympics. That would have been my goal if I was still competing.
"It pulls the heartstrings a little bit but it's fun being able to cheer them on. I like to keep up with it still."
She was part of the USA's under-23s team that took part in the Nordic Cup three months ago, where she scored her first international goal.
Having had a taste of international football, Charley's hungry for more and has her sights set on earning selection for the national senior team.
"Of course, it's everyone's dream to be on the national team and compete at the World Cup and the Olympics," Charley said.
The American forward is one of five international players joining Canberra United for the summer, joining Katie Stengel, Camila Martins Pereira and Elise Thorsnes up front.
The international quartet will led a completely rebuilt frontline, with coach Heather Garriock eager to score more goals this season.
Garriock's side scored the second fewest goals in the league last season, netting just 13 goals in 12 matches.
"[Our international players] are exciting, creative and unpredictable but the one thing I want to see this season is goals," Garriock said.
"The style of football we'll play is going to be defensively disciplined. If we don't concede then we don't lose but in attack, I think you'll see an exciting and creative team who will have a lot of shots on goal.
"There's a few good entertainers in the team so I can't wait for the fans to get out there and see our new recruits."
Charley is set to make her W-League debut when Canberra host Perth Glory in their season-opener at McKellar Park on Sunday.
The Portland striker has had limited time to prepare for their round-one clash, having arrived in the capital early last week.
"I've definitely grown as a player in the few days I've been [in Canberra] and it's been a really good opportunity so far," Charley said.
"There's been a lot of learning because the playing style is so different but I'm enjoying it.
"We've just focused on us [rather than Perth] this week and I know if we take care of that, then the match will take care of itself."
Canberra United has partnered with the Salvation Army and will accept donations for the bushfire disaster appeal on Sunday.
Round one: Canberra United v Perth Glory at McKellar Park, Sunday 4pm
Canberra United squad: 1.Annalee Grove (gk), 2.Laura Hughes, 3.Kaleigh Kurtz, 4.Jessie Rasschaert, 5.Nikola Orgill, 6.Emma Stanbury, 7.Simone Charley, 8.Olivia Price, 9.Katie Stengel, 10.Camila Martins Pereira, 12.Hayley Taylor-Young 15.Ashlie Crofts, 16.Karly Roestbakken, 19.Leena Khamis, 20.Shamiran Khamis (gk), 21.Rebekah Horsey, 23.Lauren Keir*two to be omitted*