For Robyn Moodaly, this is a familiar place with familiar faces.
The dynamic midfielder has returned to Des Moines this summer, reuniting
with a pair of fellow South Africans – Menace head coach Justin Vorster
and goalkeeper Kalen Swart.
Moodaly originally came to Des Moines five years ago, when Vorster
recruited her to play for since-closed AIB College of Business.
And Moodaly has known Swart for about 10 years. Starting when they were 14,
they went to boarding school together. Each step along the way, they’ve
played together, for South Africa’s national U17, U20 and senior teams.
When Moodaly joined the Menace in mid-June, it was her first time seeing Swart
since they were teammates in the 2016 Olympics. Also on that team competing
inBrazil wasJermaine Seoposenwe, who starred for the Menace in 2017. Fun fact:
Moodalyassisted Seoposenwe’s goal in an Olympic-opening 2-1 loss to Japan.
“Robza” – Kalen is the one who’s influencing it.
June 16, 1994
Johannesburg, South Africa
I got here to Des Moines in 2013, and I trained a little bit with the Menace before what was supposed
to be my first season at AIB. Unfortunately, due to some paperwork issues I wasn’t eligible for that 2013
collegeseason.Then in 2014, I was cleared to go, but right before that season, I got called up to South African
national team, then I tore my ACL in a friendly with Zimbabwe.
When I was recovering from my injury, AIB was closed. So then I went to Northwestern Ohio,
where I played three seasons. My second season (2016), we won the (NAIA) national championship.
I just graduated last month with a bachelor’s in Specialized Business and a minor Sports Management.
When I was 15, I was part of the South African U17s, and we played in the U17 World Cup in Trinidad & Tobago.
I was part of our U20s, as well. When I was 16, I got my first call-up to the first team. I was part of the squad for the
2012 Olympics in London and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
BEST MEMORIES FROM THE OLYMPICS
Just the experience in being part of it all. The highlight from this time was actually playing against the United States
in Chicago, before the Olympics, in front of a big crowd. It was unreal playing against Alex Morgan, Hope Solo,
Carli Lloyd and their team – Even though I wasn’t coming off an injury, it was a great experience.
THOUGHTS ON THIS SUMMER’S WORLD CUP
It’s been eye-opening, seeing the success of a lot of underdog teams that nobody expected to win.
I’m rooting for France, because that’s where my best friend is from.
PROSPECTS FOR PLAYING IN THE 2019 WORLD CUP
I’m hoping for the opportunity to once again represent my country. Our first team has never qualified
for the women’s World Cup, so if we qualify that will definitely boost our brand. I think we have the
experience and the talent to make it happen.
WHY THE MENACE?
The chemistry between the players has been so good. I love playing for Justin, I love how he’s all
aboutpossession game.He gives us the opportunity for free play; he doesn’t restrict us, and with this style
we enjoy the game much more.
Thank you, Robyn!
Story posted Friday, July 6, 2018