Emily Menges should be playing soccer with the Portland Thorns, but thanks to COVID-19, she spends a lot of time kicking a soccer ball against the wall of a dive bar across the street from her apartment here in Portland.
"There are no windows, so I can't break anything," she says.
Menges, a defender, was playing with a club in Australia when COVID hit. After her last game there, in March, she dashed to the airport to return home. When she arrived, Portland was already on lockdown, so she hasn't seen many of the new Thorns players in person.
The one upside to quarantine: Menges gets cultural references now.
"I know who Tiger King is!" she says. Never a big TV watcher, she binged the whole thing in one day. Now, she's moved on to Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Menges has also broadened her cooking skills. The Thorns deliver the ingredients for one meal a week. Among other things, she's learned how to make couscous and shrimp.
And, she's learned to appreciate the little things. She can't imagine what it's like to just sit outside with someone and drink a beer. But what she'd really like to do is play a soccer match against North Carolina or Seattle, and beat them. We'd like that, too.