- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 29, 2006

SEOUL — Joanna Lohman may play soccer at the highest level, but her real passion in life is the Washington Redskins.

“It’s typical America,” the Silver Spring native said. “You play soccer but watch football.”

Sitting in a hotel lobby in Seoul, where she is a member of the U.S. national team participating in the Peace Queen Cup, the talented midfielder reckons she must be the biggest Redskins fan in South Korea at the moment. Her goal in life is to one day become the first female general manager of the Redskins.

“Last year I went to every single home game,” said Lohman, who recently moved to Gaithersburg. “My friends and I always get there four hours before, right when the parking lots open. I scalped every ticket last year. I got a ticket for every game, sometimes below the normal price. I even went to the first ‘Monday Night Football’ game and actually got a free ticket.”

A rookie with the national team, Lohman hopes her luck at getting Redskins tickets will rub off in her soccer career.

“This is a great tournament for me as I never really expected to make this roster,” Lohman said.

Lohman, who graduated from Springbook High School and Penn State, is relatively new to the national team. She was invited to a training camp in May and signed a six-month contract in July. She has been based out of the U.S. residency camp in Carson, Calif., and hopes to get called back to the team next year as the Americans likely will be preparing for the World Cup in China in September.

The U.S. team will play Denmark in its first Group B game of the Peace Queen Cup in the southern city of Kimhae today, and Lohman is expected to get a chance to contribute off the bench.

“Jo may be that next player to solidify that defensive midfield role, so we want to give her the opportunity,” U.S. coach Greg Ryan said. “If we have an injury in the middle of the park, Jo is our next player in.”

Lohman is also a member of the Washington Freedom, which will play in the W-League next year and, according to Lohman, is in “a holding pattern until the [Women’s United Soccer Association] comes back in 2008.”

Lohman made her national team debut in 2001, playing four games at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, but it was with a fill-in U.S. team because the veterans were all involved with the start-up of the WUSA. She made one appearance in August this year, playing eight seconds after coming on for Kristine Lilly against China.

When the 24-year-old isn’t playing soccer, she puts her degree in business management into use working in commercial real estate in the D.C. area.

“I negotiate leases for tenants,” Lohman said. “It might sound boring, but it’s like athletics. It’s very competitive.”

For now Lohman is complaining about the Redskins’ poor start.

“We pay a lot of good money for big players, but they are not producing,” she said.

When asked hypothetically whether she had the choice between watching the U.S. team in the World Cup final or going to the Super Bowl, Lohman quickly went for the soccer game.

But what if her beloved Redskins were in the Super Bowl?

“Now you are pushing it,” Lohman said. “I’d have to go to the Super Bowl on that one.”

Peace Queen Cup roundup — Former Washington Freedom star Roseli helped Brazil beat South Korea 1-0 in the opening game at Seoul World Cup Stadium. The host team held on for 76 minutes before Angelica Ferreira’s long-range shot won the game.

That was the first competitive game for the fourth-ranked Brazilians since the gold medal game of the 2004 Athens Olympics, where they lost to the U.S. team. Brazil was without Marta, its most famous player, who did not travel with the team because of club commitments in Brazil. …

In the second game in the Group A doubleheader, Canada beat Italy 3-2. Canada stormed ahead on two first-half goals from captain Christine Sinclair, who led the University of Portland to last year’s NCAA title.

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