After playing sparingly a year ago in the first Women's Professional Soccer season with the Washington Freedom, Independence midfielder Joanna Lohman took an extended road trip in an effort to improve her game.
In September, Lohman headed to Japan with Freedom defender Rebecca Moros to train with a professional team, Beleza, outside of Tokyo. It's the team the Freedom's standout midfielder, Homare Sawa, plays for.
Lohman and Moros stayed there 21/2 months, and Lohman said it had a profound effect on her career. "It was the best experience I had," said Lohman, who had to pay her own way. "It was worth the price."