Cheyna Matthews and family chasing football glory

Cheyna Matthews and family chasing football glory

Women's Olympic Football Tournament

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  • Jamaica forward Cheyna Matthews aiming to help Reggae Girlz to Tokyo 2020
  • Husband Jordan is preparing to play in the Super Bowl with San Francisco 49ers
  • Matthews speaks about balancing life as a parent and a professional athlete

You would be very hard pressed to find something that would throw Cheyna Matthews off.

The fact that she is competing with Jamaica at the is impressive in itself. In the last two years alone, Matthews married husband Jordan, gave birth to their son Josiah, returned to professional soccer - where she plays for the Washington Spirit in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - and represented Jamaica in their first ever appearance at the .

Matthews is currently on a mission with the Reggae Girlz to build on their historic France 2019 adventure and qualify for the for the first time in their history. Meanwhile, Jordan is preparing for his first Super Bowl as a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers. The past two seasons Jordan has been on the team that went on to win the Super Bowl, however, he was either cut or released before the championship game on both occasions due to various reasons. "And so this is the third year he’s been with a team that has now gone to the Super Bowl," Matthews said. "Hopefully they win it because it’s only fitting that this has happened three years in a row. It’s been an interesting road." caught up with Matthews to hear more about their "interesting road". What have the last nine months or so been like for you and your family?

Cheyna Matthews: It’s probably been the toughest nine months we’ve gone through, especially with the moves. Last year alone we moved six times, due to Jordan’s schedule with the 49ers and then the Eagles. It’s been an interesting and trying year as far as our careers and also being new parents and finding a balance. Trying to fit everything in was really wild, honestly.

What’s life on the road like as a parent? How do you manage it?

Having to travel away from my son Josiah when I had to train and attend camps the first few times was really hard. He was able to come to a few of them, but leading up to the World Cup I had gone about five weeks without seeing him. My first time seeing him was five weeks after I had already gone to Europe, so it was really challenging, but we always talk about the rewarding times, which is obviously when my family came out to France and with us all experiencing that together.

With Jordan winning the NFC Championship and us all being able to be there and enjoy that with him after everything we had gone through the year before, we’re very thankful that we got to experience that – but most importantly, experience it all together. Immediately after the NFC Championship game, I had a 6:30am flight the next morning to get to Olympic qualifying camp in time. We got to celebrate that night while I was packing! I had a connection in another city to drop my son off with my family before coming to camp to Houston.

Will you be able to get to the Super Bowl to support Jordan?

We don’t have a game on Super Bowl Sunday, so it might be a situation where, if we’re in a good enough place [in qualifying], I could fly out the morning of the Super Bowl and then fly back the next day because we wouldn’t play again for another couple of days. It’s all very crazy, but it’s nice to know that we both support each other and we will do anything to make it work. We know we can’t play professional sports forever, and family is forever, so we want to be there for each other in these moments and enjoy them.