Lauren Silver is remarkably undefinable

Lauren Silver is an entrepreneur, an accomplished soccer player for club and country, a proud biracial woman, and so much more. When talking about Silver, it would be irresponsible and impossible to try and put her in any single box. With her life experiences, skills, and mindset, she is truly undefinable.

After a successful collegiate career with the Florida Gators, Lauren’s professional career started with stops in Sweden, France, Scotland, and Norway. “Yeah, 27 years old I’ve been pretty much all over the world,” Silver told BGN. “My favorite place to live was Stockholm, Sweden and I’ve always loved when I had a chance to visit Jamaica.”

“Some of my best experiences are on the public transportation in Sweden, taking the trains and traveling, learning about the culture and learning the language are some of the best experiences I’ve ever had. And the obvious one, being able to play in the women’s World Cup in 2019 was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

She played in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup with Jamaica (the women’s national team’s first World Cup appearance), despite being born in Miami, Florida. Silver made her debut for the Reggae Girlz back in 2014. “Being able to represent Jamaica is bigger than me. The country itself is small but there are a lot of people that come from Jamaican heritage. Being able to represent my mother’s and grandfather’s lineage is one of the most honorable things I can do.”

“I didn’t spend any time in Jamaica before having the opportunity to play with the national team, but I’ve come to call it home and have spent a great amount of time there and with the people. I can specifically recall the time during World Cup qualifiers when we, Jamaica, were hosting the second tournament during the qualifying process and we finished in first place in the tournament. Seeing the stands as full and proud of us was such a great accomplishment, seeing that woman football in Jamaica was barely existing before the run of my first campaign of the World Cup in 2014.”

Lauren and her mother

Not only did Lauren’s mom pass down that Jamaican heritage, the marathon runner also provided some impressive athletic gifts to her daughter. “My mom is a boss. She’s a straight up G,” Lauren said. “She actually started running at a very late age typical to most. I would say in her early 20s. She is a fantastic 5K Runner and half marathon runner, even though she runs anything in between. I remember my mom is training for a marathon and she was in her early 50s and at the time was extremely close to competing with Olympic qualifying times. To be completely honest my mom could probably kick my ass in a half marathon even now and she’s 66.”

While she’s been growing as a soccer player, Silver has also been growing her profile off the pitch. “Being a soccer player has provided me with some of the best opportunities. It has allowed me to network with a lot of people and connect with a larger audience, larger than I would’ve ever been able to achieve without the sport,” she explained. “With that being said, I’ve been able to achieve a lot in my life with soccer in with also building my business in my brand, SilverbutGold.”

“What I learned in my sport most, is that there are a lot of things I cannot control, but what I can control are my personal efforts and the energy that I put into things. So, I started to invest my time and energy into building a larger community of people and a brand for them to follow. That led me into my career and now business, where I hope other people, including athletes, build brand and businesses that are not only lucrative but extremely impactful with their platform.”

Discussing the important of having that avenue outside of just being a soccer player, Lauren said, “Believe it or not athletes have some of the largest and most impactful platforms because of the influence that they have over people. Some athletes choose to use it while others don’t. So many people leave their sports not knowing what they’re gonna be doing next.”

“So from the experience I have learned while playing in building my business that there is a market for helping athletes do the same. You guys can follow my journey on Instagram at @LoSilver_ and @silverbutgold_.”

On those Instagram pages, and in both photos in this article above, you will see Lauren (and her mother) proudly wearing one of her brand’s shirts that reads [yea…i’m black]. She’s very outspoken about issues facing the Black community and individually as a biracial woman. “Growing up, I was the kid that would be called a mutt or would be referred to as the white girl. Often times people and asked to touch my hair, if my eyes were real, why I was so white or dark depending on the group of people I was with, often times I myself didn’t even recognize the discrimination or understand it,” she explained.

“As the current dynamic of our country changes, and people begin to open their eyes and hearts to learning more seeing more and understanding more about what it means to be black in America, I feel it’s my job and responsibility to share my experience as a biracial woman. It’s a difficult topic to talk about, because I cannot represent an entire culture or race or society, I am just one person. My experiences are individual to me, and while I can share and resonate with others about the different forms of discrimination, racism or sexism I have experienced in sport and in life in general, my experiences are my own.”

“So because of that, I actually started creating some apparel that spoke to that matter. Most people look at me and they don’t know who I am or what I am and because of that I immediately feel displaced. As I challenge myself to dive deeper into understanding my culture in my place in society, I challenge others to do the same. As a part of my business, i have created the [yea…i’m black] series, which now has a few other phrases that include non-black communities as well, with the intent to make a statement and to continue the conversation that so desperately needs to happen. It is so important that people like myself continue to get opportunity, girls that look like me continue to get opportunities, so that little girls who are looking up to players in the NWSL can picture themselves playing at the highest level possible. This is important for soccer, For sport, for our country, and for the world.”

Lauren will continue her amazing journey as a person and as a player in H-Town for the rest of 2020 as a member of the Houston Dash. That will mark a return to where she was invited in the preseason of 2015 before not being signed. “I’m excited to be with the Dash this year. I believe things work out the way they’re supposed to,” she said. “When I was invited into preseason (in) 2015, things didn’t really go my way and in retrospect, I can gladly look back and know that my time was not done it now. So I’m thankful for the opportunity, and I’m excited to add to the team as much as possible.”

Joining the NWSL Challenge Cup champions, Silver will look to solidify the backline. She explained, “As a player, I bring a lot of experience, composer on the ball, attention to detail, And just being an overall good teammate. I want to bring a lot of intensity, competition, and good energy.”

As you can see in the video below, she isn’t afraid to compete against anyone. “Ocho is my guy. He is such a sweetheart, genuinely loves the game, is so experienced and has seen so much in sport and in life,” she said about Chad Johnson, a.k.a. Ochocinco, the former All-Pro NFL wide receiver. “He’s obviously great at FIFA, and having had a chance to play with him on several occasions, it was a great time and great competition.” A noted soccer fan who trialed briefly with Sporting Kansas City and played with Boca Raton FC in the NPSL, could Chad play potentially in the USL or MLS? “Ochocinco is Ochocinco, the man can literally do anything. He’s an athlete,” she said. “I’m pretty sure he’s in his 50s and he looks like he’s 28. And if he’s not in his 50s (he’s 42), sorry Ocho.”

The next milestone for Silver will be making her NWSL debut. That could come as soon as tomorrow as Lauren and the Dash will take on the Orlando Pride in the NWSL Fall Series. Kickoff at BBVA Compass Stadium is set for 7:30 PM CT, live on Twitch.

Carson A Merk

Reporting live from Sin City, I have covered both RGVFC and Las Vegas Lights FC since their inceptions. I also write profiles to highlight players from the NCAA to USL to NWSL and everywhere in between.