The Spirit of a Veteran Leader

Every player at the professional level has elite talent. But, there are intangibles beyond skill that are just as important to a club’s success. Leadership is one of those valuable commodities and Tori Huster brings an abundance of that to the Washington Spirit roster.

An OG Spirit

Tori Huster has been with Washington Spirit since the very beginning, one of the players selected in the inaugural 2013 NWSL Supplemental Draft. With over 100 appearances for the club, she’s been around countless young players during that stretch. Her best advice to those less experienced players is simple but massively important. “Every moment is a learning experience. The quicker you can find the learning moment in any given situation, namely mistakes, the quicker you can grow,” Huster shared with BGN. “It is most certainly a journey and it’s important not to get so stuck on any unfortunate circumstance. Unfortunate circumstances can often propel us in the direction we need to go and they can help us gain the knowledge we need in the future.”

Finishing one place below the playoff cutoff line last season was definitely one of those unfortunate circumstances for the Spirit.  Huster explained, “That definitely left a bad taste in our mouths so I’m hopeful that it can help fuel the seasons ahead. There were some results that we definitely should have grabbed and gaining more experience for our players will definitely help moving forward.”

Enjoying the coffee, culture, and coast Down Under

When she’s not starring for the Spirit, Huster has featured in multiple seasons in Australia. She’s played for the Newcastle Jets for most of her time in the country, but she did also spend a season with the Western Sydney Wanderers. “Playing in a different country is something I’ve always wanted to do so I’m happy that opportunity presented itself. It was a very easy transition to Aussie life,” Huster said. “They are very welcoming and supportive of Americans. The league is very competitive and definitely helped me get games in during the offseason. It helped me stay ready for the NWSL seasons.”

Tori also enjoyed life Down Under off the pitch. “My favorite thing to do was to sit at the beach, rain or shine,” she said. “My last year there, I went to the beach nearly every day no matter what, just because there aren’t any other beaches like theirs in the world. My favorite beach was Redhead Beach in Newcastle, NSW. The coffee culture in Australia is second to none, and it is where my love for coffee was solidified.”

Spirit Sisters

Playing the sport you love in two countries would be the highlight of most player’s careers, but one experience for Tori may have actually been more special than that. In 2018, Maddie Huster, Tori’s younger sister, was drafted by Washington out of Wake Forest. “My sister is my favorite human in the world. Living with her during the summer and playing with her on the same team was something I wasn’t even aware was a possibility. I remember tearing up when she was drafted to the Spirit and really enjoyed my time as her teammate. Very proud of everything she has accomplished.” The younger Huster would be waived by Washington before spending time playing in Sweden.

It’s Chili in Ohio

Like teammates Rose Lavelle, Aubrey Bledsoe, and Bayley Feist, Tori hails from Cincinnati, Ohio. And as most Cincy natives do, Huster has a passionate position on the chili scene in the Queen City. “There is no debate. Skyline Chili, hands down. So many memories at Skyline. Is there another chili? 3-way with oyster crackers and hot sauce on the side,” she said.

Next up on the menu for Huster and the Spirit will be the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup later this month. Like she has since 2013, Tori Huster will be expected to help lead Washington on the pitch.

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.