While toiling her way through law school, Kirsten co-founded a blog about Aston Villa and spun her ever-abiding love for Marek Hamsik into her first professional writing gig. Her personal infatuations may seem strange to others, but she was lucky enough to have a mentor who believed she was talented enough to write about soccer. That belief helped fuel her career in soccer writing. She wore hat after hat at SB Nation Soccer, wrote and edited for Fusion’s SoccerGods, and has contributed to NBC Sports and ESPNFC. While her jobs have often been a joy, she’s encountered many of the stumbling blocks that often trip up women in soccer media. Unusual Efforts was born out of the idea that those blocks need to be removed. In creating the site, Kirsten hopes to both expand gender equality in soccer media, and to be the mentor she herself was fortunate enough to have.
Condemned as an Udinese supporter since birth, Sonja’s love for the beautiful game has turned her into both a masochist and a megalomaniac, depending on the day. When not being self-deprecating and/or self-righteous, she types, talks, and tweets for various soccer outlets around the globe. This includes (but is not limited to) publications for The Guardian, Metro UK, and Global News and features on the BBC, beIN Sports, and Forza Italia Football. She has also acted as a consultant for various soccer-related books and, in her spare time, is running a (un)successful campaign to become the next FIFA President.
Not a journalist by trade, the trilingual Elizabeth Cotignola is an attorney in Montréal, Québec. Born and raised the child of Italian expatriates in ‘la belle province,’ she began her career in Chicago before returning home to Montréal, where she now advises one of the world’s leading aerospace innovators on compliance with export controls and economic sanctions. When she’s not lawyering, she enjoys yelling about A.C. Milan, the Montreal Impact, and her beloved Azzurri to anyone who will listen. Occasionally; she writes something other than tweets; she has previously contributed to A Football Report, Kickette, Futbolita, Soccer Gods, The Soccer Wire, SB Nation, and XI Quarterly. No stranger to donning stilettos in a world historically dominated by suits, she opted to join Unusual Efforts in order to put her skills as an advocate to innovative use.
Van Hong is an illustrator, designer and printmaker based in New York, who creates art with a focus on soccer. Her work includes portrait series of the U.S. Women’s National Team, New York Red Bulls and Tottenham Hotspur. Additionally, she has drawn live action sketches during several games in Canada during the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Most recently, she has created ball maps of English Premier League games, which are diagrams tracking the movement of the ball over the duration of match. She administers soccer artist collective Wundergol and is a regular contributor to online publication Sula Collective.