We caught up with Dash goalkeeper Bianca Henninger about life off the pitch, her perfect day and much more. Watch Bianca this Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium as the Dash host the league leading Portland Thorns FC for Pride Night. For tickets and additional information, visit HoustonDashSoccer.com/Pride.
What motivates you? Who is your hero?
My family is always what I use as my motivation. I take everything I do, from stuff in the gym to on the field to prep work, as a reflection of my gratitude for all the love, support and opportunities they've given me throughout my life. All of that is too much to give anything less than everything I got in the tank to make them proud. It's always for them. They're honestly the most amazing family, I couldn't have dreamed them up. I know that sounds cheesy or not genuine, but if you've met them, you understand.
In terms of heroes, I have a few for different reasons, but the main was is definitely my Mom. She's the most incredible woman I've ever met. The amount of work that that woman does to make the lives of everyone she loves easier is absurd. She would do anything for someone who has a place in her heart. Every time I think of the sacrifices she's made for us...it's amazing, she's amazing. I am so lucky to have her as my Mom.
In terms of soccer, at the height of his career, Iker Casillas was "the man" to me. He's kind of a smaller guy, so he had to adapt that to the game at the highest level, and he was an incredible leader. Obviously I can appreciate keepers like Neuer for how ridiculously talented he is and for how he's changed the position, but I can relate a lot more to Iker. Watch some of his old stuff, he's a freak...in the best way
What is your favorite soccer movie?
My favorite soccer movie is probably Bend It Like Beckham, but the keepers didn’t really perform that well. She’s The Man was really funny.
What movie star would play you in a movie about your life?
I’m a big fan of Tina Fey. I don’t think we look alike but I enjoy her work on the screen. She’s also very funny.
What is your favorite book?
I really enjoy Mind Gym by Gary Mack. The book focuses on athletes and how they can maximize what they do in training.
What is the first song you sing at karaoke?
I can’t sing, my brother is a singer and he has the musical gene. If I had to sing karaoke, it would be Aaron’s Party by Aaron Carter. Yeah, I’ll go with that.
If you had to live on an island with two teammates, who would they be?
Haley [Carter] because she knows how to survive and I have to say Chappy. She can always make me laugh. She’s Canadian so I believe she should have experience with the outdoors, I understand Canada is not an island but I’m picking her.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would that be?
If I’m not worried about what’s healthy or nutrition, I’ll go with pizza. I love pizza. The way I can distinguish an average pizza restaurant from a good pizza restaurant is by their margarita pizza. If they can do that right, then you know it’s a good restaurant.
If you could have one superpower, what would that be?
I’ll go with what Cari said, teleportation. We have to travel so much and it can get tedious to pack and be on the move so often. Also, it would save time when I visit family. I could spend the time I would be in the airport with family and friends.
If you could visit one place on Earth, where would that be?
I want to go to Spain. I’ve visited Spain but it was has always been for soccer so I haven’t had an opportunity to explore the cities and walk among the locals. I want to go to Madrid, watch a Real Madrid game – that is my favorite team. I just really want to explore the country because I haven’t had an opportunity despite the numerous trips I’ve made to the country.
Describe your perfect day.
I want to sleep in – I’m a fan of lattes so I would want a perfect vanilla latte and read a book in a city with no humidity. I’d also want to play soccer with my best friends, grab lunch by the beach and spend the evening with my family. I’d ask my brother to sing and have my dad cook a great dinner to cap the day off.
What are 2-3 things you want to accomplish in the next 5-10 years.
That’s tough to answer because I don’t know what the future holds for me after soccer. I’m thinking about that more and more but in the next 10 years I’d like to work in sports. I’m a fan of every sport, you have basketball, baseball, American Football and soccer and I’m a fan of each one. I enjoy them all and I want to work for a team and make my way up the corporate ladder and have an important role like the general manager. I want to make important decisions that shape the organization.
What is one of your favorite hobbies?
Both of my brothers are very creative, my younger brother is a singer and my older brother is an actor. My older brother also shoots film and produces content. I’m not an artist like them but I like photography. I'm a big thinker, like I feel like throughout the day my mind is in overdrive. That's one of the reasons I love playing, I can check out from all that stuff because at this point in my life most of what I do is ingrained after doing it for 20 years haha. Similarly with photography, my mind gets to take a break. If you're not present, you miss the best stuff so you have to make sure you're just there in the moment. I like looking at good photos, and I like taking photos to just turn my mind off for a bit. It's a nice escape from real life.