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American dream is matched by ambitions closer to home

KIM LITTLE has hardly had time to catch her breath in the last few days.

Yet it sums up the single-minded ambition of this footballer that she is accentuating the positives over a travel itinerary which would have most people crying for oxygen.

Last Thursday, Little was part of the Scotland team which maintained its 100% record in the 2015 World Cup qualifying campaign with a hard-fought 3-1 success over Bosnia.

She returned to her homeland the following morning, then flew to the United States on Saturday to meet up with her colleagues at her new club, Seattle Reign, for yesterday's opening match against Boston Breakers in the National Women's Soccer League.

"It has been pretty busy in the last few weeks, but you get used to it and I wanted a new challenge in America, so I can't complain if I have to get on a lot of planes," said the 23-year-old from Mintlaw in Aberdeenshire, who has become a totemic figure in the Scottish ranks. "I only arrived over here in February, then I was back on international duty at the Cyprus Cup in March, but there is a feeling that this could be an exciting time for the club.

"The sport has a much bigger profile in the US than it does in Scotland, and I know how tough it will be to win trophies, given the club has only been in existence for one season."

Little has never lacked resilience, nor talent. She used to beat the boys at skills challenges in Aberdeen and is on course to amass 100 caps before she is 25. Yet her prime objective is to assist the Scots reach the World Cup for the first time and they have laid down a resounding declaration of intent with victory in their opening six matches. As things stand, they are six points clear of Sweden, but Little knows they cannot afford to relax.

"A lot of countries are raising their standards and we have to push all the way, because we were trailing [1-0] at half time in Bosnia and there was a lot of work to do," said Little. "It wasn't perfect, but we are in good fettle to take on Sweden [on June 14 at Fir Park]. It is in our own hands."

And, for as long as that is the case, Little does not mind stacking up the air miles.

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