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RIO DE JANEIRO -- Matt Andersons older sister realized he really must be struggling in order to call home with news for his family that he needed an extended break from volleyball. Nolan Ryan Jersey .Joelle Vanegas remembers it well nearly two years later, and also recalls her reaction once the worries for her brother had eased and she knew he would be fine.Vanegas threw out a little tough love.Youre the best player in the world, Matt. Suck it up, and get back out there and play, she told him.Eventually, he would find his way back, and Anderson will lead the Americans into their Olympic opener Sunday night against Canada.But he first took that much-needed mental break from the grind of his sport, the one that has taken Anderson around the globe and landed him largely isolated in Russia for eight months of the year playing professionally.The star outside hitter hesitates to use the word depression, yet knows he experienced some symptoms. In late 2014, he was in a deep funk and made that daunting decision to step away from volleyball and rediscover a balance in his life.I think I was experiencing some depression-like moments in my life. You get down on yourself when youre trying to be the best and be perfect. When youre like that for a while, you dont get that success, even if its a small simple thing, it can bring you down, Anderson said. I wasnt able to let it go when I left the gym, so it was bringing me down the whole day, not just in the moment. So I had to address it.He lost his father, Michael, in 2010 after a kidney cancer diagnosis and a heart attack. Two years ago this month, cousin Keri Ferraro Reisch was killed in a car crash.Each time, still in shock and grieving, Anderson quickly returned to his volleyball work with little time to be comforted by those closest to him.So, when he called home to West Seneca, New York, that day, his sister understood. She has watched his love for nephew Tristin, who has autism. Anderson has a tattoo with the boys name and a puzzle piece on his inner right forearm to support him.It was that a lot of things had happened to our family, Vanegas said. When my dad passed away, he had to be back in Korea right after the funeral. When my cousin passed away, he had to be back in Russia. He missed births of his nieces and nephews. He felt he was pulled away from all he was.Stepping away even for a couple of months is rare for elite athletes. Yet everyone in Andersons inner circle knew he just needed time, and they were quick to offer support.Those who know him well believe the 29-year-old Anderson is all the better now for having taken that break.I went home, I went back to the place where people know me as me and not the athlete, my family, friends that like hanging out with me not because I bring this aura of celebrity around with me, he said.U.S. coach John Speraw had been on the job about a year and a half when Anderson came to him.Nobody does that, so when a player comes to you and says, `I need this, you know this is not a cursory thought, hes given it a bit of consideration, Speraw said. I knew what place he was in and what he needed, and I was 100 percent supportive -- `Take a breath. How long do you want to breathe? -- For me it was indefinite.Speraw figures many volleyball players face similar situations.The sport has no U.S. professional league, so many American men and women competing in Rio have only recently returned to the U.S. base in Southern California from abroad to prepare for the Olympics.Reid Priddy, beginning his fourth Olympics at age 38, spoke with Anderson throughout the process two years ago. Priddy, who is married and a father of two, was in Italy earlier this year finding his rhythm as he worked back from reconstructive knee surgery.Priddy also has taken time off -- perhaps just not in such a public way as Anderson.This is a hard life. I had this desire personally to be connected to community, to start a family, and when youre buzzing all over the world, its just not a reality, Priddy said.Sometimes you just need to dress yourself in the morning, literally wear clothes that you want to wear. Youre not putting on team clothes, you just need some autonomy, he said.Anderson has flourished, thanks to family, friends and the U.S. team.You always have to try to be better than yourself, not try to be better than anybody else, his sister said. That is how Matt continues to grow. Nomar Mazara Jersey . Giroud, who wasnt in the starting lineup for two matches after allegations about his private life and a decline in form, scored twice in the first half. Tomas Rosickys chip made it 3-0 before half time at Emirates Stadium, while defender Laurent Koscielny scored an unmarked header in the second half. Will Middlebrooks Jersey . In Europe, top teams seem to be largely happy with their squads after spending nearly $1 billion in the off-season. And although English league clubs are unlikely to splash cash in January, Arsenal and Chelsea could be tempted to strengthen their squads with new strikers. . The phone hearing is scheduled for 4:30pm et/1:30pm pt. Winchester, who was not penalized for the hit, appeared to make contact with Kellys head early in the first period of Thursdays game in Boston. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (11 a.m. ET), Celtics G Isaiah Thomas (11:30) and actor Kevin James (12:30 p.m.) join the guys.Text us at 67974 (msg&data rates may apply) or tweet us at @LeBatardShow and @Stugotz790 -- well bbe with you from 10 a. Andrew Cashner Jersey. m. to 1 p.m. ET on ESPN Radio, and ESPNU. Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Jerseys 2018 Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Jerseys From China ' ' '