The Women’s World Cup is just two months away, and its looming arrival has now pulled U.S. Women’s National Team members from around the league away from their respective NWSL clubs.
With each departure brings a new opportunity for another player in the league to step up and fill the gaps left by the National team members.
Enter Haley Kopmeyer.
Kopmeyer has been a member of Reign FC since its inaugural season in 2013. Drafted in the fourth round of the first NWSL College Draft, she started her professional career in conjunction with a new team within a new league, eager to bring professional women’s soccer success to the city of Seattle.
“I learned so much during my rookie season. It was definitely a massive jump from college to the pros,” said Kopmeyer.
During her rookie season, Kopmeyer trained alongside U.S. Women’s National team star Hope Solo. Day in and day out, the then-22 year old worked hard to improve her game and soak up all that she could learn from the veterans around her.
“Hope has always been such an incredible teacher and mentor. I saw what it would take to excel at the highest level,” said Kopmeyer. “She is never satisfied. She knows she can keep going and she knows she can be better. I have tried to adapt that same mentality. I know that the work is never done.”
After making one appearance for Seattle in 2013, Kopmeyer was offered the chance to return in 2014 as well.
“I thought that 2014 was an interesting year with the way it panned out. I still felt like a rookie even though it was my second year in the league,” said Kopmeyer.
While she may have felt like a rookie, Kopmeyer’s performance on the pitch was anything but. In four appearances, the Troy, Mich. native notched three wins and a tie, as well as two shutouts. Of the 27 shots that fell in her vicinity, 19 of them were on goal, and Kopmeyer made 17 saves while conceding only two goals.
Following the 2014 season, Kopmeyer had the opportunity to play abroad in Cyprus and add another level to her play between the posts.
“My time in Cyprus was good. The training was great and it was nice to stay within a team atmosphere,” said Kopmeyer. “I was playing with a defense I hadn’t gotten a lot of training with so it meant that I had to be a lot more vocal than I ever had been.”
Kopmeyer’s contributions in 2014 and the work she put in during the offseason have helped her make the transition from rookie to veteran as she prepares for her first start of 2015.
“Haley has been with us since day one. The challenge has been for her to prove to herself and everyone else that she can play at this level and she did that last year,” said head coach Laura Harvey. “She knows what we want and how we play and I think her stepping in Saturday will be a seamless transition for her.”
The stage is set. The groundwork has been laid. The opportunity is there for Kopmeyer’s taking.
“I feel lucky. I feel prepared,” said Kopmeyer. “Above all, I have a desire to go out there and do everything that I can for this club.”
Grab tickets to Saturday’s matchup against Washington Spirit by visiting ReignFC.com. If you can’t make it to the stadium, download the official, free Reign FC app to watch live via YouTube on your iPhone.