What Youth Soccer Clubs Did Your Favorite USWNT Star Play for?

What does it take to play at the highest level? It’s no secret that the USWNT has an insane training regimen. But before they became champions and bonafide legends of the sport, they were just kids playing high school and youth club soccer like the all young socceristas out there. 

While it takes an enormous amount of hard work to play soccer at the highest levels, learning what youth soccer clubs the USWNT stars played for can be a source of inspiration for players who one day want to follow in their footsteps. Maybe you’ll find that one of your favorite players was once a member of your same club; in any case, this information is a reminder that even the biggest stars have humble beginnings.

Alex Morgan – Cypress Elite in California

Alex Morgan didn’t join a club team until she was 14 years old. So if you’re feeling a little late to the game, just know that you don’t have to play club your entire youth career to make it big. Cypress Elite is still around today, but under a new name: FC Premier.

Megan Rapinoe – Elk Grove United in California

Like Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe didn’t join a club team until she was in high school. Today, Rapinoe’s youth club is around under the name Sacramento Pride.

Christen Press – Slammers FC in California 

Christen Press’ youth coach noted that even at 16, she wasn’t a national team hopeful. Obviously, things worked out in her favor as she’s now a two-time World Cup champion.

Rose Lavelle – Cincinnati United Premier in Ohio


Rose Lavelle got an early start in the U.S. national team program, and was a member of the youth system for years before joining the full USWNT. But when she wasn’t representing the U.S. as a young player, she was playing for a local club.

Lindsey Horan – Colorado Rush in Colorado

Lindsey Horan changed the rules for female soccer players when she forewent a scholarship to women’s soccer giants University of North Carolina to go pro straight out of high school. Before that, though, she played for the Colorado Rush and U.S. youth national teams.

Mallory Pugh – Real Colorado in Colorado

Not everyone will make the senior USWNT at just 17 years old, but Mallory Pugh did. Before that, she played for Real Colorado in the ECNL and even trained with the club’s boys team, too.

Crystal Dunn – Albertson Fury in New York

Crystal Dunn’s career came full circle when she joined the NC Courage under coach Paul Riley – Dunn played club soccer for Riley when she was a kid in New York. Dunn also played for other clubs during her youth career.

Tobin Heath – PDA Wildcats in New Jersey


Tobin Heath played for PDA Soccer Club in New Jersey, something she has in common with fellow USWNT star Heather O’Reilly

Julie Ertz – Sereno Soccer Club in Arizona

Julie Ertz played for Arizona Arsenal Soccer Club (then called Gilbert Soccer Club) before making what she considered her best decision by switching to Sereno Soccer Club. Sydney Leroux also played for the club on her route to joining the USWNT. 

Sam Mewis – Scorpions SC in Massachusetts

Sam Mewis played her club soccer for Scorpions SC, in addition to playing for the U.S. youth national teams.

Feature photo via Facebook @SamMewis 


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