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Dec, 2020

Internationals SC Alum Emily Ogle Heads to the Houston Dash

Internationals SC alumna Emily Ogle was recently traded from the Portland Thorns to the Houston Dash.  The move, which also included fellow midfielder Gabby Seiler, opens up some significant opportunities for the Strongsville, Ohio native.

“I'm super excited that I had the opportunity to play for the Houston Dash,” Ogle said. “They did some incredible things in 2020.  And the organization is really moving in a great direction.  I'm super excited for the opportunity, and I can't wait to get to Houston in a couple months.”

Ogle joins a talented squad that includes some of the league leaders in goals and assists, including Shea Groom, Veronica Latsko, Kristie Mewis, and Sophie Schmidt. 

“They are a very hardworking team,” Ogle said. “They pride themselves on that, and I know that they're also a close-knit group.  They have a culture there that they've worked hard to maintain.  I know that they're going to do the work on the field and off the field.  Everyone's going to be friendly and very welcoming.  And they have already done that.”

Ogle has high expectations for her future with the Dash. 

“I'm really hoping to make an impact on the field and in the community in Houston,” Ogle said. “I want to immerse myself in the city there and in the team and in the culture, and hopefully be able to get some opportunities to play.”

Yet her experience with the Portland Thorns proved to be quite valuable.  

“Portland is a great organization, and I had the opportunity to be teammates with some of the greatest players in the world right now,” Ogle said. “Being able to train and learn some players like Christine Sinclair and Lindsey Horan on a daily basis, I feel like they just helped me improve my game tactically and technically.  I'm just grateful for my time there.  And I feel like I've grown as a player and as a person.  I'm excited to take that to Houston, and hopefully be able to showcase that on the field.”

Ogle has learned so much from her time in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). 

“I've learned to take advantage of every opportunity that you're given,” Ogle said. “It's a very talented league.  There's so much talent in the United States, and there's not that many teams.  So, it’s hard to get an opportunity.  But I think this past year, especially with the Challenge Cup, you've seen there's a lot of young players that have a lot of talent.  I've learned to try to make the most of every opportunity that you're given.  And to really invest in your teammates and the people that you are playing with because you're spending the majority of your time with them. I'm really grateful that my time in Portland was filled with a bunch of really good genuine people and some great friends along the way.”

All of Ogle’s success can be traced back to positive experiences at Internationals SC and Penn State University. 

“It all started with Internationals,” Ogle said. “There I learned discipline.  I've learned the importance of hard work. And so that was really my foundation. And they set me up to be successful on that day.  I wouldn't have the same journey had I not been a part of the Internationals.  Zdravko and Keri both shaped me into the person and player that I am today.”

“And then at Penn State, I just kept growing,” Ogle said. “And it was just the next level of soccer, and I learned a lot tactically.  The coaches are some of the best coaches in the country.  I can't speak highly enough of Erica (Walsh) Dambach, Ann Cook, and Tim Wassell and what that program does.  I think they just taught me how to be a professional, and I'm lucky enough where I had that in college.  Then it wasn't as big of a jump from college to pros. I mean on the field, things get faster, playing wise, like speed of play, and all of that.  It's another jump.  But in terms of professionalism, I had already been practicing that through Internationals and at Penn State.  I’m just super grateful for all of those coaches and those programs because I definitely wouldn't be here today without them.”

2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic provided plenty of challenges for Ogle, but she has some big plans for 2021. 

“I think it was a different type of adversity, an adversity that I had never faced before,” Ogle said. “I've faced other types of adversity, but this one was just different. It impacted us in a multitude of ways, like personally, soccer wise, and mentally.  I think having gone through it, you definitely come out on the other side stronger.  And through all of it, it definitely just reinforced the fact that I love the game of soccer. This is what I love to do. When something is taken away from you, I think you start to appreciate what you do have and that's playing the game of soccer.  I think it just made it all more bittersweet when we did get that opportunity to play.  I know I was definitely more grateful for the chance to at least have some portion of the season with the Challenge Cup and then the Fall Series.  I think that reinforced the fact that you do this because you love it.  And I think that has helped motivate me this offseason and especially moving forward with the Dash.”

And hopefully the 2021 NWSL season will feature the return of passionate fans to the stands.

“It's definitely weird without fans,” Ogle said. “It’s not the same.  There's no fanfare.  And I know that the fan base has grown tremendously over the past season.  I'm really excited and hopeful that we'll be able to at least show the fans what we can do in person.”

Internationals SC Club and ECNL Director Keri Sarver was quick to offer best wishes to Ogle.  Sarver is quite confident that the move will be a positive and beneficial one.

“We are so excited for Emily as she takes this next step in her professional career,” Sarver said. “She will undoubtedly be able to blend into the Houston environment and make an impact on and off the field.  In addition to her soccer talent, her work ethic, curiosity, coachability, attention to detail and her personal character make her a valuable asset for any team.  Congratulations to Emily and to the Houston Dash organization!"

Photo Credit: Rob Gray/ISI

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