Website Manager

INTERNATIONALS GIRLS SOCCER CLUB A HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE

INTERNATIONALS GIRLS SOCCER CLUB A HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE

News Detail

13

Feb, 2021

ISC Alum Taylor Leach Continues Pro Career in Kansas City

Internationals SC alumna Taylor Leach is headed to Kansas City to continue her NWSL career.  Leach is no stranger to the professional scene, having spent four years in Sweden before returning to the U.S. to play for Utah Royals FC. 

Leach spent nearly three seasons with Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC, registering six goals and three assists in 86 total appearances.  She also helped the club qualify for their first UEFA Women’s Champions League birth in over five years.  Leach also had the opportunity to play alongside U.S. women’s national team standout Christen Press. 

Leach also spent a season with Östersunds DFF in the Swedish second division, where she scored two goals in 14 matches.  She actually began her European professional career with Sunnanå SK, adding two goals in 13 games played.

“I think playing overseas gave me a better outlook on the variety of the game,” Leach said. “There's so many ways to look at it, so many different ways to play it, that my teammates, all different, different countries, different styles, different languages.  I think that's helped me when I've come back here to the U.S.”

Leach spent her college years at the University of South Carolina, scoring six goals in 86 matches with the Gamecocks.  The defender was recognized as a member of the First-Team All-SEC for her junior and senior seasons. 

Her illustrious career at the collegiate and professional level began with a strong foundation at Internationals SC.  She credits her club and college coaches for where she is today, a professional player in one of the world’s top leagues.   

“I think the way that I've had to deal with the mental side of COVID, for instance, not being able to initially train last year, we were quarantined,” Leach said. “Just the professionalism I saw in college at South Carolina, and even before that with Internationals.  The coaches there, Keri (Sarver), Zdravko (Popovic), and then my college coaches, Shelley (Smith) and Jamie (Smith), instilled in me just doing the little things, the things that I can control.  COVID, we were not able to control that obviously.  Doing what I needed to do to stay prepared I think was super vital in being able to then play some last year.  Obviously, games are limited with the conditions and the circumstances.  But I think just having that positive outlook on everything.  And I think that's just going to propel me into this year.  And again, staying prepared, staying mentally there as well.  It's been hard and again going home and still having to deal with COVID issues.  It hasn't been easy for anyone. So, I think just having those principles instilled in me at a younger age with the professionalism alone. I think that has helped me throughout my time here as a professional.”

The Maumee, Ohio native played for Utah during the 2020 NWSL season.  She tallied 180 minutes in two starts with URFC. 

Leach and her teammates overcame a number of obstacles as the team was experiencing incredible turmoil amongst the coaching staff, front office, and ownership.    

“I think the fact that we were able just to come together and deal with everything that was going on there in Salt Lake the way we did just goes to show the strength of this group collectively,” Leach said. “I think that's the biggest thing.  When all was not going the way that we wanted it to, being able to wake up every morning and want to continue to go, I think that in itself was super helpful in the conditions that we were dealing with.  Just the group and the camaraderie that we had as a group. I'm very excited to keep most of everyone together for this new journey.  I think that was the biggest thing to take away from that whole experience.”

The COVID-19 pandemic was yet another obstacle that Leach and her teammates faced in 2020.

“I think the fact that we as the NWSL were able to hold the first tournament, being the Challenge Cup, and do it successfully I think speaks volumes to the staff we have on board, the players, just everybody involved here in this league,” Leach said. “I think that speaks volumes of us being able to do what was needed in order to make that a successful tournament and be able to carry that out.  Because you see all over the world and in the U.S. specifically with different leagues, struggling because of COVID.  And in various teams, having their own cases and players being out and that kind of thing. It's hard; it is very hard. But the fact that we were able to be the first to do it, I think was great. So, it is possible.”

Now Leach and the team are headed to Kansas City, which was announced as an expansion team on December 7th. 

“It's honestly been a good transition,” Leach said. “I think the club and organization here in Kansas City did a great job of making the transition from Salt Lake as smooth as possible.  And that's just a testament of them and what they bring.  And I think for me, personally, it's also something that I'm excited about, just because it's closer to home for me than Salt Lake was.  It's only a 10-hour drive versus a few days. So, in that aspect, I'm excited because now it's obviously closer for my family to be able to visit more often.  Professionally, it's just a new adventure.  And it’s something to add on to my career of locations that I played in.  It’s been good.”

Leach was eager to start training camp, which allowed players to finally get back on the pitch. 

“I'm so excited,” Leach said. “It's been a long time coming.  Everybody went home and did their own thing in their offseason, staying fit and training.  We're coming to a new place, a new organization, new staff members, new everything.  I think it's super exciting for everyone, a fresh new start.  And I think that will be good for this group of girls.”

This excitement has led to some big plans for 2021 and beyond.

“Short-term ones are just for me just to come into a new environment and make a name for myself,” Leach said. “Long-term, I'd like this team to go on as far as we can obviously, to win the championship would be a huge goal for us. And I think anything that I can do to help any teammate or the team in general, I just want this team to succeed.” 

Seeing continued expansion and growth in the NWSL has been rewarding for Leach.

“I think that girls’ and women's sports, soccer specifically, is obviously as everybody knows, it's just growing and growing,” Leach said. “And the fact that we were able to get a team back here in Kansas City is great for the league. And just the vision of more teams being added in in the near future is great.”

Club and ECNL Director Keri Sarver is looking forward to seeing Leach continue her professional career in Kansas City.

“We are happy to see the NWSL thriving and excited for this new opportunity in front of Taylor,” Sarver said. “Taylor Leach is a true professional.  Her mindset and attitude will help her make the best of any situation will help her be a positive impact on any organization.  Her Internationals SC fan base will be following and cheering for Taylor and her Kansas City teammates in 2021.”

Leach was kind enough to share some important advice for her young fans and supporters back home in Ohio. 

“I would just say to dream big, to not let anyone or anything get in your way of your dreams and what you want to accomplish,” Leach concluded.   

Photo Credit: NWSL

Contact Us

Internationals Girls Soccer Club

313 Medina Rd. 
Medina, Ohio 44256

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 330-284-2711
Copyright © 2021 Internationals Girls Soccer Club  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Login