SEATTLE, Wash.—Casey Berrier was one of the first faces of the franchise for Emerald City FC of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) as the Seattle youth club debuted its adult side in the spring and summer of 2012. Less than a year later, and with a playing trip to Finland in the middle, Berrier is celebrating her drafting by FC Kansas City of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL.)
Berrier knew that FC Kansas City was interested. “I had been in contact with the KC coach leading up to the supplemental draft,” the Loyola-Chicago grad tells goalWA.net. ” I am very excited to have been selected and want to thank Coach Andonovski and the rest of the staff for this opportunity.”
Berrier’s coach at Emerald City FC is proud that her club has sent a player up to the highest level. “We are so proud of Casey and all the hard work she’s put into her goal of playing professional soccer in the US,” says Niki Taylor. “Our mission at Emerald City WPSL is to develop and prepare players looking to play at the next level and we’re happy to be a part of her journey. We wish Casey the best of luck in Kansas City and know she’ll represent the Emerald City well!”
Berrier has her eyes wide open ahead of trying to make it stick in KC. “I know that I have my work cut out for me. (Draft day) was exciting but I know I have to go into camp and prove that I belong in this league of world class players. To be able to train with the caliber of players FC KC has garnered so far will push me to become a better player every day. I realize I’m not one of the more high-profile players, but I’m excited to come in and make an impact immediately.”
Casey has already made an instant impact in Seattle. She followed that up with more of the same in of all places, Finland.
From start to Finnish
“Finland was amazing,” Berrier says of her time in that country’s top women’s league. ” It was everything I could have asked for in three months. My coach and teammates were wonderful and I learned so much from them every day. The Finns play a pretty technical game so I was able to work on that a lot while I was there as well. We won the Finnish Cup, we won our league (Naisten Liiga), and we advanced to the round of 32 in the UEFA Champions League. We were lucky enough to draw Olympique Lyonnais in the round of 32…and no I’m not being completely sarcastic. In both legs we played against Lyon I could feel myself become a stronger player throughout the game. Not only was I able to test my ability against some of the best in the world but it’s not every night you get to play in Stade de Gerland under the lights, in front of thousands. Pretty cool.”
Berrier enjoyed life away from the pitch in Finland, too. “Off the field was just as great. I got unbelievably lucky and was placed with the sweetest host family who lived within walking distance of the stadium which was perfect,” she says. “It saved me some time not having to deal with buses/trains/etc., as I have several Finnish transportation disaster stories. It is a beautiful country that actually reminded me a lot of Seattle with all of the green trees, bodies of water, and rain. Most importantly, I was surrounded by teammates who were more than welcoming and went out of their way to make sure I was comfortable in my new, foreign home. Not at a day went by that we weren’t cracking up over some translation discrepancy, or questions like “do you have apples in America?” Those who were around me made the experience what it was and I’m so lucky I was able to be a part of PK-35.”
Emerald City Inaugural
Casey is taking her career step by step, and she sees Seattle as one of the biggest steps of all.
“Safe to say if it weren’t for ECFC last summer, I wouldn’t be here today. Niki Taylor and the rest of the ECFC staff created such a hard-working and positive environment day-in and day-out it was impossible not to have gotten better as a player. We had so much talent on the field from all the local colleges like UW, SU, WWU, etc., plus those scattered at different universities around the country, it was a great group to play with. The NW Division of the WPSL last summer was very competitive and made every game important which meant we could never get comfortable. It was a great way for me to get back into the game, gain confidence, and enjoy every second of playing. I’m so appreciative of them bringing me on board last season and ECFC’s importance in the continuation of my career definitely doesn’t go unnoticed.”
Hometown: Chesterfield, MO
Berrier was a four-year impact player at the University of Loyola-Chicago from 2006-2009, recording a school record with 92 appearances. In 2006 she was named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team. She was 2nd Team All-Horizon League in 2006 and 2009. In 2012 she played with PK-35 in Finland and competed in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.