Emily Ogle officially has a new soccer home. After beginning her career in Portland, she was traded to the Houston Dash in December and signed a new multi-year contract not long after. “When I learned that I was traded to Houston I was excited,” Ogle told BGN. “I knew Houston had just come off of a fantastic year with winning the Challenge Cup.”
“They really invested in their culture and so I knew it was a tight knit group and they were disciplined and really hard working. So I was just excited for the new opportunity and to come to a great city like Houston.”
Before arriving in the NWSL, Ogle was an all-time great at Penn State, racking up All-Big Ten and All-American accolades. As a sophomore, she helped the Nittany Lions win their first-ever NCAA National Championship. “That season was really special,’ she said. “We had an incredible group on and off the field. A lot of the players who were part of that team are still playing and in the NWSL today.”
“So, that just attests to the talent that we had. We faced a lot of adversity that year and so being able to overcome adversity and attaining that final product of winning a national championship was definitely a dream come true and one of my fondest soccer memories.”
Also during her college years, Ogle represented the USWNT U-20 squad in the 2016 U-20 World Cup, earning a nomination for U.S. Soccer Young Player of the Year in the process. “I had a lot of fond memories from my time with the youth national teams,” she explained, having also played for the U-18, U-19, and U-23 teams. “But I think one of my favorite memories was competing in the U20 World Cup in Papua New Guinea. All of the girls on that team were really close.”
“We all had to redshirt that year in order to go and so we had a lot of time to spend together and really get to know each other. Not many people get to say that they’ve been to Papua New Guinea or even to that side of the world. It was a really cool and eye opening experience for sure.”
After her highly-accomplished career at Penn State came to an end, Ogle was drafted with the 24th pick of the 2019 NWSL Draft by Portland Thorns FC, with Portland trading up to make sure they acquired the talented midfielder. She made eight total appearances for the club. “Making the jump from college to the NWSL can be challenging so now that I have a few seasons under my belt, I know what to expect and the level that’s required,” Ogle explained.
What can the Houston Dash fans expect to see when she takes the pitch in the 2021 Challenge Cup and beyond? “I’d say I’m a technical player who likes to sit in half spaces and unbalance the defense,” she said. “I think my soccer IQ helps me read the game well and helps the team build and progress an attack. So, I think Houston fans can expect me to help control the rhythm and flow of the game and to help create goals and goal scoring opportunities.”
Now in H-Town, Emily’s journey began back in Strongsville, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. Like most natives of Northeast Ohio, myself included, she often finds herself having to defend the honor of the area. “I don’t understand why everyone hates on Cleveland,” Ogle said. “It’s actually a really cool city with a lot of fun things to do. One of my favorite things about Cleveland is how blue collar the people from there are.”
“You have to work hard for what you have and I think the city really prides itself on that. You can see that mentality and attitude embedded in the sports teams there, like the Browns or the Cavs. Growing up I had a poster of LeBron with his quote, ‘In Northeast Ohio nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have. I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.’ I think this quote really sums up the city of Cleveland.”
Ogle has your itinerary taken care of if you ever take a trip to The Land. “If someone visits Cleveland they should eat at Barrio,” she said. “It’s a really good taco place where you get to customize your tacos. Plus the queso is fantastic. They should definitely spend a day at Cedar Point. It has some of the best roller coasters in the US.”
“Cleveland also has the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which is a fun touristy thing to do. But lastly I’d say they should go check out West Side Market, which is a big indoor market with a lot of different ethnic food stands. I always enjoy going to West Side Market when I come home for the holidays.”
Cleveland’s Crown Jewel – The West Side Market – turns 108 today. Designed by #CLE architects Hubbell&Benes this landmark was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 & one of America’s “Great Places” by the American Planning Association in 2008. A #CLE original pic.twitter.com/3NeJ9Ep8Vb
— Chris Ronayne (@chrisronayne) November 2, 2020
In the Ogle family, Emily is one of five children and the only daughter. “So I have one older brother named Matt. Then I fall second in line followed by Sam. And my youngest two brothers, Jake and Josh, are actually twins,” Emily explained. “All five of us are five years apart, so growing up with them we were always really close. They were my best friends and who I always played with. And since we were so close in age we competed in everything that we did.
“I always looked up to my oldest brother and wanted to do everything he did and be just like him, much to his dismay. But I think my competitiveness stems from growing up competing against all of them. We would play just about any sport, soccer, tackle football, floor knee hockey, capture the flag, you name it. And many of those definitely ended in fights but I’m so fortunate to have grown up with all of them. They shaped me into the person I am today and are a big part of my story and how I got to where I am today.”
That story has led her to an exciting new opportunity with the Houston Dash. Emily will get her first chance to impress the Houston fan base in the 2021 Challenge Cup opener. The Dash will host the Chicago Red Stars on April 9th in a rematch of the 2020 Challenge Cup final. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM CT and will be live on CBS Sports Network.