No matter where her soccer journey has taken her, OL Reign’s Rosie White has made sure not to lose her love for the sport. “I do love playing soccer. Being joyful is one of the most important things to me – I know I play my best and feel my best when I’m having fun and I lean into my teammates a lot for that,” Rosie told BGN. “I started playing soccer when I was 4 or 5 (years old) and the experience of playing has evolved so much since then. There’s a lot of pressure and intensity playing at the top level and that’s why it’s so important to hold onto the fun and the joy.”
She has definitely played at the top level at different times around the world. After a successful college career with UCLA, White signed with Liverpool in the FA WSL. She enjoyed her stint in England and is excited to see the men’s team so close to their first-ever Premier League title. “Big fan of Liverpool – I loved my time playing for the club! I love watching the men’s team play,” she said.
“My hope is that they start to invest in the women’s game more seriously,” White added about the relegated Liverpool women’s team.
She returned to the United States after her time in Liverpool and played with the Boston Breakers before the team folded. Staying in the NWSL, Rosie was selected by the Chicago Red Stars in the first round of the 2018 Dispersal Draft. But, her career in the Windy City got off to a rough start as she had surgery to repair fractures in both of her feet. “Injury is part of the journey and I’ve had some pretty good ones in my career – when you’re injured you get caught up in your own head and in your own world and when you get back to playing with the team you remember how amazing it is to truly be part of the group,” she explained.
Rosie would get back on the pitch with Chicago after a lengthy recovery before leaving the NWSL to prepare for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, her third with New Zealand. Discussing the opportunity to represent the Football Ferns on the international stage, she said, “It’s something that gives me so much pride and has been a huge source of motivation for me for many years. New Zealand has always punched above its weight on the world stage.”
“We’re always up against battles and I think that underdog status really pushes me to want to be better. I love being from New Zealand and representing a special part of the world.”
People in the United States may not be overly familiar with what makes New Zealand special or even know where it is on the map. But, Rosie is happy to shed some light on her island home country, which has a bid in to co-host the 2023 World Cup with Australia. “Honestly, I am really proud of what NZ represents as a nation,” White explained. “It’s politically very liberal and accepting and for such a small country. I think it represents a lot of hope (particularly in the current world climate).”
After playing in all three World Cup matches in 2019 for the country she loves, White signed with OL Reign back in the NWSL. In nine matches down the stretch, she scored two goals and added one assist.
When she’s not on the pitch playing the sport she loves, the fan of surfing and wakeboarding can likely be found on the water, enjoying nature. “I grew up in the ocean – It makes me feel at home,” she said. “I love all things nature and I really appreciate the natural beauty of Washington! I definitely try to make the most of the beauty while I’m there.”
Rosie also sees the beauty in helping others, making a big difference as co-founder of just b yogi. “just b is a digital yoga/mindfulness program for children with autism and their families. My best friend (and co-founder) Belden Long had the idea for this while she was working as a yoga instructor and teacher in early intervention of autism,” Rosie said. “She sold me on the idea and we’ve been working together since. We are in the early stages of development – but this project inspires me every day. I have so much love for the work we are doing and I want to see this grow!”
Next up for Rosie White will be the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup. She and OL Reign will kick off their round-robin matches on June 30th when they face Sky Blue FC at 7 PM PT.