Idaho Rush SOccer Club

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Sep, 2019

Mallory Weber’s Journey From Michigan Rush to NWSL Pro


Mallory Weber, a professional player for the Utah Royals of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has taken one lesson with her throughout her soccer career: to never give up. Starting out her journey at Michigan Rush, Weber fought to make her way up from her position on the ‘B’ team to the ‘A’ team. When Weber tried out for the Olympic Development Program (ODP) for the first time as a youth player, she didn’t make the cut. However, her determination did not waver. Weber came back the following year and made the team. 

“There have been lots of highs and lows throughout my career and if I would have given up during any of the lows, I wouldn’t have experienced the highs and made it to where I am today,” Weber states.


During her time at Michigan Rush, Weber made some of her fondest memories including staying in hotels with her team during out-of-state tournaments, team bonding activities and all of the friends she made throughout her time playing. Weber also had a very influential coach at Rush, Andy Vanover. 


“He was the first coach who I felt truly believed in me by the way he pushed me and held me to such a high standard, a standard at times that I didn’t think I could reach,” says Weber. “Andy had the best way of providing feedback in a way that made you want to go home and immediately start practicing. He would arrive early or stay after sessions and work with me on my finishing and ball striking. I absolutely would not be where I am today without him.”


After Rush, Weber went on to Penn State University where she played in 100 games, starting in 97 of them. She scored 36 goals and had 29 assists. In 2015, she helped her team capture their first ever national championship, where she was named to the College Cup All-Tournament team. Weber has nothing but great things to say about her college experience:


“I absolutely loved the coaches at Penn State and the program, culture and values they created there. I always knew I wanted to leave Michigan for college and Penn State was everything I wanted... It was the best three and a half years of my life!”


Weber believes her youth career prepared her for the success she saw in college:


“One thing that I loved about the Rush program was the ability to guest play for other Rush teams across the country. I had the opportunity to play with Colorado Rush in a Nike showcase in Oregon. I was exposed to playing with new teams and for different coaches which really forced me to have to adapt and be coachable. That is a huge part of what helped me hit the ground running my rookie year in college, where I had 12 goals and 4 assists and made it to the national championship with my team.”


It was the success she saw her freshman year that shifted her mindset about her career. “I had a great rookie season and had just gotten my first call-up to the U20 National team. That’s when I really realized that I could potentially go pro,” Weber notes.


Weber’s professional career began in 2016 when she was drafted by Western New York Flash. After three weeks of being there, however, she was then traded to the Portland Thorns where she joined international stars Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Allie Long, Meghan Klingenburg, Emily Sonnet and Canadian start Christine Sinclair. 

“It was a completely different environment. The level of competition, speed of play and just overall pace of the game was something I had not seen before. It took me a year to catch up with and be able to hold my own physically and in reading the game,” she recalls.


Weber’s determination to not give up would once again be challenged when, in May, she was unexpectedly released from the Thorns. She was picked up by the Utah Royals almost immediately. 


“The transition from the Thorns to the Royals was actually pretty seamless,” she gladly admits. “The Royals are an incredible organization that treat their players like the professionals that they are.” The hardest part about the transition, however, was leaving her teammates of three years in Portland. “It is always hard transitioning into a new team, especially part way through the season. It took a few weeks to find my place and fit into the team but I could not be happier with how it has all come together, on and off the field.”


Though Weber has had a career of ups and downs, her story of continuously fighting through challenges to get where she is today is an inspiration to all athletes. To the Rush players that are looking to follow in Weber’s footsteps, she says that it takes, “a love for the game, work ethic, and determination to be the best,” as well as, “a lot of work on your own and outside of scheduled practices.”


Rush is proud to support and follow alumni as they pursue professional careers. You can follow Mallory’s schedule and stats as she finishes out her season with the Royals.  



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