Alex Singer in blue playing for Turbine Potsdam in Germany and in purple playing for the Perth Glory in Australia.
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
January 9, 2013-Alex Singer helped lead 1.FFC Turbine Potsdam to the Frauen-Bundesliga championship last year and the squad is in second place this winter behind only Wolfsburg.
The 25-year-old native of New York City grew up in Rye and soccer has taken her from travel teams to ODP to the Region 1 team to a full scholarship at the University of Virginia to playing professionally for teams in four different countries. Alex played for the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) Olympic Development Program, starting as a Girls-Under-12 player and continuing with ODP through high school. Her mother, Laurie, volunteered as the team manager for six ODP-North teams.
Alex played club soccer for the Rye Tornado, Larchmont Wildcats and Eastchester Patriots 87 of the Westchester Youth Soccer League plus starred as a teenager for the Albertson Express of the Long Island Junior Soccer League, winning four State Open Cups along the way with Albertson. At Rye High School, she was League MVP and four-time All-League honoree, leading the school to the 2005 sectional championship. She scored 83 goals and 75 assists for the Garnets during her five-year high school soccer career.
"When I think about playing youth soccer, my experiences are full of good memories. I was lucky to have some very knowledgeable coaches and technical trainers over the course of my years as a youth player," Alex commented. "Going to tournaments and trips with the teams was exciting, especially when we were older and college coaches were watching. The Surf Cup and Disney Showcase come to mind since they were in a fun environment and places. What stands out to me was all of the relationships and bonds with teammates and other players as well as coaches. I made some incredible friends and close relationships that I still keep today and it’s been fun to follow along everyone’s path in their careers."
At 18 years old, she helped lead the Long Island Fury to the 2006 Women’s Premier Soccer League national championship in the inaugural season for the team. She also won a W-League championship with the Washington Freedom in 2007.
Paul Riley coached her on the Long Island Fury and stated, "Alex is a tremendous player with speed, skill and a great final delivery. She loves to attack and beat players. Always a true professional and a fitness level second-to-none. She can also play on both sides of the ball and reads the game really well. True team player who gets the most out of her teammates."
After graduating from the University of Virginia, where Alex was a four-year starter, she was drafted as a midfielder eighth overall by the Freedom in the first Women’s Professional Soccer draft and signed a standard contract that paid the sum of $27,000. That winter, she found employment a world away in Australia, playing for the Perth Glory. After returning stateside, she was waived by Washington in 2010 so she went back to Australia, then landed in Sweden to play for Dalsjofors, which had just been promoted to the First Division.
"We only won one game, but I loved it in Sweden," Alex told The New York Times. "I learned the language. I made about $30,000, had an apartment and car provided by the club. But after we were relegated, I had to ask myself what I was doing there. I knew I had done well and then offers would come in from other teams in Sweden and Denmark."
Then came a life-changing call from her agent. Turbine Potsdam, the club that went on to win its fourth consecutive Frauen-Bundesliga championship last season, was hit by the injury bug and needed players as it prepared for the second half of its season. Sight unseen, Turbine Potsdam signed Alex to a two-and-a-half-year contract and it was off to eastern Germany.
"At first I didn’t want to go," Alex commented. "I had a little life in Sweden. I had some stability after bopping around the world. My first thought was I don’t want to do it. And how can a top team in Germany, that hadn’t even seen me train, want me? But they wanted an experienced defender, fast, tall and good in the air, and able to play in their very direct style in the 3-4-3 formation — only three defenders."
Along with American teammates Alyssa Naeher and Keelin Winters, Alex has settled in Germany.
"I can understand a lot of German and I’m able to express myself. It’s important because our coaches only speak German. I went to classes for a while and will probably return when I’m back. There’s a lot of words that are similar to Swedish so that’s helpful. I would say the hardest part is the grammar, but I’m getting there."
Alex is currently spending the Frauen-Bundesliga’s winter break in Rye. When her contract is up next year, she is thinking about playing in the new National Women’s Soccer League.
"I would love to return to the States and play in the new league," she commented. "It’s very exciting and encouraging that there will be a pro league again, and it will be interesting to see how things pan out this upcoming season. I’ve gained so much experience playing overseas, especially in the Bundesliga and Champions League for Turbine Potsdam, playing on such a high level. I’ve had to adapt, and through this have added pieces to my game. So, I’m excited at the possibility of playing pro again at home. We’ll wait and see what happens."
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 12 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.