Canberra United goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer has had a roller-coaster career to date but the 2013 American National Women’s Soccer League draft takes the cake for the Michigan native.

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It was the 18th of January 2013, the very first NWSL draft was unfolding and Kopmeyer was driving to work after a recent move to southern California.

“I was following along on Twitter and pretty much every team that I thought needed a goalkeeper had made their picks,” said Kopmeyer.

“At pick number 27 of 32 I just put my phone down and had pretty much given up.

“All of a sudden I hear my phone going off.

“I checked it as soon as I got to work and saw that I had been picked at number 31 by the Seattle Reign and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.”

The University of Michigan graduate was blissfully unaware of any ongoing interest in her services.

“I had no idea I was still on anyones radar, I was what they called a ‘bubble player’ meaning there was really no guarantee of a spot on a roster.

“I got a job with the notion that I wouldn’t be getting picked up, some of the teams that seemed like they might want me were heading in a different direction.

While the news of being selected by Seattle was exciting the pressure soon followed as Kopmeyer realised she was competing for the backup position with Michelle Betos.

“The initial reason I think I was picked by Seattle was because Hope Solo had just had wrist surgery and they brought me in to compete for the backup role.

“After one appearance I was dropped from the squad.”

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“No one would pick me up after that but I wasn’t quite ready to give it up and I’m so thankful that I didn’t.”

The Reign handed the shot-stopper the opportunity to stay with the club with a range of coaching roles as she further developed her skills and the persistence paid off just one year later.

“Luckily Seattle called me back before the season in 2014 and said they had made some trades and offered me the number two spot and I grabbed that opportunity with both hands.”

One year after rejoining Seattle and Kopmeyer was on a plane to Europe to compete against some of the worlds best with Cypress side Apollon Limassol.

“That was really good for me, at that point I really needed some game time and Cypress offered me the chance to do just that.

“I went over to play in the UEFA Champions League and it was eye-opening to experience the passion for the sport over there.”

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After the European loan spell Kopmeyer began training with one of the best shot-stoppers in the history of the women’s game in Hope Solo, taking her game to the next level.

“Learning from her made such an impact on my career. She was always willing to help me improve.

“Her eagerness to consistently improve just amazed me and I’ve always made sure to carry on that work ethic on in my own game.”

Brought in by Heather Garriock this season as Canberra United’s first choice goalkeeper Kopmeyer jumped at the opportunity to make her return to Australia having played for Brisbane Roar in 2015.

The American is impressed with the country’s rapid growth of the game, particularly with the number of youngsters playing in the W-League competition.

“In the two years since I was last here the standard of the game has risen hugely.

“You don’t really get a shot at playing professionally in the U.S. until after college at the age of 21 or 22 unless you’re an outlier, a Lindsey Horan or a Mallory Pugh who were playing in the National team by 17 or 18.

“It’s pretty amazing to see some of the girls like Ellie Carpenter and Amy Sayer playing against girls over 20-years older than them, it really fast-tracks their development.

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As the W-League season draws to a close the American hopes that this season will not be her last time playing down under.

“I always say with goalkeeping I want to leave as many doors open as possible but I love playing here and would like to return for another season in the coming years.”

United play their last regular-season fixture against Kopmeyer’s former club Brisbane on Sunday but await a result between Melbourne City and the Newcastle Jets in order to determine whether or not finals football is still a reality.

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Fourth and final year studying Sports Media at the University of Canberra. Love all things football and can't wait to be part of the growth of the game in Australia. Waiting for the day the FFA come to their senses and hand us an A-League team... but could be waiting a while.