Sports > Schools
Star potential: Berg shining in young soccer career
In a state where football is king of sports, Celina is certainly no exception.
However, it’s a different kind of football that has become one Celina resident’s sanctuary. Haley Berg, a 14-year-old midfielder, has become a standout with the Dallas Texans U15 club, despite her school having no soccer program.
“It’s kind of sad because I want to play for Celina,” Berg said, “ but kind of cool that I get to play a sport that they don’t have.”
Berg began her career at the age of 4 and hasn’t looked back since.
“[Soccer] was kind of just a sport that every kid plays,” Berg said. “I liked it and so I kept playing.”
That career recently led Berg to Costa Rica, where the midfielder represented the United States on the Region III Olympic Development Program team. Berg helped her team tally four consecutive wins against Costa Rica-based teams to become the first Region III squad to go unbeaten in all four games during the tournament’s first seven years.
“It kind of gave me a glimpse of what it would be like to be on the Olympic team,” Berg said.
That has become Berg’s ultimate goal and the 14-year-old’s trip to Costa Rica may be a small stepping stone to accomplishing that feat.
“It was really fun and interesting,” she said. “It was my first time out of the country.”
Berg recently received further accolades when she was invited to participate with the U15 National Team in Carlsbad, Calif., where she continued to train with hopes of one day taking part in the Olympics. Berg’s success on the pitch has garnered attention from some of the top collegiate programs around the country. The midfielder listed Texas, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Texas A&M as her top potential suitors.
“I want to go to one of the big schools,” she said. “College can help you get to the national team.”
With several years to bring that dream closer to reality, Berg said the only potential obstacle she faces is her own dedication.
“Probably the only thing I can do to get there is work hard,” she said. “If I work hard and don’t get there, then at least I tried my best.”
Continuing her career in a town where football is king might not be easy, but Berg’s hard work may soon make her queen of Celina.
“I wish soccer was as big as football,” Berg said. “But I don’t think that will ever happen. Football will always be huge.”