FRISCO- Soccer coaches are constantly on a lookout for soccer players. For Hailey Davidson, it happened when she was 7 years old and she stood out from the rest of the group both as a player and due to her bright shoes.
“I had these red cleats, these red Adidas cleats that I was in love with that I just adored,” says Davidson. “My team got killed by Matt’s team and a few weeks later my mom called Matt to ask if I could try out for his team because I really enjoyed how they played and I really enjoyed how he coached. I wanted to take my game to a different level.”
Luckily for Davidson those cleats would remind Grubbs exactly who she was.
“When my mom called, [Coach Grubbs] he asked if I was the girl with the red cleats’ and he knew automatically who I was,” said Davidson.
“Just her passion within the game, her competitiveness and her feistiness and I thought to myself this could be a tough game if this kid gets going,” said ECNL Academy Coach Matt Grubb. “We were fortunate enough that next season to pull her into the club.”
For Davidson, soccer runs in her family. Being the daughter of Paul and Colleen Davidson has made things a bit easier since she is able to count on her dad for advice. He himself played soccer at Southern Methodist University from 1985-1989.
“My dad actually took me to my first [FC Dallas] practice and my dad played at SMU for soccer so even before that, the expectations was high for me,” said Davidson. “My dad always pushed me to be the best player I could be and was always there and always new what I was going through.”
Now 11 years later, Davidson has now played in all tiers of the FC Dallas Girls side and is a part of the FCDs’ ECNL team. Not only has she made a name for herself, but left an impact on the girl’s side.
“Ever since she’s had that competitiveness, that desire and that passion that she’s had for the game and has just really carried her on to be one of our best players ever in the area,” said Grubbs, who has been her coach for the past 11 years." [Hailey is] probably one of the most creative and feared outside backs and forwards that we have had in a while.”
Nedless to say Hailey took the challenge and was team captain in 2017. Not only that, but she participated in Nationals in 2015, 2016, and 2017 and was a two time Market Training Invitee. Davidson has also been invited to play in matches against the U.S. Soccer U15 Girls National team twice. As her level of play got better, her expectations increased.
“As I progressed as a player, the expectations got greater not just for myself but for my coaches and it’s rough meeting those expectations ‘cause sometimes you think you can’t do it and you are not capable of doing it but you have to believe that you can,” said Davidson.
Hailey now plans on majoring in Health and Exercise Science at the University of Oklahoma and is grateful for the opportunity and the journey she has had with the FC Dallas family.
“I always kept coming back to OU, I always knew that that was going to be my home,” Davidson said. “I just felt it, it clicked. Like you have all that hard work that you build up your entire life and it finally pays off in the end and it’s such a great feeling.”
Now as Davidson prepares mentaly for a two hour drive away from home, and begin her journey as sooner she recalls why she chose to be close to home and her biggest mentors.
“I realized I really wanted to be close to home, close to my parents, Matt, my friends” says Davidson. An in regards to her new journey she is thankful for those who have been a part of her growth as a player and the opportunity to continue playing soccer. “I accredit that to Matt, FC Dallas and all the coaches.”