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Sep, 2021

From Colorado to Duisburg

Rush alumna Kelsey Vogel pursuing her dream

When Kelsey Vogel started playing for Rush her sophomore year of high school, she believed that move would position her to better earn a college scholarship. And she was right. She just didn’t know how right she was.

Last month, Vogel signed a professional contract with MSV Duisburg, a team competing in the second level of the women’s Bundesliga in Germany.

“I switched over to Rush because I felt like they would give me a better opportunity to develop as a player and get to where I wanted to go, which at that time was getting a scholarship to play in college,” said Vogel, who played for an ECNL team on the Colorado Rush club. “I loved my time with Rush. I really feel like they developed me as a player and made me better every day.”

Vogel credits her time with Rush as important for laying a foundation that’s still paying off for her both on the field—and off it, too.

“When I first joined Rush, I remember the amount of technical training we did and also just the focus on the development of the person, not just the player,” she said. “So, developing that like everyday, your accountability, your leadership and making sure that every day at training, you were showing up ready to train and being a good teammate—they really just instilled a lot of good values in me.”

MSV Duisburg also recognized plenty of value in Vogel, signing her to play center back for a team that struggled last season in that position. And Vogel is already paying dividends for her first pro club.

Last season, Duisburg gave up 61 goals, which was the second most in the league, and found itself relegated to the second tier league for the 2021-22 season. However, Vogel’s first game with Duisburg marked the club’s first clean sheet in 12 games in a 1-0 victory over Wolfsburg.

“Anytime you go up a level, there’s some adjustment,” Vogel said. “But I think lithe day in and day out, being ready to train, being on top of your game as much as you possibly can be, Rush really helped prepare me for that and helped prepare me for the the technical aspect of the game that you know gets better and more challenging every time you go up a level.”

There are other adjustments Vogel is having to make, such as transitioning to the European style of play.

“Sometimes in the U.S., a lot of teams like to do the kick-and-run style, but that is just very much not a thing here at all,” Vogel said. “Here you're trying to play out of every situation as much as you can, and the movement off the ball is always happening. So that was a little bit of adjustment in terms of mindset.”

Learning a new language is also another challenge that Vogel is taking head on along with her other six English-speaking teammates.

“Our coach is from Denmark and speaks pretty good English, which is nice,” she said. “And most of the German players speak decent English. And I’ve been learning, picking up a little bit of German here and there, but overall that hasn't been too difficult of a transition.”

However, reading German is a greater challenge.

“We have cars that were issued to us by the club that we share,” Vogel said. “And one of my teammates called me one day and she said, ‘My car is not here.’ And I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ She said, ‘Well, it's not where I parked it.’ We later found out that she had parked in a no-parking zone, but didn't see the sign and was confused about it. And so I had to take her to go pick up her car. So that was quite an interesting experience, getting your car towed in another country.”

But Vogel was signed by Duisburg not for her German literacy skills but her ability to reading opponents’ offensive attacks and shut them down. Primed to succeed, Vogel, who has a one-year contract, is excited about the future, even if she has no idea what it holds.

“I'm just going to see where this takes me and see,” Vogel said. “By the time I get to June, like, do I want to go somewhere new or do I want to stay here? I just kind of go with the flow, I guess. I'm just trying to live in the moment right now.”

And what a moment it is.

To watch Vogel in action, check out MSV Duisburg’s games at https://soccerwatch.tv/verein/1128.


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