TAMPA, APRIL 4, 2014 – Keeper Christiane Endler made a ton of great saves for the USF women’s soccer team the past two seasons and now she’ll be taking her talents overseas as a professional.
Endler has signed a contract with the Chelsea Ladies Football Club of the FA Women’s Super League, the highest division of women’s soccer in England. The 22-year-old plans to finish the semester at USF and will report to her new team in May.
“It was always my dream to play professionally on a huge team like Chelsea or in Europe and now it’s coming true and I’m very happy,” Endler said Friday.
Endler became a three-time Chilean player of the year and she won a Copa Libertadores title with Colo Colo in 2012.
Endler excelled on the collegiate stage at USF, posting 15 shutouts and a 0.90 career goals against average.
“Christiane Endler is one of the top young goalkeepers in international football and it’s a real coup for us to get her here at Chelsea,” Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said in a team release. “She’s a commanding presence and her all-around game is exceptional. She will provide competition with Marie (Hourihan) and is the final piece in our group for this season.”
Endler is coming off an impressive season as a Bull in 2013, when she registered a career-high 87 saves with six shutouts and a 1.04 goals against average on the way to earning All-American Athletic Conference Second-Team honors.
“The two years here were really good. The team was great, we had two good seasons and I’ll remember everything about the college experience,” said Endler, who plans to finish school in Chile.
Endler thanked the USF coaching staff, including volunteer assistant Juan De Brigard, who helped prepare her for the next level.
“I learned a lot from him and it was great to work with him,” Endler said. “I will keep talking with him and I will remember him forever because he has been great to me.”
Endler said playing at USF allowed her to face top opponents that helped sharpen her skills for the pro stage.
“I got much more experience,” Endler said. “The good thing is all the games here are hard with good competition and you have to be in your best shape to be good here.”
USF head coach Denise Schilte-Brown said Endler will surely be missed, but the program is happy to see the 6-foot-1 keeper pursuing her dream on the big stage.
“This is a bittersweet moment for our coaching staff and soccer program. While we are sorry to see Tiane leave early, we are very excited for this tremendous opportunity before her,” Schilte-Brown said. “It has been a childhood dream of Tiane’s to play at the professional level and now she gets to do it with arguably one of the most well-known clubs in the world with Chelsea FC.
"We have the upmost respect for Emma Hayes as a coach and the Chelsea FC organization as whole and we know that Tiane is eager to help the Chelsea Ladies reach their goals of competing for FA Super League Championships," Schilte-Brown added. "We wish her all the best in her professional career.”