'18 D Emma Clarke from New Zealand signs with UH Soccer


(Patrick) #1

Clarke comes to Houston by way of Christchurch, New Zealand. The defender has several years of international playing experience, earning her first cap against Papua New Guinea at the age of 17. Clarke played on the U20 World Cup Qualifying New Zealand team, as well as the New Zealand OFC U19 squad. Clarke was named the best defender for Canterbury in 2016 and helped lead St. Margaret’s College to a 13-1 overall record, including a regional championship.

“Emma is an accomplished defender with youth international experience,” said Bocanegra. “She has the rare combination of total athleticism, deft touch and great understanding of the game. We expect her to make an immediate impact. Her presence on the back line will give us multiple options of how we can line up tactically. She will help to anchor the back line defensively as well as allowing us to attack more through our defenders”


(Patrick) #2

A normal week last year saw Clarke training with her club team, her school team, the Canterbury men’s football team, at the gym, at pre-season training with the Canterbury women’s team, a game on Saturday and then a social game of futsal on Sunday – not to mention homework.

The 18-year-old said the prospect of playing in the United States, one of the powerhouse countries in the women’s game, is what drew her to the opportunity. “The scholarship wasn’t something that has been a long-term dream, but I’ve had teammates earn one and I know the quality will be a big step up there,” she said. Her new coach at Houston, Diego Bocanegra, praised Clarke’s football IQ when he announced her signing.

“Emma is an accomplished defender with youth international experience,” said Bocanegra. “She has the rare combination of total athleticism, deft touch and great understanding of the game,” he said.

“Her presence on the back
line will give us multiple
options of how we can line up tactically. She will help to
anchor the back line defensively, as well as allowing us to attack more through our defenders,” he said.