Sometimes not realizing a dream is tantamount to failure. It can be crushing, but it also tends to create opportunities to realize a different dream. For Jackie Kosegarten, the issues surrounding achieving one dream gave way to fulfilling another; playing professionally for her hometown Club Puebla. This dream too will be delayed albeit briefly as the club’s season opener against Santos was postponed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 at Santos. But make no mistake, this dream will not go unfulfilled.
“Soccer at college in the U.S. has been a dream since I was thirteen years old,” she stated in a promo video she made when she was sixteen years old, playing in Mexico with Noria FC in her native Puebla. “I think I actually wanted to go to the US because I feel like their soccer is a little bit more physical,” Kosegarten told me via Zoom meeting last week. She wanted to take the more technical aspects that she was taught playing in Mexico and combine that with the more physical style of play that’s played in the United States, especially at the college level. “So I wanted to just like, put both styles together and try to learn from both of them. So I think that’s like a little bit difference, just like the physical part. And here it’s a little bit more technical, I’ll say.”
And she looked on track to realize that dream too, but after getting a scholarship at Wilmington University in Wilmington, Delaware disaster struck. “I was there for like two weeks. But in preseason, I tore my ACL. I talked about it with my parents and everything, and I decided to come home for the recovery. And basically, I stayed here for six months. And then in January, I got an offer from Saint Leo University, to go to college over there. So I decided to then go to Saint Leo.”
She arrived at Saint Leo, about half an hour up Interstate 75 from of Tampa, Florida in the spring of 2020. Disaster struck again however, this time in the form of the global COVID-19 pandemic cancelling sports. “(I arrived) in the spring over there. So we didn’t really have like a season. And then the pandemic came, and we didn’t had a season in the fall. So I haven’t actually played like season a regular season with a team. But I’ve been there for one year.”
It was her connection with Noria that brought her back to Puebla and to the eponymous club. “They knew me because I was at Noria FC. So I got in contact with the team and I got the chance to do tryouts in December.” She says it was a stressful period of time, coming back from Florida to Mexico during a pandemic, but the security of home awaited her. “I just thought there was a huge opportunity to be near my parents during this time that we have to be (in) a lockdown, and at the same time be able to play at the highest level.”
While she might not realize her dream of playing soccer for a college in the United States, she is achieving another dream of hers: playing at Estadio Cuauhtémoc for her hometown team. “Since I was a little girl, I used to go to the stadium with my parents and everything. So right now, just being able to play for the club is a dream, honestly. It’s a huge thing for me. And I’m proud to be able to play for this team.”