Published Jun 24, 2022
Written & Photos By:  Andrew Mosier
​                      Central Region Contributor

Andi Waterhouse is the poster child for the Colorado Pride’sPRIDE TO PRO’ mission.

The finest goalkeeper the Colorado Springs-based club developed, the United States Women’s Youth Team mainstay spent four honor-laden years backstopping Santa Clara University before moving on to the NWSL’s Seattle Reigh FC. After injuries cut her playing career short, she turned to coaching.

Entering the 2022 WPSL season, the ambitions Pride took steps to further its player development mission by dividing the technical and administrative sides of the team. Former coach and general manager, AJ Adcock, moved to a strictly administrative role, handing the technical duties to Waterhouse and her assistant, Meghan Krause – also a Pride legacy.


“You don’t just give your car keys to anyone,” Adcock said. “But with Andi, we could not have found someone better to lead this team.”


Under Waterhouse, the Pride (4-3-1, 12 points) sit uneasily in second place in the highly competitive Mountain Conference Rockies Division as it enters a pivotal stretch where it faces third-place Indios Denver FC (2-1-4, 10 points) on the road and first-place Colorado Rapids Women (5-1-2, 17 points) at home in a three-day stretch. Pride fell to both teams 1-0 earlier this month in matches that could have gone either way.


“One of the things I am most pleased with so far is how competitive the league is,” Waterhouse said. “There are no gimme games. It’s a new challenge every single week.”



But ultimately, success for the club is not just measured by matches won and lost over the season. It's focused on the continued development of the 40-plus players in its WPSL pool ranging from promising youth players only just coming to understand the many nuances of playing the game at a high level, to post-college standouts entering the professional ranks in the fall.


“Of course, I want to win every game,” Waterhouse said. “But there is more to it than just winning. We’re here to prepare each player for that next level, whatever that next level might be. If there is one thing we’re not going to do is sacrifice the development of players for results. The world won’t end if we don’t win the league.”


Waterhouse says the progress the players have made—particularly the younger ones who had to adapt to the speed and physicality of the game that the college and post-college players took for granted—has been inspiring.


“When you see the older players out there encouraging, mentoring, helping the younger ones become better players you know what you are trying to do is working,” she said.


Adcock credits much of the developmental success he sees on the training ground every morning with Waterhouse’s ability to relate to her players.


“She’s incredible at relating to players,” he said. She’s played at such a high level. She has the professional experience. Having her prepping kids for the next step is amazing, because she’s made that next step herself and they know it. Most players will never have coaches who played at those levels, let alone female coaches who played at the highest levels. She can relate to them on a different level because she is a woman.”


Waterhouse had only male coaches through college and with the youth national teams on which she played. It wasn’t until she was playing professionally and served under her first female coach that she understood how beneficial it was to have female coaches in the women’s game. 


“The first time I had a true, full-time female coach was lifechanging. I had some absolutely amazing male coaches. But to have a coach who is a woman is essential for developing the best female soccer players we can,” Waterhouse said. “It’s massively important that every girl gets the opportunity to be coached by a women who has gone through the same things, things men just don’t understand.”