By Tyler Trent
Bailey Manfredi celebrates with her 49ers teammates (Photo courtesy of Charlotte 49ers Athletics)
Born in Greenville, South Carolina, Bailey Manfredi has made a name for herself in the Carolinas. Manfredi is currently a member of the USL W League’s Greenville Liberty and preparing to enter her second year as a student at UNC-Charlotte.
Manfredi began playing soccer in the first grade after her best friend played. She originally started out playing goalkeeper as she wasn’t a massive fan of the running aspect of the sport. However, she soon moved to play outside back before eventually arriving where she plays now, mainly as a center forward or a winger.
Her team won back-to-back state championships as a high schooler at St. Joseph's Catholic School. During her senior high school season, she was invited to play with the Greenville Liberty in the newly created USL W League’s inaugural season. In the Summer of 2022, Manfredi spent her time playing with the Liberty as they won their division before being eliminated in the playoffs by eventual inaugural champions Tormenta FC. Manfredi provided three assists in seven matches.
The USL W League season ran straight into her first year of college at UNC-Charlotte.
“The beginning of my freshman year was a big transition, but I tried to keep my head down, work hard, and make a difference when I was given the chance,” said Manfredi on the transition to collegiate play. However, Manfredi would adapt again as she scored two goals and provided three assists in 564 minutes of play her freshman year. After scoring her first collegiate goal, she was named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week and TopDrawerSoccer’s Team of the Week. Manfredi was ultimately named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team at the end of the season.
Manfredi is playing with Greenville Liberty in the W league this summer for a second season before returning for her second year of college. Her biggest goal is to play a part in each squad making their respective playoffs. Manfredi enjoys playing with the Liberty in the off-season as she feels there is a level of comfort because she grew up playing with many of her teammates. Manfredi also spent time with performance coaches India Trotter and Blakely Mattern. Manfredi is familiar with Trotter and Mattern as former local players and from training with them at 11.11 Training in Greenville.
As an up-and-coming attacking player, Manfredi looks up to Mallory Pugh, Sophia Smith, and Trinity Rodman. “All of them have a love for the sport that is tangible and inspiring,” said Manfredi. She also mentioned teammate Caroline Conti as well as trainers Trotter and Mattern saying, “Although they are my trainers and good friends, I see them as amazing athletes and soccer players. They have all had successful careers. Each of them pushes me to be a better person, stronger athlete, supportive teammate, and an overall confident player.”
Going into her second year of college studying health sciences, Manfredi says she has been having many conversations with her family about her career path, saying, “It seems early for me to think about me being given an opportunity to play soccer after college. If that path opened up for me, it is something I would seriously consider because right now, I can’t imagine my life without soccer.” However, Manfredi also has plans for her life outside of soccer, as she is interested in the medical field, focusing on orthopedics.
Outside of school and her soccer career, Manfredi enjoys watching women’s college soccer, baseball, and football. “My dad is a UGA Graduate and remains a huge Dawgs fan. I love to watch games with him,” said Manfredi.
Manfredi will kick off her second year at Charlotte this fall, where you can watch her play at Transamerica Field throughout the college season. Regardless if Baily Manfredi ends up as a professional soccer player or continues directly on her path in the medical field, her future is bright.