Like many people, I have played the game since I was very little. I played on a recreational, eventually turned travel, team named The Rookies for many years and so somehow I managed about 7 rookie years. Rookie-of-the-year awards just didn’t mean the same to me after that. I then joined a club about 30 minutes away from me named Winchester United. After a few good years with Winchester United, I moved to a club near Washington DC (about 1 hour away from home). I joined the SYA Rangers with a few of my very close friends and we managed 2 consecutive promotions up to NCSL Div 1 (yes there is promotion/relegation at some levels in the states), which at the time was the areas best league. We then managed to lose just about every game in the following 2 seasons.
After the Rangers disbanded, my friends and I joined the Northern Virginia Royals, one of the top youth clubs in the area. I was about 17. They played in the Super-Y-League, which is now one of the best youth leagues in the United States. In my second year with the team, I was brought up to play with the senior team, who played in the USL PDL, which is an amateur U-23 development league in the United States. I went on to play 5 more years with the Royals and served as the captain in 2012. We have won the Commonwealth Cup Title (best PDL team in VA) every year since its inception in 2010.
During this time I was also playing in the NCAA, at Saint Francis University. From a recruiting point of view I did everything wrong and ended up being a walk-on. I spent my first year as manager where my primary duties were laundry and filming games. I call it character development. Although, I did get to train with the team everyday too. The guys were great to me and treated me just like a member of the squad and many of them became close friends. In my second year, I was a full member of the squad. In my 3rd and 4th year I was a starter: first at fullback, then winger. The last year was the most rewarding, but also the most disappointing. The team made it to the conference final, after I scored 2 goals in a 2-1 win in the semi-final. Unfortunately we lost the final. That year I was also honored to receive national recognition as an Academic All-American, and also received the Northeast Conference male student athlete of the year award.
Since I was a walk on, I had one year left on my NCAA eligibility so I could play 1 more year in college. I had already graduated from SFU, so I decided to use my last year playing with George Mason University, while pursuing my Masters degree in Sport’s Management. I, and the George Mason team, had a poor year overall, but I did not lose my desire to play. I decided after another PDL season in the summer that I should take a leap of faith and go to England and earn my place on a professional team somewhere abroad. In other words, I’m diving head first into British Football and will fight tooth and nail to earn my place and do what I love.
Along the way there has been an incredible number of people who have helped me in football. I owe any success past or future to their support and the will of God.
As always, don’t be afraid to dive head first