Soccer is my sport of choice. By the time I was 9 years old, I had stopped playing other sports to focus solely on soccer. I participated in every opportunity available to me: year round club ball, indoor ball, futsal, guest play with other clubs, etc. The beginning years of my soccer career were spent with Council Rock United Soccer Association (CRUSA), where I learned foundational skills and built long-lasting relationships with teammates and coaches. After a couple of years at this level of play, I felt I needed to challenge myself in order to continue growing as a player. Therefore, I ventured out to see what other clubs had to offer. As a result, I played for the Ukraine Nationals, Olympic Development Program (ODP), and Philadelphia Soccer Club (PSC). As a freshman and sophomore in high school, I made the cut to play on the varsity soccer team. Across my soccer career, the experience of playing with different clubs and teammates has taught me a tremendous amount about myself – as a player and as an individual. Stepping out of my comfort zone and leaving my team (CRUSA) was not an easy decision – in fact it was scary - but I needed to push my abilities further. I am glad I did because the challenge of playing at a higher level league continues to mold me into the player I am today. Stepping onto the pitch, when no one knows who you are, is intimidating in and of itself. Yet, I had to prove myself. I was no longer in a starting position, and I would have to earn that spot. I needed to demonstrate to my coach, my team and myself that I was worthy of such a position. This would require grit. I would need discipline to work each day to make sure I was always performing at my best. I saw a variety of players who were beasts on the pitch, who pushed me to work harder, train harder, and play harder. Each coach I had the pleasure to play for pointed out the strengths and weakness of my game, which helped me develop as a player. Consequently, I believe that one of the biggest perks for my game has been the different sets of eyes watching my game play. For example, defense is typically not a position I play, but some coaches put me in that position. They saw something that I did not, and it pushed me to try a new position and to learn all aspects of the game.
When I went to PSC, I was amazed by the level of talent I was playing with and against. Joining this team has probably been the biggest challenge in my career and the most rewarding thus far. Earning a starting position and keeping it is hard work, but sitting because I am not performing or working hard enough has taught me a new lesson of the game– things will not be simply handed to me. Instead, I will be rewarded and respected not only for the consistency of my game but for the consistency of my work ethic, and my sportsmanship on and off the field. Soccer is a brotherhood, and even when we are not winning, we keep pulling and fighting together.
When I consider the type of player I want others to see, my vision is of a young man who is respected because he exemplifies the qualities of a leader: passionate, respectful, hardworking, coachable, inspiring, positive, and reflective.
My strengths as a soccer player include my ability to be a team player, my positive attitude despite setbacks, my coachable attitude, and my flexibility. I take pride in giving the perfect pass or assisting my teammate, or slowing the game down to see what is happening in front of me. I most enjoy being a striker, but I can adjust to any position my coach may deem suitable for me.
My goal is to commit to a college where I will thrive athletically, academically, and as an individual.