Listen to Some Music Chosen by the Interviewee
I want to take you inside American soccer. You will see the trials, joys, tribulations, and excitement that the young men and woman of American soccer experience. You will also start to understand their training and daily lives.
We enjoy our footballers when they are on the pitch, but off it they face just as many challenges, especially the college hopefuls. Today I’m bringing you the first in what I hope to be a series of articles focusing on footballers in the American collegiate system.
Inside Midwest Soccer with Center Midfielder David Fox
Welcome to Advantage Played David. We’ll just start out with the basics. What college do you play for?
I play at William Jewell College in Liberty Missouri.
How did you end up at William Jewell?
My club soccer coach’s daughter plays at Benedictine the school that my coach at William Jewell’s twin brother coaches at. So that was one of my connections. Jewell’s head coach talked to my club coach and liked what he heard. I came up, tried out, had a kick around with the team, and they offered me a scholarship.
What are your thoughts after you first season with William Jewell?
It’s what I love about soccer. It’s really competitive but at the same time the feeling of being on a team [is great] and the team chemistry at Jewell is amazing. Everybody gets along so well. Even though everyone is fighting for spots and playing time the team still stays together. There is no in-fighting between the players.
How did you do personally in your first season?
I ended up with about 35 minutes of Varsity playing time as a freshman which I was pretty excited about. We defiantly have some good players. Next year I am looking to play a more significant role.
Are there going to be seniors leaving, or will you find the way in through your own virtues?
There really won’t be seniors leaving, but I know things I can improve on and how to improve on them in the summer and offseason. Hopefully that will make the difference.
What are you going to try and improve on the most?
The biggest area is touch, the first touch on the ball makes or breaks a center midfield player. Good control and balance when there is pressure on my back and working on making my shot more accurate and powerful.
What is a typical day of training like?
Pre-season begins with waking up at seven and we go to breakfast as a team. We have practice ball control in the morning for the first thirty minutes, then drills for another hour. Then there is an hour break and lunch as a team. After lunch we have another practice. We do sprints and drills for the rest of practice. We then go to dinner as a team, and have a practice after dinner where we scrimmage.
So that’s preseason?
Ya, in season we practice once a day. Sometimes we’ll go two a day if our games are spaced far enough apart.
Do you like training all the time?
I’ll be able to answer that better after the offseason when we lift weights all the time. I did like it. One of the reasons I decided to play college soccer is because I can play all day and look forward to the next day of soccer.
What is the main difference between college and high school soccer?
In high school each team has a couple good players and good athletes; in college everyone on the field is very skilled. The biggest difference is you have to be at your top form every game. The intensity and amount of skill required is incredible. The good teams in college aren’t going to mess up in the back. You have to work to create your own opportunities.
A lot of time in high school you get goals because the back line messes up or the forward steals the ball from a defender.
How does the training in college compare to training in high school?
It’s defiantly different. We didn’t have the best high school team (Salina South) but we had some good players. Most high schoolers aren’t as committed.
When it comes to college training everyone was the best player on their high school team. We have to do the drills 100% or everyone will know you’re slacking. It’s a lot more pressure but it makes you work harder and get a lot better.
What is your favorite soccer moment or memory from your first season?
That’s easy I know that right away. It was preseason and our third scrimmage. We were playing the non-starters vs starters. I was playing center mid for the non-starters. We were down 1-0. I got a pass from about 40 yards out and I took a step with it. Their center mid came in to mark me. I did a step over, broke to my left, and I fired from about 35 yards out with my left foot. It felt really good and I could see the ball just flying. It curved into the top left corner. It hit the back of the net and I went crazy. I remember the keeper standing there flat footed watching the ball go in.
What are your future soccer aspirations?
Even though there is a low chance I can see myself playing soccer after college. There is a semi pro indoor team that plays maybe 15 minutes from our campus and probably next year I’ll try out for them. I know a couple guys on the team who have made it. I’m going to work on any opportunities I get in the Kansas City area so someday I can hopefully make money playing soccer.
Any last words to the soccer world?
You can expect Jewell to go to the National Tournament next year. Be looking out for that!