How long were you a player with FC Wisconsin and what made you join the club?
I started playing with FC Wisconsin when I was 7 years old. My mom knew that it was the best environment and club around for development. The club was well known for pushing young players to improve in a lot of different areas and you just didn’t find that in any other clubs.
What were the benefits of playing for FC Wisconsin?
The biggest benefits for me were the training environment, the exposure, and the coaching staff. At FC Wisconsin, you have the best trainings in the state - this goes from the level of play all the way to the equipment and fields. The league allows all the best players in the country to play against each other, which brought a lot of opportunities to show yourself to college coaches. FCW has some of the most professional and knowledgeable coaches that I have experienced. They are also very good with helping players reach the next level.
What were the best aspects of your FCW experience?
The one aspect that I didn't really realize until a few years after my FCW career was how much I learned from having multiple coaches around at all times. This was so beneficial because all of them had their own style and had past playing experience. The coaches that I had really focused on player development and it is something that helped me to get to where I am now.
What are the biggest differences to playing club, playing in college, and playing professionally?
Some differences from club to college are that the college game is a lot more physical. Every player on the field is a very good athlete and it takes some time to get up to speed with the game. The difference from club to professional is the speed of the game and the training sessions are very intense - each player is good enough to be on the field, so you need to be ready for every training.
What is your lasting memory from playing with FCW?
I made a lot of memories from when I was at FC Wisconsin, but I'd have to say the college showcases were really memorable. Playing the New York Red Bulls in Dallas under the lights was a great experience. I have lasting memories from the people I met and the friends that I made by playing for FCW.
How did playing and training at FC Wisconsin help prepare you to have such a successful first year at the professional level?
FC Wisconsin taught me a lot of things that helped me this last year. Playing with the best players and having to hold your standards to such a high level was someting I experienced first at FCW. Always allowing yourself to learn from a coach or player that has had different experiences is another thing that FCW taught me.
What advice would you pass on to younger players who have ambitions of playing in college or professionally in the future?
The biggest thing would be to just always work your hardest and leave everything you've got on the field. You have a really good opportunity that shouldn’t be taken for granted. It also takes more work outside of your normal team trainings - whether it's getting extra touches on the ball or getting more fit. All the extra work that you put in will help you to reach the goals that you want.