McCrary Making Big Impact with the Buckeyes
11.12.14 – For Immediate Release
FC Wisconsin.com's ‘Where Are They Now’ feature, will regularly provide FC Wisconsin club members with an opportunity to catch up with former players. In this first installment, of the 2014 College season, we took time out to speak with Marcus McCrary at Ohio State.
Marcus is in his first season with the Buckeyes and as a true freshman has had an excellent campaign to date. He has played in all 18 games starting and has 2 goals and 1 assist to his name ranking 6th on the team in goals and total points. Marcus has also recently been ranked 23rd in TopDrawer Soccer’s Top 100 Freshman.
Q. Living in Madison, what made you want to make the commitment to play for FC Wisconsin?
M. Being from Madison, the drives to a good workout at practice and high-competition games were tough and it was a challenge to balance coming home late and to complete all required schoolwork. It was a grind, but I knew it would be worth it at the end of it all. It was a hard decision to forfeit playing for my high school my junior and senior years as well as to pass up the captain position. However, the benefits of playing for FC far outweighed that of playing high school.
Q. What were the benefits of playing for FC Wisconsin?
M. The benefits of playing for FC was the opportunity to play at the highest possible level in youth soccer and being exposed to a high level of competition and recruitment that is not able to be found anywhere else in the country. A majority of Division one prospects have been affiliated with the United States Soccer Development Academy at one point or another in their youth soccer careers. Being able to play and contribute to the only academy team in the state was a good feeling as not many other players had that opportunity. Aside from the Academy, the high level of coaching and support that I received were major benefits to my growth as a player.
Q. What were the best aspects of your FC experience?
The best aspects of my FC experience was being able to play with other players on my team that are now playing at the Division One level and making connections with them. I have played against many familiar faces in college that I played against while at FC Wisconsin. At the end of the game, you recognize those players and you smile, nod, and shake their hand and know that they came through the same path to get to this position as yourself.
Another great aspect were the away trips. The bus rides, flights, and hotel rooms really are experiences and get you to become closer to your teammates than you ever would expect. Many of our players were jokesters and had senses of humor that would make a 9 hour trip seem less of a drag. Our team would bond and build team chemistry OFF the field, in order to help us perform better ON the field.
The level of coaching at FC Wisconsin was also excellent, and although it was tough at times, the coaches really push you to become better on and off the field.
Q. What did you learn the most from playing with FC?
M. The most important thing I learned from playing with FC is that not every game comes with success. Every player will face challenges, failures, and setbacks and will want to give up, but those are just obstacles set in place and tests to see if you are willing to overcome them. How you react to these situations is the true measurement of strength in a soccer player. The Club places an emphasis on giving your best at all times and holds you to a higher standard than I had experienced before which helped me develop as a player
Q. What are the biggest differences from playing Club and playing in College?
M. Playing for a competitive club such as FC Wisconsin and playing in college are quite similar. The play is high intensity and you are expected to bring your best every day whether it is a practice, a game, or any team event, just like in club. The teammates you are surrounded tend to be more of your family, as you live with them and see their faces every single day. The biggest difference that I have seen is the atmosphere of games. Many times you have to deal with away fans yelling and jeering at you, researching who you are and shouting anything they can think of just to get into your head and help their team win. However, on the other hand, home games cause you to have more drive and motivation to want to please your home fans and get a W for the school logo that is worn across your chest.
Q. What is your lasting memory from playing with FC?
M. The lasting memory I will always have from playing for the club was meeting an unforgettable group of guys and being introduced to a variety of personalities from all over the state, as well as some teammates who came from Illinois. The teammates were always fun to be around and were guys you would get to be very familiar with having practice three times per week and a possibility of two games per weekend. The Club and coaches really do care for all the players and this helps to create a real family atmosphere.
Q. How did playing and training at FC help prepare you to have such a successful freshman campaign?
M. Coaches Ben Shepherd, Billy Solberg, and Jon Coleman were highly capable of leading a successful team. Most of what I learned from academy has carried over into my college career. High intensity training sessions at FC were a given, and were expected for every single session. Coming into high intensity training sessions in college was not as drastic of a transition to me compared to other players, as I was already exposed to them through the training that I received at FC Wisconsin. Being a freshman, you will face older opponents, and many times your teammates may seem like your opponents. But at the end of the day, your teammates always want the best for you and will break you down first in order to build you up in the future.