For this week’s reading I read, I read “App States Rich Soccer Tradition…Was the Golden Era Pushed to The Wayside” The Article was written by Jesse Wood, who is a major soccer fan and came across the fascination of what happened to App State soccer. The article mainly talks about the uprising of the soccer program at App State and what led to its ultimate downfall. It includes information of what led to the uprising including the many Nigerians that were brought over, including Thompson Usiyan.
The first part of this article that stood out to me was the uprising of the soccer program. According to the article, in the early 70s the team was undefeated and became a phenomenon at App State. With fans flooding the stadium and selling out the games, soccer was a major hit. A lot of that was in part to the coaches at the time, but the main reason they went undefeated was the many Nigerians that were brought over as well as the overall status of the players on the team. App States victories led to them winning 3 southern conference championships and many undefeated seasons.
The second part of the article that stood out to me was the information about Thompson Usiyan. Usiyan was an Olympic athlete that broke many records within the program, one being a 7-goal game. He carried the team for three seasons, and it ended sadly with an injury. Thompson became a legend and a key part of the victories of App State soccer. After that, unfortunately Nigeria went into a failure of government and a military coupe with all the Nigerian players being sent back home with no way back due to financial halts.
The third part of the article that stood out to me was the downfall of the program. The downfall started when App State only gave out so much money for scholarships, which hindered some expansion for the coaches to recruit players. The second thing that led to the downfall was the uprising after the football program started to catch wind after major wins such as the win against Michigan in 2007. This led to the soccer program and the football program sharing space and ultimately pushing the soccer program to the State Farm soccer lot, which is located farther from campus and less space for fans After this, the program started to become unknown and prioritized less with the ultimate decision to take away the program. However, there were plans to create a new soccer stadium that is now believed to never happen.