This quote was in the beginning of the article and it really stuck out to me because App does not even have a mens soccer team anymore. The soccer team was cut from the school the year that I came in as a freshman and I remember it being one of the first things I had heard about here. I grew up playing soccer and almost played in college and to find out the school did not even have a men’s team was really shocking to me. This article is interesting because to come in as a freshman and find out the school does not have a men’s team and then cut to this article where they have a rich history and were even in Sports Illustrated is mind-blowing to me.
“The general public and youth didn’t have access to soccer fields nor a soccer complex, such as the relatively new one named after Ted Mackorell at Brookshire Park.”
I grew up having soccer fields available to me left and right and not only just for soccer but they were usually apart of every school or playground in Raleigh. I know this is a different time but to think that a soccer field was that uncommon in the High Country is crazy to me. Also, Ted Mac being the soccer field of choice is crazy to me as well because now it is used for so many different things. Kids have soccer practice or there are pick up games for soccer leagues which is what the field is supposed to be used for. Now though, I see college kids using it for tanning, playing spikeball, a place to hang out with friends on a blanket, etc. The field is not used for soccer as much as it should be which is so different to what it was when it was first built.
“Thompson was a member of the Nigerian Olympic team and looked like a man among boys on the soccer pitch in college.”
The Nigerian Connection spoken throughout the article is something I had never heard about prior. Thompson Usiyan could have played anywhere he wanted, professionally or collegiately, but he chose App State. The reason he went for the college route was because he, like many other Nigerian recruits, wanted an education above all. He helped the men’s soccer program boom and now we see all of that has been basically thrown away. The school was experiencing growth in support from fans as well as diversity among people in the school, and now this school is not one of the most diverse and the only sport the school really has fans for is football.