Focusing on something related to App State is a great way to close out the semester because we have spent the entirety of the semester traveling across both continents and now we “return home” if you will by learning about the long tradition of soccer at App State.
Given the rich history from the article and the mountain of records from the team and players like Usiyan, it really boggles my mind how the men’s soccer team was cut completely in 2020. The fact that Appalachian FC is doing so well is fantastic and shows the love for men’s soccer here in Boone never left, but simply morphed into something new. I went to the recent US Open cup game at Ted Mack and the place was rocking when we won the penalty shootout. I even heard fans call the team “App State” despite not being affiliated with the actual school which was kind of funny.
Another takeaway I got was just the sheer talent that App State had in the late 1970’s with players like Thompson Usiyan. I heard a little bit about Usiyan earlier in the semester but never got the full story of him until now. His record for 46 goals in 17 games played is utterly ridiculous and that as well as his goal-to-game ratio will almost never be broken again, not just because the numbers are crazy but also because the best young soccer players forgo college in favor of pro contracts as soon as they can get them. It really shows how good of a student-athlete Usiyan was since he delayed his pro career to get an education. Being scouted from Nigeria and wanting to play for App State really shows the things we take for granted in the United States like our education. We had an earlier blog post where we learned about how schools like Howard set the precedence for scouting for players in Africa and it was interesting to see the effect that had on App State soccer too. I really wish I could have been around to see games at our main stadium and players like Usiyan wear gold and black.
I hope more than anything the school finds a way to revive the program because if it got the attention it deserved we probably could reach the highs of the 1970s and 1980s. Soccer is only going to continue to grow like crazy, and although Boone is sort of a southern football and country music crowd for the most part, App FC shows that people still love soccer here.