Q&A with Men's Soccer Senior Sean Coleman
Feb. 2, 2012
Johns Hopkins men's soccer senior Sean Coleman recently competed at the 2012 USL Pro Combine in Bradenton, FL. HopkinsSports.com caught up with Coleman to talk about his experience.
HopkinsSports.com: What were your expectations prior to the combine?
Sean Coleman: Well fortunately Jay Hereford, our goalie coach, went through the process and he gave me a lot of pointers about what to expect. I expected the athleticism of each player to be very high in terms of speed, strength and size considering most of them had Division I backgrounds. I also expected that since everyone was competing for contracts, there would be animosity between players, but I found just the opposite, and despite the fierce competition the players were friendly.
HS: Were you happy with how you performed?
SC: I always think I could do better. There were some scoring opportunities that the goalie saved that would have been goals, but overall I think I stood out from the crowd for the right reasons. In such a short time to observe a player I think my size helps me out because the USL and American soccer in general is such a combative physical style. As a forward size and speed are critical and I thought I displayed that I have both those qualities. We also ran an intermittent Yo-Yo beep test which I came in second on with a score of 20.4 which I was proud of, because it tends to show who has been working hard to stay in shape - hopefully coaches noticed!!!
HS: What could this combine lead to?
SC: If any coaches are interested I should hear back soon about either a further tryout or a pro contract, hopefully the latter. Eventually it should lead to me playing professionally somewhere.
HS: What was it like competing against players who were mostly Division I players?
SC: Well it is something I am accustomed to, because I transferred from a Division I school, but it is still a different style of game. I have always said that Division I soccer is no better than Division III its just played by bigger, faster, and stronger guys. It helps that I am 6'3 and weigh 190lbs.
HS: How did your experience at Johns Hopkins help prepare you for the combine and a possible professional career in soccer?
SC: After transferring to Hopkins I benefited from my teammates' love for the game and how serious they took training. Our fitness program is very difficult, so I think I got in really good shape and gained strength as well. Despite being a Division III team, it is basically no different than the Division I school I came from, because we play all year round and train all the time. I trained a ton with Scott Bukoski (class of 2011) pretty much everyday and we always pushed each other to get better. He’s playing pro in Germany now, so I definitely fed off of his commitment, energy and passion for the game. I think Buko learned a lot from me too, and since he is pro I hope to follow in his footsteps.
HS: What strengths do you feel you can bring to a professional organization?
SC: I think there are a lot of great players out there. They have skill, speed, and tactical awareness, but a professional attitude towards the game means training hard everyday, understanding team dynamics, and representing a club the is bigger than one individual. I think in addition to the on-field qualities that all potential pro soccer players possess I also have these qualities. Pro soccer is not just about how well you play on game day, it’s about preparation and responsibility, which I think makes me a great fit for a pro team.
HS: What advice would you give your younger teammates after having this professional experience?
SC: If playing pro is your childhood dream like it was for me, then pursue it. Soccer is such a beautiful game the longer you can play it the happier you will become.