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.