TOG Soccer is excited to welcome you to the first edition of our “Being a Pro” spotlight, where we go inside the world of professional soccer as we speak exclusively with current and former professional soccer players as they provide insight into the grind of professional soccer.
At this time, TOG Soccer would like to introduce you to Andrew Sousa, who currently plays for Fylkir in the Icelandic Premier League. A native of Fall River, Massachusetts and a Providence College graduate, Sousa began his professional career in 2011 after he was selected 42nd overall in the MLS Supplemental draft by the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer. Sousa was invited into preseason with the MLS club, and after a string of exceptional performances during the preseason training camp; Sousa was offered his first professional contract. After his time with the Revolution, Sousa went across the pond to Portugal as he signed with CD Operario before finding a new home in Iceland.
First of all Andrew, TOG Soccer would like to thank you for taking the time to speak to us about your career!
TOG Soccer: When did you know playing soccer professionally could be a reality?
Andrew: I always had aspirations of playing professional football, they date back to when I first started playing organized football, what kid doesn’t dream of becoming their idols. But that being said I thought it could be a reality when I was playing in college and saw my potential to become a professional footballer.
TOG Soccer: What has been the most challenging period of your career?
Andrew: I’ve had many challenging points in my career due to injury but the most challenging period was when I got released from the Revolution and at the time I was rehabilitating a torn quadriceps muscle. At the time I needed some guidance and it took me some time to get fit and start to become confident in myself again.
TOG Soccer: To this moment, what is the most gratifying moment of your career?
Andrew: Would have to say that signing my first pro contract was the most gratifying. When the hard work that you put in finally pays off is a great feeling. It’s not easy for a American born footballer to make it to the professional ranks and after coming to Europe I realized this. There are loads of opportunities for European players to break into the pro ranks and make a very good career. Unfortunately, only a handful achieves this in America, hopefully it changes.
TOG Soccer: What are some of the challenges you faced with adapting to the different countries you have played in?
Andrew: The biggest challenge is definitely looking after yourself. You’re alone in a foreign land and all your comfort zones are no longer around. There will be good days and there will be bad days, keeping consistent and never getting down on yourself is key.
TOG Soccer: Training on your own is vital to stay sharp and constantly improve. Do you have any memorable training stories from early in the morning or late at night?
Andrew: The stories are never ending. I live football! I have broken into indoor arenas, shoveled out snowy pitches, trained at 5am, trained until 3 am, when you want something there are no boundaries!
TOG Soccer: If you have one piece of advice for college players who are going to professional combines and tryouts, what would it be?
Andrew: Attending combines and going on trials is very difficult and they can take a toll on you mentally. The best advice might sound cliché but you must stand out from other players and the rest will take care of itself.
TOG Soccer: Soccer players have an infatuation with new boots, what is your all-time favorite pair?
Andrew: Without Question the Adidas AdiPure 3-4. I wish they still made that boot. In my opinion, it is the best boot ever made. Kangaroo leather touch, lightweight, and comfortable. Can’t beat it!
Well TOG Soccer fans, we hope this helped paint a better picture as to what it is like being a professional soccer player. As Andrew is a long time friend of our founder, we can proudly say that Andrew is a perfect example of a player with a strong character and a never say quit attitude. For any young players out there, have a look at his highlight video from his time with the New England Revolution as he is a great example of a terrific technical and tactical player! Thanks again Andrew and the best of luck!
TOG Soccer fans, tune in again next week as we talk with a player that is currently playing professionally in the United States!