by BRIAN ASARE, Staff Writer
Manhattan College junior goalie Marcellin Gohier has been playing soccer since he was just five years old in Nantes, France. Like many athletes, the people and the environment he grew up in influenced him to adopt a passion for the sport which soon developed into an unconditional love for it.
“Everyone was playing, my dad was playing soccer, my brother was playing soccer and my friends were playing soccer,” said Gohier. “Soccer back home is more like how the football and basketball culture is in America. It is really a pleasure to play.”
Noticing that he was really good at the sport, Gohier looked for other ways with which he could improve upon his skill set.
“When I was around 13, I started to think that maybe one day playing soccer could be my job,” said Gohier. “Playing soccer could be the thing that makes me live a comfortable life. And when I was 13 I enrolled in the professional academy.
“I practiced almost every day with the professional team, but I was not part of the professional team. But seeing them every day, training and practicing, you want to be like them. You want to be the one on the main soccer field, you know, where there’s like 40,000 people on the weekend around the field cheering, yelling when there’s a goal. You want to be that guy.”
Gohier transferred from France to the United States and joined Manhattan’s soccer team and put his talent to work. Gohier performed so well last season that he was named MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year and named to the All-MAAC First Team. That honored carried into this season as well as he was named the goalkeeper for the Preseason All-MAAC Team.
“I think it’s always good, but it doesn’t mean anything,” Gohier said regarding the preseason honors. “Last season, being named Goalkeeper of the Year meant something because the season had ended and we could compare who did well and who did not. The preseason is more like ‘you should be the guy.’ Be the one that outperforms all the other goalkeepers and if I do, I know that my team is going to do well as well.”
Playing any type of sport is is very demanding, both physically and mentally, especially when the position you play in for your team makes you the last line of defense. It becomes even more difficult when you’re the captain of the team and this is the exact situation Goheir finds himself in.
“I think that’s the main point of a goalkeeper,” Gohier said. “Anyone that does not know the game would say that the goalkeeper is not doing anything. He’s not running, his leg is not touching the ball, all the goalkeeper does is stand in the goal post. But I think being a goalkeeper, you have a huge responsibility because you have to know when to push forward on an attacker and make sure you see the ball and everything. I’m the one seeing everything on the field, I have the whole game in front of me. So the three or four guys in front of me also rely on me.”
Communication is key from the goalkeeper position as well.
“It’s all about the communication,” said Gohier. “I think our communication is good and we trust each other and we actually need this communication. Without that, we cannot do anything. And one of the things we do well is organization. In the beginning, we had some struggle to find each other because of the amount of diversity that existed within the team and even in the positioning, but now we’re getting better and it reflects in our performance.”
One of Gohier teammates, senior defensemen/midfielder Jean-Baptiste Tamas-Leloup, mentioned his leadership abilities.
“He really keeps the team focused, he makes sure everyone has the same energy and everyone has the same idea,” said Tamas-Leloup. “This is something he is very good at. He talks to us in the defense and explains what’s wrong and makes sure everyone is ready to go.”
With all these amazing attributes that he possesses, there is no doubt that Gohier is one of the many soccer players that opposing teams look out for when playing the Jaspers.