by Brian Asare, Photography Editor
Manhattan College’s new freshman forward signed to the male soccer team, Joseph Koroma, is a player that seems to have great potential and the driving force to add a little more greatness into this great soccer team. Starting to play the sport at only age 6, he shows signs of maturity and talks with experience
The Quadrangle: How do you first get into soccer?
Joseph Koroma: Well, I started when I went back to Africa. My mom took me for a visit and the passion over there for the sport was amazing. Everybody plays it, so I just got involved over there and fell in love with the sport. So when I came back here, I just wanted to continue. It was really hard though because the passion is not the same as it was in Africa, and I really have the gift to play the sport. I just … I love it. It makes me happy and it keeps my mind busy.
TQ: Prior to Manhattan College’s men’s soccer team, what other teams have you played in and how were your experiences?
JK: I started with FC Harlem, which is in my area where I grew up, and then when I went there they provided me with a lot of exposure to like Shattuck soccer team. When I was playing there, I was playing ages up and I was really good. They took me to tryouts, a lot of tryouts, like Shattuck, but it did not work out. I could have stayed with FC Harlem to play, but I was really talented and they had taught me the system, where I had to be if I wanted to play at the next level. So I moved to Gottschee soccer team, which is an academy is in Queens, and played for two years there. I was commuting a lot. What made FC Harlem different from the Gottschee soccer team was that it was not an Academy; it was just like a travel team. During the time I was playing with Gottschee, NYC FC, New York City Football program, did not exist. There was Red Bulls soccer team, but that was just too far. They were interested in me too, but my mom did not have the time to drive me over there. Gottschee gave me a lot of exposure, too. I went to Spain, Madrid, and Barcelona. I also played a lot of tournaments. They basically opened the doors from me to NYC FC. From Gottschee, I got recruited by NYC FC and not long after became the top scorer in the country in my age group, which was the under sixteen level. I also played under fourteen.
TQ: What position do you play in Manhattan College’s soccer team?
JK: I am a forward, so I think I’m going to be playing anywhere up top. My preferred position has been on the wings, but I can play any position up top.
TQ: How do you balance academic work and practicing?
JK: To be honest, It is very difficult. You just have to really manage your time and make sure you write everything down because as an athlete, you get tired, you need to take naps and you have to take care of your body to. you just have to balance your workload.
TQ: How does a regular training session look like?
JK: We train in the morning. So I have a class at 9 a.m. training starts at 10 a.m, by 10:15, you should be down by the field. we train for an hour or an hour and a half. So the training routine we normally start with fitness. First, you stretch, which is something you always have to do, stretch for good like 10 minutes and then we do agility. And some days we just do more work on the ball.
TQ: What is your favorite team and who’s your favorite player?
JK: My favorite team is Chelsea F.C. I don’t really have a favorite player. But when I watch player,s I like watching young players like Mbappe who is a young player that plays for the French national team. We play the same position. He’s a forward and I’m a forward and he’s young. He’s like my age, and he’s at the next level so. I admire him a lot.
TQ: Finally, do you have any advice for anyone who wants to try out for a soccer team?
JK: My advice to anyone who wants to try out for a soccer team is just be confident, believing yourself completely and play free. Don’t change your game. I mean listen for advice about just believing your ability and just play free.