Erich Marscheider of the Colorado Rush Academy teams was recently signed to play professional soccer by the Houston Dynamo of the MLS. The Dynamo open the 2012 season on the road at Chivas USA on Sunday March 11. Marsch took a few minutes to talk about his decision to try and turn pro without going through the traditional college soccer to pro soccer route.
Rush Soccer: What was the tryout process like with Houston?
Erich: I actually started at a combine down in Florida. That’s where I was seen and Houston Dynamo brought me in on trial for preseason. So it wasn’t really a tryout, more as they wanted to see me play more so I’ve just been training. I took it as a tryout, always going out and trying my best. The whole process was a great learning experience. Even if I would have walked away without a contract it was a tremendous learning experience.
What was the daily schedule while you were being evaluated?
Get out to the training field about 9:00. Take our time getting ready, see the trainer. Start training at 10 and go till about 11:30. For me it was most with the goalkeeper training. Rarely did I go with the team, rarely did we play small sided or anything. For me it was much more focused on the goalkeeper side of the game. Everyone out was coming back from a 3 month break so there was a good amount of fitness going on. For me that wasn’t the best, I’d rather have just been able to play but it is what it is. There was just a lot of getting back into the flow of things.
What were your feelings upon being offered a contract?
I was a little bit surprised because I didn’t think I’d shown all that well at first because of some of the little thing like speed of play. Just little habits that I needed to break that the keeper coach wanted me to break. A little bit surprised but I was very happy about it. I knew they had to bring in a keeper eventually because they only had 2. I didn’t expect it but it was a good surprise.
What did your folks say?
The first thing my mom said was ‘don’t forget whose been behind you the whole time.’ They’re very proud and supportive.
You’ve taken a different approach to the pro game, bypassing college soccer. What was the thought process when making that decision?
Well, a little bit of it started when I was going to college soccer camps and I felt like that was a level I was already at, much less taking that path to get where I wanted to go in the soccer world. I didn’t really like school. It’s not that I struggle with it but it’s not something I like to do. I’d study a soccer ball if I could, this is really my true passion. The only reason I would have wanted to go to college is to play soccer , so making the jump seemed like the right choice for me.
What did you like most about playing with the Rush?
I appreciate it more now because of how little we do it in Houston by I appreciate that at Rush we always just came out and played. It was just a fun thing to do. For me, I appreciated having that family type of atmosphere that was going on. Erik was behind me, Tim was behind me. Just people there to support you and help you get where you want to go. Without Rush I wouldn’t have gotten to Houston and be where I’m at.
What has playing for the Rush meant to you both as a player and a person?
It’s meant a lot to play at Rush. I’ve had to put in a lot more work with travel, hour 15 each day I come up. It means a lot that even if my team is not out training, there is always a place the coaches can have me go train. That was a big thing, I could just come out and train, with the U17 or 18 girls. It was just nice to have a place that would just let you come out to any training you wanted to attend.
Where does your internal drive come from?
I just want to play. I like to play. I played high school soccer for a few years and didn’t really enjoy it. It wasn’t good soccer. I just love coming out and working. My goal is the Premier league. That is my goal. So those little things, making that drive, will help me get there. Whether its now or later it’s going to help me in the long run.
What was some of the best advice you got?
Well Tim schulz said Don’t let anybody tell you no. There was a lot of people who told me no. You should play college soccer to help you get to the next level. I just went with my gut. It didn’t matter what people said.
What advice have past Rush alums given on going pro?
To take care of your body. Take every advantage with the trainer, taking free Gatorade and water. Stretch. I used to just go home and lay around, now I go home layaround and stretch. If you can’t come out and play the next day you aren’t doing your job.
What’s it like playing with Colin Clark. A guy who grew up in this same club?
It’s pretty nice to have a guy in the locker room that I know. It’s amazing that we have so many players in the MLS from Rush. Even just at alumni week there were 6-8 players who came back just to keep playing with the Rush.
Any words of advice for young players?
Take all the advice you can from your coaches. But inevitably, you have to decide how to go after your goals.