By Carly Tovell, ’13
As the sweat drips from the upper rim of senior Rhodes Moore’s temple, he can feel the pressure building. Fans cheer on his first Columbus Crew Reserve game against the New York Red Bulls. His thoughts bounce around just like the ball on the lush soccer field. He knows how much is on the line and pushes himself to showcase his best efforts and be a part of the Crew.
“I want to play pro in the future, my goal is to play somewhere in Europe,” he said. “I just have to keep working hard and hope time does the rest.”
During his senior year in high school, Moore was approached with the opportunity to play college soccer at various universities, as well as professional soccer on the Crew Reserve team. With the window of opportunity expanding to play at colleges such as Columbia University, Northwestern University, The Ohio State University, the University of California, Los Angeles and more, Moore was faced with the tough decision between college and professional soccer. Ultimately, he chose to be a part of a newer soccer program close to home at Xavier University rather than continuing as a player on the Reserve team.
Moore had multiple opportunities with his time left before college, and he hoped to take advantage of the spring soccer season with the Reserve team, which allows players to develop their skills in a professional setting.
“The Reserve team is just for players who didn’t get in or didn’t get significant minutes in the Major League Soccer game, so they will play in the game right after,” he said. “A lot of rookies will play on the Reserves so they can get a feel for the pro style of play. The Reserve team still plays the same teams in the MLS like the New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC, etc.”
Moore made his decision to go to Xavier based not only off his talent, but also on the people in his life.
“I’m going to Xavier University next year. I think it is the best place for me at this point in my life,” he said. “I want to go to college first and then try to go play pro. I want to have the college experience before I do anything. My family played a big role in my decision; they want me to get my degree first.”
Sophomore Armonde Moore, cousin of Moore, supports his decision to play in college.
“I think that Rhodes will do well no matter what he does. I’m really happy that he will be able to get his degree and play in college, and I know the rest of my family is as well,” she said. “I know he’s going to do really well, and he can always play pro after he graduates.”
Moore has learned to take what he can from his current experience in order to achieve greatness.
“From this experience I have learned not to take anything for granted. I have been working my whole life up until this point, and always wanted to play professional soccer,” he said. “I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel after giving up so much in my life to get to where I am.”