Havasu teen going the distance for soccer dreams
Sometimes, a kid just wants to be a kid.
In Havasu teen Andrew Roose’s case, he is far too involved with soccer to have time for that.
An eighth-grader at Thunderbolt Middle School, Roose, 14, is a goalkeeper on an elite club soccer team Phoenix Premier FC 05 Northwest.
Every weekend, Roose, along with his parents, makes the commute to Phoenix and back for practices and games with his club Phoenix Premier. He is the only player on the team not from the Phoenix area.
“It’s a lot. It’s stressful,” said Roose about his weekly commute. “Right as school gets out on Friday, we get in the car and drive straight down to Phoenix. I’ll train Friday night and we’ll play games on Saturday and Sunday and head home late Sunday night and then it’s back to school on Monday.”
Brett Miller, a coach from Roose’s youth, got the ball rolling for Roose to play for Phoenix Premier. Two years ago, Miller invited AJ Allen, the coach of the club team, to come watch Roose play and introduce the two to each other.
From the start of his soccer career, Roose has always been a goalie. He says the pressure of it what he enjoys most.
“It’s just the thrill of it,” said Roose about why he enjoys the position so much. “It’s something different than everybody else. Most people, the pressure breaks them. I like the pressure.”
In addition to his club team, Roose also was part of an Olympic Development Program team in Arizona, which competed for a national title with the 14U Western Regional team in Florida this past December. There were a number of college coaches and scouts in attendance.
The team was originally supposed to play three games but due to rain was only able to play two. Roose played in the second game and his team was able to win the tournament.
“I feel like I played my hardest and I gave it all for that team,” said Roose about his individual play. “I just laid it all out there.”
The most important thing Roose was able to take away from this experience was he was able to see how hard some of the other players he was competing against had worked. It inspired him to work even harder.
“There’s always kids working harder than you and they all want to get to that same place you do in life,” said Roose.
In January, Roose competed in another tournament in Arizona where his team played against other schools from the West Coast. From there, he received more exciting news.
“I got invited to go to Oregon too and that’s to get me going on this path again to go play in Florida,” said Roose. “Every single year, there’s a new tryout and you have to get your name out there even more.”
On Feb. 13, Roose had a tryout for the U.S. National 14U boys’ soccer team. He was one of 26 players from around the country who was trying out, including five goalies. Roose is still waiting to find out if he made the team.
This summer, Roose will travel to Scotland with the Arizona ODP team to take on the 14U national teams of Scotland and England. He hopes to use the opportunity to grow and learn the sport even more.
“I really want to just go out there and play my hardest and have fun,” said Roose. “Mostly, I just want to win and beat those teams.”
Roose will not play for Lake Havasu High. Following the school year, the family plans on moving to Scottsdale, where Roose will have a chance to face better competition while playing in high school. Also, it will much less stressful on his family.
Roose, who was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., but came to Havasu when he was 2, says his family has not yet decided on which high school he will be attending in the Scottsdale area.
Also without having to commute every weekend, Roose will have a chance to be a kid again, something he admits he hasn’t had the chance to do so in recent years.
“I don’t have much of a social life. All it is, is soccer,” said Roose. “Maybe if I get a weekend off or if we get to come home early on Sunday afternoons, I’ll get to hang out with friends.”
“I want him to see that he can have soccer and school and friends,” said his mother, Heather.
Although his time in town is coming to an end, Roose is proud to be from a small town like Lake Havasu.
“It means a lot to me,” said Roose about. “Two years ago, no one knew about me and once I started playing for my team down in Phoenix that’s when I really started to appreciate it. You can do things coming from a small town, you just have to put in the work for it.”
Although he has yet to begin high school, Roose already has plans to go to college.
“My older sisters go to Grand Canyon [University],” said Roose. “I love GCU and that would be an amazing school to go to but I’d love to go to Michigan or Michigan State.”