Just remember that I told you so in a couple of years. There’s an Arab-American player named Soony Saad playing for the University of Michigan right now (and tearing it up) as they look to make a deep run in the college championships. Google his 67yrd shot just to see a bit of his skill. This 18-year old freshman striker from Dearborn, Michigan has already racked up some serious awards and I think he’s just getting started. Oh, did I mention he’s already on the U.S. national team’s radar screen? He’s a solid contributor on the USA U-17 MNT and is expecting a call up for the upcoming U-20 MNT camp in Atlanta. He’s trained down at the U.S. facilities in Bradenton in which he won the 2007-08 Development Academy U-15/16 Player of the Year. After this exciting accolade, his dominance continued to be seen in the high school ranks (in Michigan) and was awarded the National Player of the Year award last year which includes an alumni list featuring 13 current or former pro players, including Claudio Reyna. What else did he accomplish in his little high school footballing career? How about the 2009 MHSAA Mr. Soccer and the 2009 Gatorade National Soccer Player of the Year? Oops, I forgot to mention the 2009 NSCAA/adidas All-American title and that he was a Four-year letterwinner/all-state selection. His legacy will not be forgotten. He set the MHSAA single-season state record for goals with 76 and the state career record for goals with 172 career tallies. Think he’s not a team player. He then led the Pioneers (his high school squad) to four consecutive league titles and four consecutive district crowns. What are his aspirations? He’s already met Alecko Eskandarian (who gave him his national player of the year trophy) and idolizes Zidane and Torres. He’s quietly said he wants to play in the EPL. If some of the Liverpool coaches are watching these University of Michigan DVDs, he may get his chance. As of this week (alongside his brother), he’s scored so many goals (18 to date) that he leads the nation in scoring this year as a freshman. Michigan is ranked number 3rd in the country and just thrashed Northwestern this past weekend to win the big ten championship. He may take the Wolverines all the way to the championship. Saad became the seventh player in program history to record a hat trick against Kentucky (on 9/22/10) and also set the U-M single-season scoring record with 15 goals against Northwestern (Nov. 16). The energetic youngster also tacked on 4 assists this season, and has been the recipient of multiple big ten player of the week awards while constantly being named the top college player of the week by collegiate soccer publications. Let’s just say, this kid is legit. He’s scored the most collegiate soccer goals by a freshman since 1998, easily won the big ten freshman of the year and will most likely lock up national freshman player of the year as well as overall national player of the year. The former Vardar club player is high on the MLS prospect list and could get drafted next year if he wanted. Here’s what one of his former coaches said, “ Soony Saad has been the best player in Michigan since he was five years old. He’s a very intelligent player, he seems to be a step ahead of the game in terms of thinking. The unique skill he has is that he’s a great goal-scorer, that being the toughest technique of the whole sport.” Wow! I hope he’s the next Landon Donovan. Tune in to the College Soccer Cup this next month to see if he can lead the maize and blue to the ultimate prize.
About the Author
Written by Timothy Ashe Jr.
Tim was born and raised in Downers Grove, IL (a suburb of Chicago). He graduated with a degree in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign and also holds University English Language Excellence certificates. He's fluent in Spanish and teaches both English and Spanish in his spare time. He's a Real Madrid and Chicago Fire aficionado and is partial towards the EPL and LFP. His hope is that the game of soccer can continue to grow in the U.S.A. and for our men's national team to eventually win the World Cup.