Former Gamecock plays for NASL team in Atlanta, Ga.
July 19, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. -
Former Gamecock men's soccer player Tyler Ruthven, who now plays for the Atlanta Silverbacks, recently took time out of his training schedule to speak with GamecocksOnline.com.
Q: Tell the readers what team you are playing for, and what position you are playing.
A: I am playing center back for the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL (North American Soccer League).
Q: Have you noticed any major changes from the college game to the professional game?
A: I would say the pace of the game and the general physicality of the pro game are a level above college. You have less time to make decisions and must be physically ready to go every night.
Q: Are you playing the same position that you did when you were at South Carolina? Does your team have the same style of play as South Carolina?
A: I am currently playing the same position as I did at Carolina. We play a much different style here in Atlanta, though. We have a coaching staff that really stresses possession and keeping the ball. We are less direct than most college teams.
Q: What is a typical practice like for your team?
A: Monday and Tuesday are usually physically demanding as we work on strength and fitness levels. Wednesday and Thursday are all about getting in a rhythm playing, and Friday is very light to get ready for a game on Saturday.
Q: Talk about some of the venues that you play in. Do you have a favorite?
A: We play in a variety of stadiums that are both grass and turf. I love the grass surface at the stadium in Cary, North Carolina, where the Railhawks play. Montreal was amazing. It was great to play in front of 15,000-plus fans there.
Q: What will you miss most about playing at South Carolina when the Gamecocks kick off the 2011 season in August?
Q: After a successful college career and now moving on to the professional game, what advice do you have for younger soccer players who strive for some of those same goals?
A: I miss what it means to the city and state of South Carolina to represent USC. It is so important to the fans of the University, and you are representing such a large body of people. Nothing compares to Stone Stadium though, one of my favorite venues I will ever play in.
Work Ethic. If you can learn to have a professional work ethic at a young age it will make it easier to continue to improve enough to play at the professional level.
Photos courtesy of Jeremy Olson/DigitalGopher.net, and Mike Thompson