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Checking In With the Hokies

I wish I had more to offer right now, but everything seems up in the air, so we'll have to be patient.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some of Patrick Nyarko's thoughts as the MLS draft approaches. I am planning to write a comprehensive story for Friday's print editions about the Ghanaian forward and his reasons for leaving Virginia Tech early, but for now......

What are you feelings about the draft?

I am very excited. I'm also nervous because I want to know where I am going to go, but I will be happy wherever it is.

Have you received any indication whether you will be the first overall pick?

No, not at all.

Your family has stressed education, so was the decision to leave school early difficult?

Yes, but I am still going to find a way to finish my education and get my degree [in psychology]. It's going to be very hard, but I will do whatever I have to. Education is very important to me and my family.

How will your family follow the draft?

(Laughing) I think I will have to call them when I am picked. I am sure they will be very happy for me no matter where I go. They understand that I am opening a new chapter in my life.

Much more on Nyarko on Friday.

On a side note, Hokies Coach Oliver Weiss said he has already begun pursuing additional international talent for his program, which lost several players from a squad that reached the final four for the first time in program history. He visited Canada recently and, following this week's NSCAA convention in Baltimore, will spend a couple days in his native Germany and 10 days in Ghana. While recruiting younger players in the Kumasi and Accra areas, he also will attend the African Nations Cup match between Ivory Coast and Mali on Jan. 29 and hopes to score tickets to other games.

By Steve Goff  |  January 16, 2008; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: Arguez Deal Nears Completion

Comments

I'm not sure what I think of Coaches recruiting foreign kids to play college soccer. It is the easy way to put your program on the map. Why should Tax dollars (scholarships)go to foreign soccer players. Maybe give money to kids who are great in math and science but soccer. That's a waste of money. There are plenty of American kids who can fill out a college roster with a coach taking the easy way out.

Posted by: Pat | January 16, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what I think of Coaches recruiting foreign kids to play college soccer. It is the easy way to put your program on the map. Why should Tax dollars (scholarships)go to foreign soccer players. Maybe give money to kids who are great in math and science but soccer. That's a waste of money. There are plenty of American kids who can fill out a college roster with a coach taking the easy way out.

Posted by: Pat | January 16, 2008 01:52 PM
-----
Are you Pat "Buchanan", or what? You sound pretty racist and xenophobic from this vantage point.

Posted by: Soy United! | January 16, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Goff, has the DC office been less willing to give you an inside scoop on what's going on since they lost Veron?

Posted by: pat | January 16, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

hey - that other 'Pat' is making me look bad. too bad you don't have usernames on this thing.

Posted by: pat | January 16, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

hopefully my tax $$ were wasted on you pat, you moron. Cause you seem a lost cause.

Posted by: robertson | January 16, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I too find it disappointing Tech's coach continues to go the foreign route. He's coaching an ACC program coming off a trip to the Final Four and about to have the top pick in the draft.

If he can't parlay all that into recruiting top domestic talent, it's because he isn't trying enough.

The American talent is here, he just has to go find it. He makes a good living off of AMERICAN SOCCER and he should give more back to the game by giving scholarships and roster spots to players developed here.

They don't have to be US citizens - I could care less about that - but they should all be byproducts of American youth and HS soccer.

Posted by: ABT | January 16, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Pat,

I just care that the tax dollars go to kids who actually want to use that scholarship for what it was intended - to leverage one's skill in athletics to pay for an education they cannot receive. Not leveraging skill in athletics to be forced an "education" they'd rather not have. If kids from abroad would like that benefit - then fine. Otherwise - schools in all sports need to get on the payrolls and revenue shares of pro-teams and give up the "student-athlete" charade.

Posted by: UVA-United | January 16, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Soy, that was way out of line. If you don't like his opinion, fine, offer a better one. But to throw out names? It diminishes this blog, which is a daily source of education for me -- and not always about soccer.

Posted by: Joe Doc | January 16, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Uppercase Pat:

That ship sailed years ago. First, scholarships are given based on athletic ability, rather than academic ability or financial need. Second, state funds support scholarships for out-of-state students. If you're OK with those two scenarios, why draw the line at recruiting a player from abroad? The coaches' jobs depend on their ability to win. Universities have mad that clear.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 16, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Goffaldinho,
Some interesting comments from Derby's chairman today RE Feilhaber: "There is a lot of interest in Benny in the MLS in the States and it is something that is likely to be pursued, therefore we feel it is in the best interests of the club and the player to get him back with us."
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=498942&campaign=rss&source=soccernet&cc=5901

Any word on who in MLS might be looking at him?
Thanks!

Posted by: DJC | January 16, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"Universities have mad that clear."

Universities have made that clear (unlike me)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 16, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey Goff,

How much of the DCU quiet is related to Payne's recovery from bypass surgery?

Posted by: bdr | January 16, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

May Weiss's expensive search/vacation be fruitless.

Posted by: Glaucon | January 16, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Great posts uppercase Pat and ABT.

Posted by: charlton heston | January 16, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I too find it disappointing Tech's coach continues to go the foreign route. He's coaching an ACC program coming off a trip to the Final Four and about to have the top pick in the draft.

If he can't parlay all that into recruiting top domestic talent, it's because he isn't trying enough.

Posted by: ABT | January 16, 2008 02:10 PM

I agree with the premise in general, there are American kids out there and Oliver has been successful with the likes of Ben Nason, Chase Harrison, and some of his new underclassemen. Unfortunately, Tech's program is relatively new to prominence and most of the good local talent chooses UVa and Maryland (more established programs) over Tech. Oliver tries and will be successful locally eventually, but it's a long term process. One trip to the final four doesn't necessarily mean blue chips automatically come your way (see Mason hoops). Tech has been to the NCAAs 4 of the last 5 years and that will help, but right now his international connections bear more fruit (proportionally) than locals.

Posted by: Hokie | January 16, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

hopefully my tax $$ were wasted on you pat, you moron. Cause you seem a lost cause.

Posted by: robertson | January 16, 2008 02:09 PM

Hey... no calling people "moron" on this site, please. If you disagree, say so and make a case for your opinion. No one wants to read people calling eachother names.

Posted by: David | January 16, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully my tax $$ were wasted on you pat, you moron. Cause you seem a lost cause
Are you Pat "Buchanan", or what? You sound pretty racist and xenophobic from this vantage point.

It is not racist to want the Virginia Tech coach to recruit American players to play in America. I don't think you understand how college soccer works. It is much easier to win in the college game by going to Jamaica, Ghana, or Canada like the coach from Virgina Tech. Most college teams with a majority of foreign players win because the players are older, stronger and better. He should be recruiting kids from across the United States and giving them a chance to improve the American game. If UCLA would have recruited a majority of foreign players, Cobi Jones would have never got the chance to play for them.

I don't care that the tax dollars go to kids who actually want to use that scholarship for what it was intended

There are plenty of American soccer players to win these scholarships. Also, I am sure there are plenty of Amercan kids going to the Virginia Tech coach's summer camps and he is turning his back on these kids by recruiting foreign players.


Posted by: Pat | January 16, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Ollie has to find the best players to build a program given the limitations that VT and NCAA prescribe.

It's quite possible that a student on an exchange program that no scholarship money will be spent on the international players. But this just opened up a new can of worms....

Posted by: JSF | January 16, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Nothing new, it's been going on for years in college swimming, tennis, ice hockey and bball. One issue in hoops is, are they amateurs?

Krikorian at FSU went to Final Four two years in row this way, with Yamaguchi this year's Hermann. Here's an interesting take on the FSU experience, and how the success with foreign players has helped him recruit Americans.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=2681586

Posted by: WNT fan | January 16, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Not only am I OK with universities recruiting foreigners for athletic scholarships, I wish United would recruit in "non-traditional" areas. West Africa is teeming with talent, but there is a suspicion that if the player was any good, Europeans would already have snapped them up. This couldn't be further from the truth (or at least, no closer to the truth than making the same statement about South America, the US, or small Euro leagues). For the cost of a plane ticket....

Posted by: Troy | January 17, 2008 6:03 AM | Report abuse

As a Hokie alum, I love coach Weiss. He's been incredible for the program and we're lucky to have him. His connections network in Germany is one of the main reasons he was hired, and why he is so successful.

His recruiting of foreign players to play college soccer is no different from our pro prospects going overseas to England, Germany, etc. Its a global game; players are going to go where their talents are best rewarded, either monetarily or otherwise. American pros are compensated with money and a chance to realize their dreams, European kids are given an opportunity to get a free education in one of the finest educational systems in the world. And remember, they have to make grades to play, so it's not like they're hired ringers.

Also, if there was so much great talent in the American ranks, why does so little of it go to pro leagues, both domestically and internationally? We are, at best, a developing level country when it comes to young talent, and the more influence and experience we can gain from foreign kids, and coaches, coming from overseas, the better.

Posted by: Grotus | January 17, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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