Every experience can be a lesson...just ask former Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Gabe Rosario!
It's not every day you get the opportunity to speak with and learn from a goalkeeper who has trained in a Premier League environment. We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to ask former Reading FC and Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Gabe Rosario about his experiences so far in the early stages of his career. He gave us some great insight about both American and English academies as well as some great advice for young goalkeepers considering making the professional jump. Check out the full interview below!
Growing up with a former professional soccer player as a father, was soccer always your main focus? How do you think his experience has helped pave your journey so far?
Soccer has definitely been my top priority since i was old enough to have any. I started playing when I was 8 mostly because i was always around it. My dad was a youth soccer coach and it was a good way to lose some weight, but clearly i fell in love with it!
My dad has always been a massive factor in my progression in soccer. He has always been an amazing example for me; telling me to have passion and love for the sport and itll love you right back! Also, not to mention, he is always there to speak to about any hardships or advice or just simply to learn from.
You came up through the Carolina Rapids Development Academy. What was your biggest take away from your academy experience? Positives or negatives?
During my time at the Rapids Academy, I had a lot of really unique experiences. I got the amazing opportunity to work under my father for a year and Kevin Flanagan for a few years after that. I also worked under a lot of coaches that didnt understand me as a person or my passion for the game. A lot of my teammates were never as serious as I was and as a result some of my coaches left me out of the team sheet. Although it might sound negative, I'm happy I gained that experience. It really helped me understand even more that soccer was something i loved above almost everything else.
At what point did playing professionally go from a dream to an attainable goal for you?
There was never really a moment when I thought that it wasnt attainable but thats mostly because i was young and naïve. Over time there were a few moments that made me think that i was getting closer. The first was when i was 13 and i got invited to an academy all star select game in front of National Team scouts; that was definitely a special moment for me. The second one was when I recieved an invite to go on trial to Reading FC the following year and they told me they were going to offer me a scholarship contract. In the following years after moving to England and training there, I realized how difficult it would be to reach my goal. This was very exciting for me. Finally, my most recent event that kind of told me i was creeping closer to my goal was getting called to a US U-18 National Team camp.
Like many youth soccer players in the United States, I'm sure you considered going to college to play soccer and further your education. What were