Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

GW player takes a shot at a pro soccer career

GW men’s soccer’s all-time assist leader Ben Ferry participated last weekend in a combine – two days of drills, skill tests and scrimmages – held by Major League Soccer’s D.C. United in preparation for the league’s Feb. 7 draft.

But the first day of the two-day combine in Herndon, Va., was less than ideal. Conditions were horrendous; rain had bludgeoned the area for days.


“The field we were playing on had frozen,” said Ferry, who is a GW graduate student. “And since it got warmer and rained, the field thawed out. It was like a swamp. Balls were getting stuck, and it was real difficult to move around.”

Twenty-four top graduating players from area colleges participated in the weekend, which offered United’s coaching staff a chance to view regional talent. With the league’s draft less than three weeks away, it was an opportunity for local hopefuls to get in the eyes and minds of coaches. United has four picks in the three-round draft, including the first overall.

But the playing conditions signaled an ominous beginning for Ferry’s soccer career, if he does embark on one. Ferry said the combine went poorly and his chances of getting drafted by an MLS team are “not good.”

However, few will blow away the coaching staff at a two-day combine and become a top selection in the draft. Most players must start in the minors before they reach the MLS.

In addition to United’s coaches, staff members of several minor league teams were on hand, including the Richmond Kickers, the Hampton Road Mariners, the Northern Virginia Royals, the Roanoke Wrath, and the expansion Maryland Mania. But even with a variety of teams watching him, Ferry said trying to show off for them can be counterproductive.

“No, you don’t want to showcase anything,” Ferry said. “If you showcase you’ll get burned. Players are too good.”

Even if the odds are against him, Ferry said he still hopes a professional soccer career is in his future.

“That’s been my dream forever,” he said.

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