The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
TACOMA, WA – (SoundersU23.com) Just a few games into the 2013 PDL season, Sounders U-23 right back Nick Raskasky has already played more minutes than he did in all of the 2012 season. Having served as a backup to PDL All-League selection DeAndre Yedlin in 2012, Raskasky’s minutes were limited. Despite this fact, his commitment and contribution to the team were anything but minimal.
A Tacoma native and Stadium High School product, Raskasky played club soccer for the local powerhouses: Crossfire, Washington Premier, and finally Sounders FC Academy. Prior to joining the Sounders Academy team, Raskasky had been battling with a leg injury, which limited his opportunities for playing time with the Sounders. When given a chance to show his skill set, Raskasky performed. During a showcase tournament in Sarasota, Florida, Raskasky played well enough to garner the attention of several collegiate programs.
One game in particular stands out to Raskasky as a pivotal moment in his career.
Nick Raskasky said, “During halftime, Darren (Sawatzky) came up to me and told me to keep it up and to keep playing well because I would be happy with the result. There were several college coaches that were looking at me and sure enough, after the game there were some coaches waiting to talk with me and I ended up talking with the coaches from West Virginia.”
Growing up, Raskasksy played a lot as a forward and outside mid-fielder. Although he has found a new role as a right back for the Sounders U-23, many of his attacking traits are still visible. Raskasky is an athletic and physical presence in defense, but also likes to join the attack, looking for opportunities to play in the opponent’s half of the field. He is an honest, hard-working player that does well to play within his ability.
During his freshman year at West Virginia, Raskasky replaced Raymon Gaddis, who was drafted by Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. In sixteen games, Raskasky tallied two goals and two assists, only missing one game due to a minor injury.
Transitioning from club soccer to the collegiate sport can be a difficult task, but Raskasky has embraced the opportunity.
“I think moving to Morgantown has been good for me. Not just with the soccer but with life in general and getting away from home and allowing me to grow-up,” said Raskasky on his time with West Virginia University.
While his contributions on the field were limited last season, Raskasky conducted himself as a professional all summer long, making training sessions, working hard, staying positive and helping the rest of the team get better.
“Last year was a ton of fun but obviously playing behind DeAndre I didn’t get any time at right back,” said Raskasky. “When I did get in the game I was playing out of my normal position. This year, it has been a whole new experience for me–getting to play in front of our great crowds and the ECS supporters, it has really been a lot better for me.”
With a year of college soccer under his belt, Raskasky is looking to be more of factor in his contribution to the team, and aims to help the team win a PDL Championship.
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