All around the world sports have become an important form of inspiration and entertainment.
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world with a fan base of 3.5 billion people. Soccer is played by more people around the world than any other sport.
Defense is the name of the game in soccer. In this sport, one goal could make the difference between a win and a loss. This defensive nature has put significant weight on the most important defensive player, the goalie. In soccer, the goalie is the last stand when the other team attempts to make a goal.
At FMU, senior Clark Richeson is holds the goalie position along with junior Will Barnette.
Richeson is a third year returning starter for FMU. He was recruited from Mansfield, Texas where he attended Summit High School.
Throughout his career Richeson has shown impressive improvement and now holds the team record for consecutive scoreless minutes at 481:00 between Sept. 20 and Oct. 14, 2008. During his college career Richeson won PBC Goalkeeper of the week four times.
As a senior in high school Richeson won the Area, District, and Region Goalkeeper of the year awards. He was selected by Topdrawersoccer.com as on of the top 100 recruits for 2007. He has had more than 20 career shutouts in his life.
“I started playing soccer when I was four and haven’t stopped since,” Richeson said.
Growing up Richeson was influenced by his two older brothers that both played soccer and his dad who was a soccer coach.
“What really helped give me a head start was that my dad had coached both of my brothers,” Richeson said. “His knowledge for the game grew very quickly and that was transferred to me.”
When Richeson started playing soccer he was not originally a goalie.
“One of the soccer teams I was playing for had a goalie that let in a weak goal,” Richeson said. “I was one of the more athletic kids on the team so they put me in the goal and I have been there ever since.”
Richeson came to FMU in 2007 on a scholarship. He liked that the atmosphere of FMU reminded him of his small hometown of Mansfield, Texas.
Richeson is majoring in general business and is looking forward to graduating next fall. After college he plans to take a year off and then look for work relating to soccer. He would really like to join a semi-pro soccer league.
“I had a setback my freshman year. Two days before the season opener, I got kicked in the hand and broke my finger,” Richeson said. “That put me out of play for five weeks. Then two days after I was cleared to play, we played the season champions for that year and we got smashed. That wasn’t fun.”
“The best moment I have had playing soccer at FMU was my sophomore year when we won our conference tournament against Lander in overtime,” Richeson said. “Willie Hunt scored a header off of a cross and that was pretty amazing.”