Soccer captain leads young team

Aaron Gotter, Head Photographer

Adrian Williams, the captain of the men’s soccer team at Francis Marion University, was born in Toronto, Canada where he was first introduced to the sport as a child.

His passion for soccer was sparked by his parents’ love of sports. His dad played soccer while he was living in Jamaica, and his mom was a runner.

“Soccer was just part of our lifestyle,” Williams said.

Williams said that he began his soccer career when he was in kindergarten and hasn’t stopped playing since.

When Williams was in tenth grade, his team went to a youth tournament called the Dallas Cup. There, he played against current professional Jozy Altidore.

“Altidore scored like four goals on us in one half, but it was fun playing against someone who is making it big now,” Williams said.

Williams graduated from his hometown’s high school as the team’s most valuable player.

“High schools in Canada are not as competitive as they are in America, so most of the scouting takes place in the soccer leagues,” Williams said.

He was scouted by FMU while his club team, the Toronto Lynx, was playing a tournament in Florida.  His first visit to FMU took place in January.

“I went from snow to beach weather,” Williams said. “The heat was one of the biggest influences on my decision.”

Williams also said that when he started playing for FMU he noticed that the intensity of college soccer was higher than anything he had previously experienced.

“College soccer is always raising your intensity and making you strive to be better,” Williams said. “On the field or off the field, soccer is always pushing me to do better. “

Williams is currently the team captain of the Patriot soccer team.  Williams said that as the team captain he is always trying to help the team work together.

“I try to keep the team focused, and always moving towards winning,” Williams said. “I also try to help the team gel together and work on its chemistry.”

Williams’ job on the team is to help everyone develop as quickly as possible so that they can compete against more experienced teams.

According to Williams, playing at FMU has helped him to do better in school, as well as in soccer, by giving him challenges and goals.

Head Coach Kevin Varnado described Williams as a very talented player who was very mature, even as a freshman.

In 2009, Williams was part of the defense that ranked 25th nationally with eight shutouts.

As a senior, Williams is majoring in biology. He said that he plans to go into physical therapy to become a doctor.

“My goal in life is to become a doctor for a professional soccer team,” Williams said.

Williams said that in his free time he likes to spend time at the beach.  He also enjoys playing video games, eating and watching television.

“I like to relax in my free time and put my feet up while I am not running,” Williams said.