Rush Wisconsin West Soccer

News Detail


Jun, 2018


Not many high school graduates are asked to play the role of professional keeper, even for a few days, but that is exactly what Cooper Erikson did. For several days Erikson trained with Penn FC Rush, Rush Soccer’s First Team, establishing a connection and pathway for youth players and alumni from the club to participate in the Penn FC Rush system and show promising talent.

Erikson flew to Harrisburg, Pa. this week to shadow Penn FC Rush players, including goal keepers Romu Peiser, Sean Lewis, and Jacob Lissek, competing in several training sessions and experiencing what it means to compete at the professional level.

Erikson spoke on the details that come with a professional soccer career:

“The life of a professional soccer player, as one may expect, follows regimented routines. Due to morning trainings, almost every action the players take after waking up appears to be on a schedule. However, I was most impressed by the players’ ability to find a balance between the rigors of training, travel, play, the need for recovery, and their social lives.”

Colorado Rush alum and Penn FC Rush goalkeeper Jacob Lissek welcomed a familiar face in Erikson, having coached the younger keeper in previous years. Lissek hosted Erikson during his time in Harrisburg, taking Erikson under his wing once again.

“For me personally, hearing about Jacob’s story was one of the coolest parts of the trip for me as he is a Colorado Rush Alum who was exactly where I am a couple years ago,” Erikson added.

“Although this may sound simple or even obvious, this trip helped to show me that there are numerous paths to professional soccer through clubs and colleges of all shapes and sizes. Penn FC Rush exemplifies this with players like Tiago — who played with FC Barcelona — contrasted with players like Jacob Lissek, who came up through the Colorado Rush Youth system before we had a professional team.”

The partnership of Penn FC Rush and Rush Soccer presents an opportunity for Rush’s players to be exposed to the USL. Director of Club Relations Andrew Vanover spoke on the potential for this partnership:

“Rush soccer as a whole is a pathway for talented players,” Vanover said. “It’s a unique situation because we have a massive youth club under our pro team. The coaching staff has given four windows to bring in youth players, basically those who are exceptional and talented, to create a professional pathway for players to train with the first team.”

Erikson is the first of these players asked to train with Penn FC. The future will bring other players to the organization, with the expectation that they too will learn the level of work that exists in becoming a pro player. For more on Erikson’s time with Penn FC Rush, an interview can be found here.


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PO Box 2714 
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54602



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