Senior Soccer Player Goes Pro

Sean Lynch, Reporter

Senior biology major Nick vonEgypt recently signed a contract to play professional soccer for the Philadelphia Fury of the American Soccer League.

Although the ASL was just founded in 2013, The Fury have a history going back to 1978. The original Fury was an expansion franchise in the North American Soccer League in which the team played three seasons in Veteran’s stadium, the home stadium of the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies.

In 1980, the club was sold and moved to Montreal to become the Montreal Maniac. Making its comeback in 2014, the Fury dons the same colors as the original team.

vonEgypt has had a tremendous four years for the Cougars under Coach Edkins. As a four-year starter, he was part of two Freedom Conference Championship teams and one Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference South championship team. In his junior year, he was selected to the NCSAA All-Region team and represented the United States with the D3 National Team in Brazil.

He also played in three NCAA tournaments and was a three-time All-Freedom. Overall with the Cougars, he finished ninth in career goals with 25 and finished with a four-year record of 54-20-11.

vonEgypt’s road to a professional career wasn’t an easy one. He originally tried out for the Harrisburg City Islanders of the United Soccer League where former standout goalie for the Cougars, Dave Kern is one of the assistant coaches.

” I thought I did well at the City Islanders tryout. there were about 30-40 guys and we just played 11v11 the whole time and I scored a bunch of goals, but at the end of the session, the coaches told everyone they’d receive an email and I didn’t get one.”

After not hearing back from the Islanders, vonEgypt drove down to Maryland to try out for the Evergreen Diplomats of the ASL. He then drove to Sewell, NJ, home of the Fury for a tryout in late Feb.

The tryout in New Jersey was for two teams, the Fury and the AC Crusaders. Within the first hour of playing small-sided games with about 25 other hopeful players, the Fury coach approached vonEgypt and expressed great interest.

“They invited me to train with the first team following the tryout, and the day after I trained with them, they sent me a contract offer via email.”

While vonEgypt was in the process of trying out for the Fury and the Islanders, the Diplomats reached out and invited him to come back for a second and third trial. By that point, he had already received the offer from the Fury and simply didn’t want to make another drive to Maryland unless they had a better offer.

Since signing with the Fury, vonEgypt’s schedule has been hectic.

“We practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays with games either Saturday or Sunday. I’m commuting to Sewell three nights a week while finishing my degree in biology and planning to graduate in May. It’s a balancing act, but luckily I managed my credits well, and I only had to take 12 this semester.”

Thus far, vonEgypt has played a few scrimmages, earning several minutes as well as getting a start. Early on, he picked up on some differences between the coaching styles of the collegiate and professional game.

“The coaches have a lot of different philosophies. I was very thrilled to have played under Coach Edkins for 4 years and there are a lot of things I can take with me. One major difference is that the Fury coaches want me to get in behind the defense and score goals that way, while here, Coach Edkins wanted me to play with my back to goal, hold the ball, and wait for the attack.”

vonEgypt also noted the increase in the speed of play at the professional level as well as the physical prowess required. One thing that he credits to the smooth adjustment from college to the pros is his work ethic.

“Coach Edkins helped me instill the drive to always work hard. I never want to be outworked. That’s what I credit to my success at Misericordia and hopefully will credit to my success with the Fury.”

vonEgypt said he didn’t feel overwhelmed throughout the process and credits his new teammates for making much easier on him.

“The guys on the team were really helpful. there are 18 of us on the roster, me being one of six new signings. I think the six of us really make up a good core group, but the veterans definitely helped make the transition.”

Although he is very happy to be taking the next step and following his dream of turning pro, vonEgypt has his sights set even higher.

“You always want to continue progressing in your career. As excited as I am to be a part of the ASL, I don’t want it to be my home for all of my professional career. I would like to get into the USL and hopefully make it to Major League Soccer, the highest level soccer in both the U.S. and Canada.”

vonEgypt’s professional career will officially begin April 18 at home, when the Fury take on the Evergreen Diplomats at Washington Township High School.

“We’re set to play in front of a crowd that can reach 1000 in attendance. I’m really looking forward to it.”