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Amond signs to play soccer at Marquette

By Rich Palzewic
CORRESPONDENT

On Nov. 10, Bay Port senior soccer player Ryan Amond signed his national letter of intent to continue his academic and athletic career at Division I Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Amond’s path to playing college soccer at a high level was anything but ordinary.

After playing for the Pirates during his freshman, sophomore and junior years, Amond forwent his senior season and instead chose to play for an MLS Next club based in Milwaukee.

MLS Next — which was introduced in 2020 — is a youth soccer league in the United States and Canada that is managed, organized and controlled by Major League Soccer.

“The league was never in Wisconsin before, and the closest team was like four hours away in Chicago,” Amond said. “When this league came to Milwaukee, now there was one of the top leagues in the country for kids my age. Many college coaches go to these MLS Next games. Knowing I didn’t have much time left — I didn’t have many colleges reaching out at the time — I thought playing for the club over playing high school would be more beneficial. It felt right to me.”

The decision was not easy for Amond.

“It was difficult for sure, but I think my friends and teammates understood what I was trying to do,” he said. “They gave me feedback and joked with me about it. Two other kids from (Bay Port) also did the league instead of playing high school, so we carpooled. If the league hadn’t moved into Wisconsin and stayed in Chicago, I would have played my senior season at Bay Port.”

As for what Marquette — members of the Big East Conference with the likes of Georgetown, Villanova, Creighton, Butler and Seton Hall — is getting in Amond, longtime Bay Port coach Travis Herber said the Golden Eagles are getting a “determined and driven young man.”

“Ryan is a coach’s dream to have as a player,” he said. “He works as hard in practice as he does in games. He gives 110% all the time and puts forth extra effort outside of practice to make his game better. Ryan will come in as a freshman and immediately contribute to the success of the team.”

In 50 career high school games, Amond scored 32 goals and added 28 assists for 92 points.
During his junior season, he tallied 17 goals and 13 assists for 47 points.

Why Marquette?

Amond said besides the high quality of soccer in the Big East Conference, attending Marquette will have other advantages.

“The soccer is outstanding — some years there are five teams ranked in the top 25 — but it’s also the perfect distance away from home and a perfect-sized campus,” he said.

Amond, who will study sports management, also had Division I offers from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

“I was also talking to a few others from Illinois,” he said. “I considered all my offers because I didn’t want to scroll past them like it was nothing, but some of them weren’t the right distance away and weren’t in the right conference for me.” Amond said the recruiting process wasn’t stressful on him, but he’s glad it’s over. “I just worried about playing good, keeping calm and letting my game talk,” he said. “It did take a lot of time to reach out to coaches and have all these calls.”

Amond doesn’t expect to redshirt as a freshman.

“The goal is to step right in and contribute,” he said.

The Pirates recently completed their season with a 16-2-4 record and a Fox River Classic Conference title.
Bay Port lost a WIAA Division 1 regional final game in late October to Arrowhead to end its season.

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