By Sangjun Hornewer ‘20
Forester men’s soccer alumni John Cappuccitti ‘18 and Elyas Ingram ‘18 and current team member Jan Roessler ‘21 traveled to Croatia for a 10-day showcase to compete with professional first and second division teams.
During their senior year at the College, scouts found Cappuccitti and Ingram at different showcases run by Golden Goal Sports and Marketing. The team—Select FC—still needed a talented goalkeeper, so both Cappuccitti and Ingram suggested Roessler for the position. After reviewing his statistics and video footage from the 2017 season, the coach was impressed and added Roessler to the team.
Twenty players from various divisions of US college soccer were hand-picked to be part of Select FC. The agent believed each player showed the potential to play professional soccer in Europe. Setting up matches between Select FC and professional teams in Croatia was the perfect setting for the Foresters to show off their hard work.
Unlike professional teams that have been playing together for awhile, Select FC did not have that luxury. “The days we did not compete in games, we had three practices a day, and the days we did compete we had one or two practices before the actual match,” Roessler said. Select FC needed to put in extra work to blend as a team before facing their tough competition.
Although Cappuccitti is used to playing in an attacking role on the pitch, his versatility was put to the test as he found himself playing left back against the best club in Croatia, Dinamo Zagreb. “Playing a different position was eye-opening,” he said. “I learned that being versatile is particularly important when you want to show coaches that you can play in more than one spot on the field.”
All three Foresters gained confidence and experience from their time in Croatia. Ingram, who was playing in Europe prior to this showcase, is ready to start his career as a professional soccer player. “Telling people that I’m going to try to play professional typically gets strange looks,” Ingram said. “After the past month and a half, especially with the Croatia experience under my belt, I am more confident that I am on the right path and will be accomplishing my goals soon.”
Currently, Ingram is traveling Europe exploring his options for contracts at different clubs. Cappuccitti will be working with former Lake Forest College player and coach Chris Haught-Thompson ‘12 as the assistant coach of the Knox College women’s soccer team. Roessler is anticipating another great semester of being a student-athlete here at the College. He believes that the experience he gained this summer will help him during the season and going forward.
Forester men’s soccer kicks off their season with a home-opener against Concordia Chicago on Friday, August 31 at 4:30 p.m at Farwell Field.