All Eyes on Prolific Sophomore Striker
Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2013 21:09
Some people call it the golden touch. Others call it natural talent. Brandon Allen, the sophomore forward for the Georgetown men’s soccer team who led the Hoyas in scoring last season and played with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team in the spring, doesn’t have a word for it.
“Basically, I was just in the right place at the right time,” Allen said of his 16 goals last season, 10 of which were game winners. “The most important part of being a forward is just finding the right places to be and finishing it off.”
After the Hoyas’ historic 2012 season, Allen was invited to train with and was eventually named to the U.S. U-20 CONCACAF roster. In order to devote himself to the national team, Allen decided to take the spring semester off from Georgetown.
“I don’t think it was [a hard decision]. I took it right away,” Allen said. “I love the sport, and it was a great opportunity for me.”
For the Hoyas and Head Coach Brian Wiese, however, the arrangement was less than ideal.
“[Allen] had to withdraw from class in the spring, and as a result he missed a lot of training with us,” Wiese said. “So he’s catching up a little bit from that with preseason, and his form is getting better and better.”
Allen played for the U.S. in the U-20 CONCACAF Championship tournament in Puebla, Mexico, where the United States ultimately fell to Mexico in the final. Though Allen wasn’t named to the final roster for the U-20 FIFA World Cup Team, to him, the experience was worth it.
“It was a great honor to play for my country,” Allen said. “I just said to myself, ‘I guess I have to work harder.’ Start training more and get out on the field more to take my game to the next level.”
For Allen, the next level may be in the professional ranks. Though the future of his soccer career is for now uncertain, Allen acknowledges that leaving Georgetown to turn pro after this season is a possibility.
“It all depends how we do this season. We’ll see how it goes,” he said.
For now though, Allen and company are solely focused on the season ahead. Last year’s success has saddled the 2013 squad with heavy expectations, but Allen isn’t shying away from them.
“[The expectations] are helpful, but we got to expect that teams are going to be looking out for us after last season,” he said. “We just need to come out and play as well as we did last year.”
In Allen’s case, that means not only scoring goals but also feeding the ball to others.
“[Allen] is maybe the best goal scorer I’ve ever coached,” Wiese said. “If he gets a shot and it doesn’t go in, he — and everybody else on the field — is shocked.
“That mentality of what a real goal-scorer is is so rare that you really have to protect that,” Wiese added. “[Senior forward] Steve [Neumann] has been a great partner for him because he is one of those players who wants the goals, but he’s also an assist guy, so Stevie’s trying to teach Brandon about how you give the ball to somebody else sometimes.”
Though Wiese admits that goal-scorers like Allen are not easy to coach because of their single-minded focus on scoring, he admires Allen’s humility and work ethic.
“He’s an incredibly humble, hard-working, down-to-earth kid, and that’s also why I think he’ll be an excellent pro,” Wiese said.
Junior goalkeeper Tomas Gomez was also complimentary of Allen’s attitude.
“We’re a blue-collar team, and he is a hard worker who always brings his best to the team,” Gomez said.
Gomez had even more praise for the forward’s physicality; Allen’s bulldog-like frame allows him to get to the goal.
“His biggest contributions are his size and his mentality; he can bury past people even if he’s got three guys around him,” Gomez said.
As Wiese said, the Hoyas aren’t going to sneak up on anyone this season — and neither is Allen. Regardless of whether this season is his last as a Hoya, Allen is aiming to make sure the 2013 season is one to be remembered.