By Randy Kim
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — It's an annual offseason event that helps top soccer prospects strut their stuff in front of MLS, USL and NASL scouts and representatives, with the aim being to have said hopefuls potentially find their way to a professional contract. And it's one that Kingston Stockade FC is proud to participate in every winter.
This year was no different, as Stockade sent talented defender/midfielder Brandon Curtis, a senior at Marist, to the 4th annual NPSL Player Showcase from January 13-15 at Austin-Tindall Park in Kissimmee, Fla.
NPSL.COM: Details for 2018 Player Showcase
Curtis, who was instrumental in leading Stockade FC to the Atlantic White conference championship in 2017 — as well as an appearance in the 2017 NPSL Playoffs — was upbeat about the showcase experience overall.
"I thought the showcase went well for me," said the Stony Point, N.Y. native upon returning from Florida. "The level of play was definitely high and challenged me both physically and mentally on the field."
The Stockade defender also said that it was helpful to get a better understanding of how to navigate the professional soccer landscape in general.
"It was definitely rewarding going and learning about the next steps in advancing my soccer career at the next level," said Curtis. "Especially in terms of signing with agents, and what not to do when contacted by one."
The NPSL Showcase looks to help fill in the talent-evaluation gaps that might exist within a soccer landscape as vast as that found in the United States. Coming on the heels of the MLS Combine, the NPSL holds this annual winter player event with the belief that it's extremely difficult for the combine to include all worthy players, meaning there's a chance that many NPSL players may be overlooked. So the NPSL puts its top players back on display to help give them increased visibility and exposure to talent evaluators.
This notion seems to bear out, as past showcase participants that have signed professional contracts include: Tyler Pasher, Brian Cunningham, Waleed Cassis, Brenden Alfery, Sachem Wilson, Salvatore Barone, and Jackson Eskay.
Whether or not Curtis will someday join that list remains to be seen, the Stockade player admitted.
"As far as follow-up tryouts from this, I am not sure if any will come from the showcase, but we'll see," said Curtis.
Stockade FC will be there to help the talented defender celebrate his success, should the day come.