Thomas Manz has been a standout soccer player at many different levels. He played a key role in O.B. Fenerbahce USA’s recent win at the LISFL’s 2013 Joe Goldberg indoor tournament and plays with the club when he’s not playing for the University of Albany. Read more
By David Harris
Thomas Manz playing for O.B. Fenerbahce USA, photo by Michael Anderer
Thomas Manz has been a standout soccer player at many different levels. He played a key role in O.B. Fenerbahce USA’s recent win at the LISFL’s 2013 Joe Goldberg indoor tournament and plays with the club when he’s not playing for the University of Albany. Thomas has also played for several years with the Westchester Flames, most recently with their PDL team. Recently Thomas shared his thoughts on the LISFL and his other soccer experiences.
DH: What led you to join OB Fenerbahce USA?
TM: I was led to Fenerbache when Coach Larry saw me play for Old Westbury (my first college) and he asked me if I would be interested in playing for him.
DH: What have you enjoyed about playing in the LISFL and how does it compare to some other leagues that you’ve played in?
TM: I enjoy playing in the LISFL because there is a lot of culture in the league and a lot of opportunity to meet new people. It is a good competitive league with a lot of talented players. It is a high level and a good opportunity to be exposed and move up.
DH: How did the recent season go at Albany and what are you doing to prepare for next season?
TM: The recent season at Albany was good. Our team was and is very strong. We did well in the conference and were able to finish in 4th, which let us have a home first round playoff game. We ended up dominating the game but lost in penalties. The team is working very hard in the off-season and everyone has a summer workout plan.
DH: Can you tell us a bit about your time with the Westchester Flames? Some of the best experiences and how it helped you to develop as a player.
TM: I’ve been playing with Westchester Flames since I was 16. Since then I have played both with the youth teams and the PDL team. Some of my best experiences playing with them have to me making it to the nationals with the U20s and for the PDL team traveling all over to play at the highest level. For a college player as a whole it has been a great experience.
Developing as a player is an easy concept. It takes hard work and surrounding yourself with players and coaches that want to see you be the best player you can be. At the Westchester Flames I have great coaches that will make sure I work hard and want me to be the best I can be.
DH: What other teams have you played or trained with, tried out for, etc.?
TM: Growing up I played for New Rochelle and left there at 14 to play with NY Red Bulls in the academy. At 16 I left to play with the Flames.
DH: Going forward, what you are looking to do in soccer and with your life?
TM: Going forward I’m looking to finish up my college career playing the best soccer I’ve ever been playing and I want to win an America East championship. In life I hope soccer can carry me as far as I can go. I want to play after school and hope I can get a chance to.
DH: What advice would you give to a young person who is interested in playing the game and wants to become a better player?
TM: For advice to a younger person all I can say is work hard. Don’t think just practicing with your club team or school team is enough because if it were everyone would make it to D1 or the professional level. It takes hard work and dedication. My coach tells us to ask yourself two questions: how bad do you want it and what are you willing to do for it. I think these two questions are perfect for anyone who is serious about soccer and wants to play at the highest level.