TJ McVey is one of the only remaining starters from the Benet Academy Boys soccer team that won the 2A state championship in 2019. The following season, TJ McVey decided to take his talents abroad and he spent his junior year in Spain. Find out more in this feature presented by Edward Medical Group.
“I mean it was great obviously there is nothing better than winning state, it was a great season, everything went well, it’s a season I’ll never forget.”
“I played with a team called Getafe International and I played well there and because I couldn’t play games with the Getafe academy team which I was practicing with everyday and I played friendlies with them but because I didn’t have a spanish passport and I wasn’t 18 at the time so I couldn’t play official league games.”
Playing soccer in the United States is one thing, but playing the sport in Europe certainly took some getting used to.
“Honestly training and coaching wasn’t that much different but the play obviously was a lot better everything from physical to tactical to technical just everything is faster, cleaner so I mean it was just a lot higher level then here.”
While in Spain, McVey didn’t only have to adjust to the playing style on the field, he also had to adjust to the everyday living.
“I think it was hard adjust because everything is a little more laid back there so school started later people went to bed later, ate later and obviously the language barrier was a little hard at first but I had to learn spanish so that came with time but I mean it was a little hard getting adjusted to all that but in the end its kind of something you have to sacrifice to play in Europe.”
The experience proved beneficial on the field when McVey returned to Benet this fall for his senior year where he was the team’s leading scorer with 20 goals and 11 assists. As an All-Conference and All-Sectional selection, he was one of the key players in the Redwings playoff run that eventually ended in a heartbreaking penalty shootout loss to Morton in the sectionals final.
“It was fun coming back for my senior year especially being a senior it was fun to come and play at Benet and we made a good run in playoffs so it was a fun year.”
After High school McVey wants to continue his soccer career at the highest possible level.
“I’m gonna play Division 1 soccer and take that as far as I can and honestly just see where it takes me and if I’m able to take it to the next level and if I’m good enough I’ll try to take that as far as I can.”
Reporting for Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Anthony Yench.
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