FAU Men’s Soccer Captain Takes on the Big Leagues in Off-Season
Braxton Fuster, now captain and defensive center back of the FAU Men’s soccer team, despite rocky start as a child finds his place on the soccer field.
By: Stephanie Fonseca
“My parents tried putting me in every sport,” says Fuster, “I would always be benched and end up picking grass, until my parents put me in soccer.” At the age of 9, Braxton’s parents finally found a sport that their son could actually get play time in. Little did they know that he would become a pillar in the back for the soccer teams he would eventually played on.
At 11, Braxton started his travel soccer career at the no longer existent Boynton Beach Tigers, which lead to his start on American Heritage of Delray’s soccer team his freshman year.
As a defensive center back his freshman year, he finally came to the realization that he might continue on playing the game of soccer when he scored a decisive goal in the State Cup. “That feeling is just a high that confirms that that is your place,” Fuster explains.
But what kept motivating him to consider playing college ball was winning a State Championship with American Heritage.
Fuster reminisces on yet another crucial goal when he played for Team Boca’s U-18 team where he was also captain and scored in the last ten minutes of the game against the defending National Champions. “There was ten minutes left, the ball got played over the top, and I shot it on a volley; first touch in the top corner of the goal,” Fuster recalls. “That goal put us back in the game, and we ended up winning 3-2.”
Fuster ended up pursuing soccer in college, where he’s been a starter since freshman year for the FAU Owls. “He stood out in the transitional period,” says Coach Kos, FAU Men’s soccer head coach. Coach Kos points out that Fuster was was ready to step in and step up to the physical and mental demands of Division 1 college soccer. “He always brought energy and a level of competition, be it in practice or a game,” says Coach Kos.
But in the pursuit of the possibility of playing professional soccer, the opportunity arose at the end of his Sophomore year. Coach Marcelo Castillo of the Boca Raton Football Club, a semi-professional team, reached out to Coach Kos for recommendations for players he believed could be beneficial to the team. Fuster was named between others in the group who later tried out for Boca FC during FAU’s off-season.
“He came, tried out, and we liked what we saw and signed him to the amature contract,” said Boca FC’s Coach Castillo in an interview.
According to NCAA regulation, all athletes taking part in collegiate sports are not allowed to compete at the college level if they maintain a professional status. For this reason Fuster and any players in the semi-professional league must sign amature contracts.
Coach Castillo goes on to point out how Fuster will go down in Boca FC’s history by making the first goal ever in the team’s inaugural season. Fuster went on and started every game during the official season and helped Boca FC win the regular season title in the American Premier Soccer League.
“I‘ve seen him evolve from a timid player to one who is a lot more confident in his skills and abilities,” says his best friend and teammate, David Adejunmobi, who has played with Fuster since they were 14. Adejunmobi, who also plays on Boca FC and on FAU’s soccer team, points out that Fuster’s strength is in his communication in the back line and how he always seeks to do his best for the team. “He’s not always right but he tries his best,” says Adejunmobi.
His friend and teammate Owen McCorkle, a Junior Exercise Science major and defensive wing for the FAU Men’s team, says “I’ve played with a lot of good players but I can say that Braxton is one of the best leaders I’ve had.” McCorkle continues, “He gets in every play, he stands up for his teammates and plays with personality.”
From Coach Kos to Coach Castillo, to his teammates who have shared the field with him in the collegiate team and semi-professional team, their input of his strengths as a player is unanimous. They believe that his quick decision making and leadership skills are what makes him a good player and as Coach Castillo would point out his cerebral way of reading situations is what makes him stand out.
Mirroring his game on John Terry, the center back for Chelsea FC, Fuster hopes to go professional once he graduates as a History major from FAU.
Fuster agrees with his teammates and mentors that an area that he can improve on is on the game’s tactics and for him to be more tact minded. However when asking McCorkle one thing Fuster can work on he jokingly replied, “His looks.”