Senior forward Anthony Brown currently leads the SLU mens soccer team in goals with three, number of shots with 13 and is tied with a few of his teammates for the lead in assists, with two.
Brown, a native of Belleville, Illinois, gained an interest in soccer at the young age of 5 when he saw his brother playing at his grandparent’s house and decided he wanted to play too. He only played one year of soccer for his high school, where he started his freshman year.
His high school career was cut short due to rules established by the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) stating that players in the academy program could not play high-school soccer.
“It was not a tough decision for me to decide to stick with the academy because there I knew I would get to be around the best of the best players in the area and compete at a very high level for my age,” said Brown.
When he was looking at colleges during high school, Brown said that his previous soccer coach, Mike McGinty, “played a huge role in getting [him] to play for SLU.” He fell in love with the campus and the team during these visits and it felt like home.
Not only did SLU feel like home, it was super important for Brown to be close to his family and friends, so going 20 minutes from Bellville was the perfect fit for him.
Along with the accessibility that SLU provides for him, Brown was very drawn to the history and prestige of the soccer program.
“I wanted to be a part of the legacy and make an imprint here to compete and win championships,” he said.
Another draw for potential soccer student-athletes to SLU is Hermann Stadium.
Brown said, “The history that was made here just gives me this special feeling that I just can’t really explain but it is honestly amazing [to play in Hermann Stadium].”
Hermann Stadium has been the home of SLU soccer since 1999 and has since seen many Billiken victories, including last season’s win over the eventual national champions, Stanford.
“We have one of the best college fields in the country,” said Brown, “the grounds workers here do an amazing job to make sure that the field is always in top condition.”
This year’s team is different from the past. According to Brown, “We have a great group of guys that are all committed to each other to fulfill our team goal to compete for championships on a consistent basis and to play an exciting style of football that gets the fans excited to watch.”
Along with the new members of the team, the coaching staff is completely new as well. Coach Kevin Kalish has lead the team to a 3-1-2 start and has his sights set on a strong finish in the A-10. Brown said, “The new coaching staff has done nothing but add to the culture [of the program] and help give us the players [and] tools we need to be successful not only during the season, but [down] the road as well.”
Brown attributes the team’s successes to “the fact that [they] are willing to fight for each other and [their] relationships with one another [are] so strong.” He attributes his own successes to his family, specifically his father.
“He has helped me through the great times as well as the very bad times. My father is everything that I want to be in a man and I am on my way to getting there,” he said.
For the rest of the season, and his career, Brown hopes to “just continue to score goals and get assist[s] to help the team win games and be the best teammate that [he] can be.”
He shares a common goal with his teammates to win the A-10 championship, being hosted at home in Hermann Stadium this November, and to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2014 season.
When he graduates from SLU, Brown hopes to continue his soccer career by getting picked up by a professional program. “It has been a long dream of mine and to fulfill that dream would be amazing,” he said.
A fun fact about Brown is that he is “decent” at beatboxing. If you are in for a laugh, he recommends that you look up “14 yr old Star Wars beatboxing” on YouTube to discover his second talent.