Will Seymore: It’s a huge privilege to play in front of the best fan base in the States

There may be a lot of differences between Cambridge and Cincinnati but for Will Seymore, he could happily live in either city.

The 26-year-old midfielder grew up in the England after being born in Colorado and still visits the birth country of his mother every year but his professional career to date has been strictly overseas.

The midfielder, whose accent is a combination of both American and British, currently plays for FC Cincinnati in the American second-tier having joined from Vancouver Whitecaps 2 at the end of last year.

But he cites his childhood in England, where he admits to have learned the game, as playing a big part in his career now.

“I think it has definitely given me an edge, [learning to play football in England] in terms of handling the physicality. I played non-league when I was 15 against men so I had to deal with getting lumps out of me, week in, week out and still having the courage to play.

“I got to experience football in both countries [before turning pro] and contrasting styles and views on football. I think playing in both places really helped me because using lessons learnt in both places shaped me as a footballer.”

Seymore’s travels between the two countries were due to his father being in the US air force but he never found settling in a problem due to having family in both countries.

During his time in the UK, Seymore’s talent did not go unnoticed. As well as playing men’s football at such a young age, the midfielder also played for the Cambridgeshire FA county team and also represented England Schoolboys.

After learning the game he loves in England, he returned to the States to combine studying and football at Oregan State University. A chapter in his life which he still recalls fondly.

“I definitely would [recommend the college soccer route]. I think it’s a great opportunity to continue playing football at an extremely high level and have another avenue to a professional career and continue studies for later in life.

“As well as experience US college life, of course, which was a great four years of my life!”

Whilst at college, Seymore also played for Portland Timbers U23s but his big moment came in 2015 when he was among the group of college graduates eligible for he MLS Superdraft.

“The Superdraft was a unique experience. Alongside the combine, (a chance for graduates to impress MLS scouts in trial matches) it was good to meet and play with friends from college and see how well each other do.

“Obviously you want to be selfish and get your name called first but it’s all about well you do when you get to camp.”

It was a roller coaster experience for the young midfielder as he was initially drafted by MLS side FC Dallas but a contract was never forthcoming, not that he says it as a wasted opportunity.

“I didn’t do enough to get a contract but working with the Dallas staff was a great experience and Oscar Pareja is a class manager and his philosophy of football is fantastic!”

Despite the setback in Dallas, the Colorado-born midfielder didn’t have to wait long for a second chance in pro football.

South African coach Alan Koch is a man with vast experience of football in the US, having coached in the country for more than 15 years and he was set to become a pivotal player in Seymore’s future. The 43-year-old had managed the Simon Fraser University (SFU) football side and had now been given the opportunity to manage Vancouver Whitecaps 2 in the USL.

Seymore playing for Whitecaps 2

“I had contact from Alan after playing against SFU in my college days in a pre-season game and he knew my college coach and they got in contact with my agent. I went there (Vancouver), played well and they gave me a chance.”

It was another new country for the midfielder but he was no stranger to that anyway.

“I loved living in Canada. Vancouver is one of the most beautiful places on the planet and playing football there was great; the organization and facilities are first class!

“I lived there for over two years by myself but my family came to visit once a year.”

Seymore played for Whitecaps 2 for two-and-a-half seasons, becoming a regular in their line-up and their driving force in midfield, he describes himself as a number 6, and the regular football was a great experience for him.

“The USL is a great standard and only getting better – the level is very challenging.

“I think physically I was ready [when he first joined Whitecaps 2] but the speed of play and technical ability were the things I had to sharpen.”

He also got regular opportunities to train with the first team which he called a “great challenge and chance to train with world class footballers from around the globe.”

Alan Koch

After his spell in Canada, Seymore is now back in the US where he has teamed up with Koch once again at FC Cincinnati. If you don’t know much about the Orange and Blue then it is about time you did as they are starting to take football in America by storm.

“I’m very excited as a player. I’m playing at a club with world class facilities and staff who are ambitions to go further. Add that to the best fan base in the States right now averaging 25,00 a game and it is a huge privilege and exactly why we play the game.”

It sounds like a recipe for success and the 26-year-old says he believes his new side have a great shot at being awarded a MLS franchise in the near future.

Seymore is currently concentrating on establishing himself in the Cincinnati starting eleven but what are his ambitions for the future?

“I want to keep playing at the highest level possible and enjoy it as long as possible.

“I think short term I would like to play MLS for a couple years but I would also love to come back to England to play and be close to family.

“Playing back in England would be a huge opportunity and I am confident I could perform.”

Whether Seymore ever does return to play football in England remains to be seen and something else is also uncertain when it comes to the midfielder’s nationality – does he consider himself to be American or English?

“It’s tough,” he says as he ponders the question. “I honestly would say both!”

You can follow Will on Twitter @WilliamSeesmore.


2 replies on “Will Seymore: It’s a huge privilege to play in front of the best fan base in the States”

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