Click the play button to hear the story of a former SU soccer star who is chasing new dreams after his stint in MLS.
Audio Transcript: Liam Callahan: One Goal at a Time
By Justin Paura SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – In elementary school, every kid is asked what they want to be when they grow up. Liam Callahan remembers sitting in that desk and hearing the answers of his classmates around him.
“Some kids wanted to be astronauts or police officers,” Callahan said. “For me, I wanted to be a professional soccer player.”
Even as a child Callahan knew where he passion lied and in 2017, his dream came true. The Colorado Rapids selected him with the 24th pick in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Superdraft.
“I picked up the phone and it was the GM,” Callahan said. “It was a terrible first phone call, I didn’t know what to say. I was so happy that I was speechless.”
It was one of the best moments of Callahan’s life to hear his name get called, but his MLS career was short-lived. He got cut by the Rapids before the 2017 regular season began.
Adversity is nothing new for Callahan, who constantly faced obstacles throughout his soccer journey. He comes from a weak soccer town in Amherst, New York where he was the first All-American soccer player to come from Sweet Home High School. He then went to Villanova where he missed his freshman season due to a leg injury. After two years with the Wildcats, he transferred to Syracuse where he led the Orange to its first Final Four in school history, only to exit the game after breaking his foot.
But no matter what came Callahan’s way, he never made any excuses.
“He never said, ‘why me, why me,'” his mother Ginny said. “He always kept his head high through everything.”
He handled getting released by Colorado with that same positive attitude.
“Being able to tell myself, ‘hey maybe it didn’t work out, but you were up there,’ that alone sits well with me” Callahan said.
Callahan always said he wanted to be on an MLS team and he would tell you he accomplished his dream. Now that one dream is in the books, a new dream emerges. His next goal is to move back home to Amherst and assist in the growth of soccer in the Buffalo area.
He is approaching this new ambition the same way he approached his MLS dream; with hard-work and determination. The 24-year-old is currently coaching a youth team in the Syracuse along with training kids individually. Along with playing professional indoor soccer, Callahan is sharing his passion of soccer with kids, hoping they can pursue their dreams just like him.