USL League Two | Defender | Captain | Jack Sluys
Jack, where have you played youth to college soccer?
I grew up playing at Washington Premier for the 98 black team from U11-U18. I went to Gig Harbor High School and played 4 years of varsity soccer there. I wasn’t recruited out of high school, so I took a gap year to apply to some solid academic universities and try to walk-on to one of the programs.
During that gap year, I played in the NPSL for Kitsap Pumas and Coach Bird. I was accepted to Fordham University in New York, I walked on to the team, and ended my playing career there with the 2nd most games played in program history, 3rd most starts, was a two-time 1st team Academic All-Region member, a 2021 Atlantic 10 conference champion, and was a captain my final season.
During the summer of 2021, I played for and was the captain of the WPFC U23 team and spent the summer of 2022 playing for Manhattan SC of the Metropolitan Division of USL 2 where we were division champs. Now I’m happy to be spending the summer of 2023 playing for the Oly Town Artesians!
What is your most memorable moment as a soccer player?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few memorable moments playing, but I think the best moment of them all was winning the 2020-21 Atlantic 10 Conference Championship with Fordham and celebrating with my team.
What are your thoughts on the NW Division of USL2 and how Oly is doing?
The NW Division is a challenging division full of talented players. I’m grateful to have the chance to play with an against some of the best young talent in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve gone through some peaks and valleys, but we’ve grown as a team through it all and to be in contention for a playoff spot means we’re in good shape.
What does it mean for you to see USL2 level of play offered in this region?
It means a lot. Growing up in Washington, I felt that the Pacific Northwest didn’t always get the respect and the credit it deserves in the soccer world, especially with the amount of talent coming out of the state. It was always about the bigger cities, states, and programs, when in reality, Washington could compete with anyone.
So, for the USL 2 to expand and create the NW division, allowing the players from this area to compete and play for their hometowns, truly is something very special.
Why did you choose Oly Town to compete in USL2?
Oly Town gave me the chance to play at a high level, with amazing teammates and friends, represent the area I’m from, and play for a coaching staff that is one of a kind. It’s tough to beat a place like this.
What are some of your hobbies and activities outside of soccer?
Well, being a recent college graduate, I’ve dabbled with life after soccer. With the time difference, I’m able to spend my mornings before training working in consulting and analytics for a firm out on the east coast. Then after practice it’s either back to work for the firm or I caddie at Chambers Bay golf course.
I’d love to play soccer at the next level and play as long as I can, but if not, I’ll be heading back to New York for work, and caddying and golf are just a hobby on the side.
Did you know any of the guys on the team previously and are you making any new friends?
I have played with a few guys on the team before, whether that was youth soccer or during previous summers, and I’ve definitely made new friends with other guys on the team. It’s a great team atmosphere.
Everyone is competitive and wants to get better and push each other to be the best they can be. But on top of it all, the personalities and characters that make up the team are second to none, which makes it a great place to be.
What are your thoughts on this year’s coaching staff and what’s it like playing for them?
It’s an honor and a privilege to play for this coaching staff. I’ve been fortunate enough to have played for coach Bird for a couple of different teams across several summers and he has been an integral part of my development and success throughout my college years. I enjoy our style of play and I think it makes us a very competitive and dangerous team in the USL 2.
What is your advice for young soccer players looking to go to the next level?
First, of course, is work hard. Put the time in and try to become the best player you can be. Also, be coachable and listen, always absorb as much information as you can so you better understand your own game, your team, and opponents. Lastly, have fun and enjoy the process. Truly appreciate everything because we only get to do this all once, and it’s not for a long time so enjoy it.
Catch Jack on the road this weekend, first against PDX FC Friday Night at John Bishop HS then Sunday against Capital Atletico.
Jack’s final home game is July 14th at South Sound Stadium, 7PM! Tickets available by clicking here.
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