Division III athletes rarely play professionally. With little exposure, it can be challenging for an athlete to move up to the next level; however, former Trinity soccer standout Matthew Cardone earned a spot on the San Antonio Scorpions in 2015. Since then, the Scorpions have disbanded, and he has joined San Antonio Football Club (F.C.), the newest addition to the San Antonio professional sports scene.
Cardone originally tried out for the MLSâ€™s Orlando City F.C., but his performance ended up catching the attention of the Scorpions. The Scorpions eventually ceased operations, giving way to the creation of San Antonio F.C., which is the United Soccer Leagueâ€™s most recent addition. In his opinion, his experience with both clubs has proven valuable.
â€œMy experience with the Scorpions two years ago was a learning one, and after the first year of San Antonio F.C., things have only improved. It is a great club with great ownership in Spurs Sports & Entertainment and will only continue to get better,â€ Cardone said.
Cardone shows optimism about the new club and has used it to develop as a goalie. Â His experience in college has prepared him for the rigors of professional sport.
â€œItâ€™s the same sport but turned up another notch. Trinity Soccer is a high-standard program that helped me be prepared to become a pro. Thankfully, Iâ€™ve had support from my family as well as the mentoring of Trinity Head Coach Paul McGinlay, which I consider invaluable,â€ Cardone said.
In their inaugural year, San Antonio F.C. fell just below a .500 winning percentage, finishing with 10 losses and 12 wins. Because the team is looking to improve in 2017 and build on that first season, maintaining a roster spot and his starting position could bring some heavy competition Cardoneâ€™s way. There will be a higher standard of performance as the club establishes itself, but Cardone expects more from himself than anyone else.
When Cardone looks back on his time as a student, Â he is reminded of all the great times and friends he made; this contributes to his contentment in his current role, which has him living in San Antonio.
â€œTrinity has a fantastic community and the environment that Trinity provides for its students, staff, etc. is really something special. I also made many friends and met important, intelligent people at Trinity, especially within the soccer program that I hope I will maintain lifelong relationships with,â€ Cardone said.
As the year progresses, Cardone will be working diligently to improve his skills in order to help this new club succeed. Follow the San Antonio F.C. to check on how heâ€™s doing.