Low Earns High Marks at Pro Soccer Prospects Camp
Aug. 9, 2017
CHICAGO – Coming into the summer, Quentin Low had not seriously considered pursuing a pro soccer career.
But that all changed after the DePaul senior goalkeeper was invited to the July 24-28 MLS Sporting Kansas City U-23 Training Camp for top college and overseas prospects.
“I was really excited for this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Low about competing with the 20 invitees from college programs like Duke, Clemson and Florida Gulf Coast. “This franchise and its facilities are among the best in the country.
“I went into the training camp with the idea that I was going to play the way I do at DePaul. Whether that is good enough for the next level or not, so be it. I’m not going to pretend to be something that I’m not.
“Some of the guys at the camp---all they wanted was to play in the MLS. They were all-in and didn’t think about anything else.”
Low and five other goalkeepers underwent training drills and periodic scrimmages under the scrutiny of Kansas City coach Peter Vermes and his staff that included goalkeeper coach Alec Dufty.
Dufty, who had been an assistant coach at Illinois-Chicago, had worked with Low when he was in high school.
“I remembered ‘Q’ as a 15-year-old keeper and he was very good back then,” Dufty said. “I know the UIC goalkeeper coach Ross Cain, who had good things to say about Q. Ross was helping Q with opportunities this summer and reached out to me.”
Low was ready to maximize his first pro soccer training camp experience.
“Training was very intense and at a high level,” Low said. “Play was really sharp with a high focus the entire week. Everyone was trying to show really well.
“It was good to experience such a high level of training, and I hope to bring that level of training back to our team. It was new for me to be around 20 guys who wanted to play at the next level.
“It was also different knowing everyone was a high-level college player or a pro player. It was a chance to compare yourself with them and see where you stand.”
On the final day, the prospects played a 60-minute game in front of the Kansas City coaching staff. Low played one half, making seven saves and allowing a pair of goals.
All in all, Low made an impression on the KC staff.
“Q had a very good camp and I would definitely say he is a pro prospect whether here in the MLS or somewhere else,” Dufty said. “He definitely has the tools to make it to the next level.
“His technique is very good and his handling is clean. He is a little undersized, but makes up for it with his explosiveness, jumping ability and being very athletic. He covers ground very well.”
Dufty said Kansas City was looking to identify pro prospects and determine which players they should be tracking on this season. Last week, the staff e-mailed a final analysis to the players.
“We said in Q’s evaluation that he is very athletic, quick and an excellent shot-stopper who needs to improve on distribution,” Dufty said. “Then again, distribution is a major emphasis for our goalkeepers. It’s a different level going from college to the MLS and from making the MLS to the first team.
“You have to be very good with your feet, and that’s something he can work on. You also want to be comfortable playing with the ball inside the 18.
“Most goalkeepers have the tools. What separates them is how they play in games. In the final game, Q communicated well and read the game well. We gave him a positive evaluation.”
Those five days in Kansas City opened Low’s eyes to the possibility of joining Blue Demon alumnus Patrick Hopkins, Mack Robinson and Simon Megally in the pro ranks. Hopkins plays for the San Francisco Deltas and Robinson for North Carolina FC in the NASL (North American Soccer League). Megally is playing for Nybro IF in Sweden.
“After this experience, including the evaluation, I’m at a good level,” Low said. “It’s a testament to everything I’ve done in getting to where I’m at right now.
“This camp has made me consider a pro career. For me, if it happens---that would be great. If not, I’m OK with that, too.”
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