XU’s Spencer One of FCC’s Founding Players
The following piece ran as an alumni spotlight on Xavier University’s website. For more about Spencer’s career at XU and after, see the link at the end of the story.
Luke Spencer’s time playing professional soccer for the New England Revolution was cut short by an ACL injury. But after taking some time off to recover, the former Xavier star is back on the field—this time for local pro team FC Cincinnati.
How does it feel playing professional soccer in your home city?
“It’s been a blast. I’m around a lot of high-level players and coaches, which is what you want. I’m learning a lot and enjoying it. What I missed most when not playing was the environment—what goes on in the locker room, on the bus, at hotels on away games. You build so many relationships from the start of the season.
“It’s a big benefit that [FC Cincinnati] is at home. There’s more motivation and encouragement if you’re playing in front of people you know and who support you. I get to see my family once or twice a week.”
What’s a typical day like for you?
“I start the day with breakfast. Then, I come into the locker room and prepare for practice, whether with heating, stretching or rolling out. After that, I go straight into practice. Some practices are longer than others. Afterwards, I ice or deal with whatever is sore. Then I have lunch, run some errands or relax until I coach in the afternoons and evenings. I coach CUP (Cincinnati United Premiere). Four or five other players on the team also coach. I do it mainly because I have Cincinnati connections, and I’m involved with a lot clubs.
“But it’s full-time playing soccer. The key is staying healthy, especially for someone like me who has gone through the surgeries I have. I spend the most time prepping before practice and recovering after practice.”
In what ways do you keep in touch with your Musketeer family?
“I keep in regular contact with Coach Andy Fleming. He’s seen the progress of my dreams. It’s so easy to doubt yourself. You hear people say, ‘Oh, only 1 percent can do [professional soccer]’. Xavier hadn’t had that history because it’s so small. But I hope that I’m able to motivate and inspire more players, especially from Xavier, to play at the next level, despite setbacks. Look at [former players who went professional] Nick Hagglund and Matt Walker. I want to see this process happen more and more at Xavier.”
What are your goals for the future?
“My goals have changed. I used to have a long outlook, but now I try to take it day by day. I never imagined I would be here, but the daily process led me here, and I hope that continues.”
Luke Spencer, who played soccer at Winton Woods High School and XU, was the first XU player to be drafted by a Major League Soccer team — but a torn ACL almost ended his career. Read Hannah Barker’s piece for XU about the FC Cincinnati forward here.
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