The Demize NPSL is proud to have had two players and its coach selected to compete in the 2018 NPSL Player Showcase. Chris Hanlon, Jaxn Rogers, and Kyler Moore traveled to Kissimmee, Florida for the event from January 13-15. The NPSL is very unique in its structure that provides players the opportunity to attend this event. The NPSL Player Showcase grants players the platform to display their talents in the presence of MLS, USL, NASL, and International Pro Coaches. This is the fourth year of the event of which Hanlon has coached every year. “It’s a great chance for top players in the NPSL to showcase their qualities to professional coaches,” says the Demize Director of Soccer Operations, Chris Hanlon.
Each region of the NPSL (South, Northeast, Midwest, and West) must compile a team of players who have been nominated by their coaches. 60 players from a pool of 3,500 are chosen to attend the showcase, meaning that to be invited is a great honor. The event itself is run in three days that contain one training session and two games played in tournament style. Obviously, these sessions are the main parts of the weekend; however, on Sunday night, a banquet style dinner brought a couple very special guests to speak to the participants of the player showcase. Former US Men’s National Team members, MLS stars, and European League players Eddie Johnson and Freddy Adu joined the 2018 Player Showcase to provide the participants with great knowledge about life going forward for all of the participants. Kyler stated, “It was great to hear the knowledge that these players from the highest level had for us. Everyone there could take what they had to say to apply that knowledge to their own lives and careers. It’s always an honor to listen to people who have played at the such a high level.”
Both Rogers and Moore are Demize academy products who began playing under Chris Hanlon from the age of 15 years old. They are the first Demize Soccer Academy products to participate in an event of this level. When speaking with Jaxn about the event he says, “The experience was fantastic. Being able to meet players from all over the US and different clubs gives a new experience playing with the NPSL. We were also able to market the Demize NPSL to players and coaches we may not have had the opportunity to reach before.” Both players were asked how playing for the Demize Soccer Academy prepared them for an experience of this magnitude. Jaxn replied, “Playing for the Demize gave me the ability and opportunity to play any position whenever needed and being able to adjust to whatever situation arises on the field. That experience was key during the Player Showcase, as I played across the entire back line during the two games.” Kyler had this to add, “The Demize provides its players with a multitude of opportunities to play against quality opponents in more forms of soccer than just outdoor. Playing indoor and futsal at a high level allowed me to improve my game in ways I couldn’t do as effectively as in outdoor. I was able to express myself and improve myself in all facets of my game which was a huge reason that I am able to play at the level that I am now.”
Chris, Jaxn, and Kyler were all very pleased with attending the 2018 NPSL Player Showcase. For Jaxn and Kyler, the event gave them a massive platform of which to showcase their talents in front of professional coaches from all over the US, from MLS coaches from Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, New England Revolution, and Chicago Fire to USL coaches from Swope Park and more. This experience will allow each of them to return to the Demize with more knowledge and wisdom that they can disclose to their teammates and academy players. It is hoped that Rogers and Moore are only the first of many academy products to compete in events like this.