Football is the nationwide recreation in Denmark. Just about 300,000 other people play what they name soccer within the nation of five.7 million other people.
Matthias Staalsoe grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark, who prefer some other form of soccer: American soccer. Now, he’s an offensive lineman on the College of Maine.
“I’d watch NFL video games at Three within the morning,” mentioned Staalsoe, who’s competing for a beginning task at guard. “Then I began to get into taking part in Madden [NFL], and that’s how I discovered the principles,” Staalsoe mentioned of the online game.
The 6-foot-3, 282-pound Staalsoe additionally learned he used to be a lot larger than the typical individual in Denmark.
“So I assumed [American] soccer could be an excellent are compatible for me. I just like the physicality of it,” mentioned Staalsoe, who performed with the primary unit right through UMaine’s first intrasquad scrimmage Wednesday on Morse Box at Alfond Stadium in Orono.
Staalsoe mentioned there are a selection of “pay to play” membership soccer groups in Denmark. There is also the Danish American Soccer Basis, which supplies the most productive avid gamers a possibility to play on the world stage.
“The nationwide crew agenda has beautiful top festival despite the fact that it’s inferior to senior highschool soccer within the States. However it’s getting higher, and it’s rising. They’re creating numerous skill in Europe at the moment,” Staalsoe mentioned.
He performed for his membership and nationwide groups, and used to be spotted by way of a German guy who helped him come over the US. Staalsoe spent his senior 12 months of highschool at The Taft College in Watertown, Connecticut.
He used to be a two-way standout at the line.
“Once I spotted I used to be going to the U.S. for my senior 12 months of highschool, I spotted I may just move out and do that. I may just get into school and play Department I soccer,” Staalsoe mentioned.
He gained All-USA As of late, All-Connecticut and All-NEPSAC (New England Preparatory College Athletic Council) honors.
Staalsoe mentioned he selected UMaine as a result of he favored the peacefulness.
“It’s quiet up right here so you’ll focal point all of your power in your recreation, soccer in my case. There aren’t numerous distractions up right here, and that is helping you expand as a soccer participant,” Staalsoe mentioned.
He suffered a concussion a 12 months in the past as a real freshman however did seem in a single sport, UMaine’s 28-Nine victory over Richmond on Nov. 10.
UMaine offensive line trainer Pat Denecke praised Staalsoe’s preparation as a participant.
“They arrive to school bodily advanced. They have got just right training over there,” Denecke mentioned.
“Matthias got here in with a tight wisdom base. He wasn’t ranging from sq. one.”
Staalsoe earned the Maine Guy power and conditioning award ultimate wintry weather and had a productive spring.
“He’s a just right tale,” UMaine head trainer Nick Charlton mentioned. “He’s a difficult child and one of the crucial most powerful children at the crew. The ceiling may be very top for him.”
UMaine junior middle Chris Mulvey sees nice doable in Staalsoe.
It’s actual simple doing [blocking] mixtures with him. He can transfer other people down the sector,” Mulvey mentioned.
“I believe he’s going to have an actual breakout 12 months this 12 months,” Mulvey mentioned.
Mulvey added that Staalsoe has performed a pleasing task studying the blockading schemes and working out the intricacies of being an offensive lineman.
Staalsoe mentioned he has in reality centered at the psychological side of his sport, creating a greater working out of the playbook, who he’s running with within the offensive line on a selected play and working out the calls made by way of the middle.
“I’ve made giant strides from ultimate 12 months. I’ve certainly gotten higher. However we will be able to all proceed to recover,” he mentioned.
He mentioned the coaches and Mulvey have performed essential roles in serving to him perceive the schemes. His objective is to earn constant taking part in time.
UMaine junior quarterback Chris Ferguson mentioned Staalsoe has inspired him as a tender participant.
“Coming in to play within the offensive line as a freshman is hard. He’s a robust child and he’s good. He’s in a position to head. I’m fascinated about him,” Ferguson mentioned.