Brian Lavin’s soccer career gained national recognition recently.
The senior captain of the men’s team was invited to play in the Umbro Select All-Star Classic, a national showcase for the country’s top college seniors. The weekend event will be held Feb. 9 at Lockhart Stadium, the home of the Miami Fusion, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Avid soccer fans will not be the only people watching the All-Star game. Major League Soccer scouts also attend the event, which is conveniently held just prior to their annual entry draft on Feb. 10-11.
In the days leading up to the game, the players will go through several combines and training routines that will be attended by MLS coaches and scouts. For some players, it will be a chance to showcase their individual skills for MLS coaches and scouts before playing the full-length feature game.
Lavin, who anchored the backfield for the Bulldogs, will play defense for his team at the event. He is the first player from Yale to be invited in the All-Star game’s seven-year history.
“I’m trying to get in really good shape to go down there and play well,” Lavin said. “The competition is definitely going to be intense.”
Lavin earned All-Ivy honors three times after being sidelined with an injury his entire freshman year, in addition to being named to the All-New England team this year.
A starter in all but two of the games he played in over his career, Lavin scored three goals, including the Bulldogs’ lone tally in a 2-1 loss to nationally ranked Fairfield this fall. He also contributed six assists.
Lavin’s play was also honored by his own team, as he was twice awarded the Walter J. McNerney Award, given to the Yale team’s most valuable player.
Several players from the University of Connecticut, Princeton, and the University of Rhode Island were also invited. The Bulldogs faced all three schools this season, beating nationally ranked Rhode Island before falling to Princeton and Connecticut.
“There will be some guys there that I’ve played with or against through the years, so that should be fun,” Lavin said.
National powerhouses, including the NCAA champion University of North Carolina, as well as Stanford, Indiana and Southern Methodist universities, are well-represented at the event.
Despite the inevitable competitive atmosphere that will be present, the coordinators of the All-Star Classic are also planning events to help players enjoy their time there.
“They’re having some dinners and some social functions,” Lavin said. “I’m sure it will be really intense soccerwise, but it will be nice too to go down to Florida for a few days and have a good time.”