Blake Brettschneider has conquered every level of soccer he has been involved in. Now he is tackling the MLS. Blake grew up in Gwinnett County and played his high school soccer at Parkview, winning a state championship as a sophomore in 2005. After high school, he signed with South Carolina where he started as a freshman and ended his career with 19 career goals and 17 assists. During the 2010 season for the Gamecocks, Brettschneider led South Carolina in goals (7) and assists (10), scoring three game-winning goals for his club. Earlier this year, he was drafted 21st overall in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft and has been proving himself ever since.
ScoreATL: Talk about your college career at the University of South Carolina.
Brettschneider: I was lucky to end up at Carolina in the first place and I really couldn’t have walked into a better situation. I was fortunate to get to play as soon as I came in and got lots of playing time early in my college career. We had a few seasons where I thought we probably underachieved, but that’s how it goes sometimes. We ended up having a great final year and our senior class went out on a high note.
ScoreATL: You played quite a versatile role at Carolina, in what role did you feel most comfortable?
Brettschneider: I did kind of play all over the place while I was at USC. There were a few games where I played nearly every attacking position. I even helped out a little on defense when we had a few injuries, but my career on defense was very short lived. I think up top as a forward was were I was most comfortable, but I loved playing out wide too.
ScoreATL: How has the transition to the MLS been?
Brettschneider: The transition from college to MLS has been the hardest one of my career. I’ve made some good friends here at the club and really like the coaching staff. Being far away from home and with brand new teammates was stressful at first, but now my teammates and coaches have become people that I truly care for and I know its the same them. Our team is pretty close.
ScoreATL: Is the game any different than the college level? How so?
Brettschneider: Everyone is faster, stronger and typically smarter. It has definitely gotten easier though. We have a good group of rookies at DCU and it makes the process easier when our coaches are still young and understand what its like to be a rookie.
ScoreATL: How did it feel to score your first goal as a professional?
Brettschneider: The first goal as a pro was crazy. It’s really one of those things that’s hard to explain. I was extremely happy when it happened but, truthfully, I was more relieved to get it out of the way. I spent the next five minutes after the goal just trying to catch my breath. It’s certainly something that I’ll never forget.
ScoreATL: Do you have a nickname?
Brettschneider: No nicknames. I guess if “rookie” counts then, yeah, but unfortunately nothing unique or catchy. It’s still early in my career though, so we’ll see.
ScoreATL: As someone who is making his own destiny, what does the future hold for Blake Brettschneider? Do you have any more goals you would like to achieve?
Brettschneider: I consider myself a fighter and very determined person who has a lot of confidence. I think if I can continue to work hard, press forward and stay healthy, then I could make a long career out of soccer. I would love to play overseas but, for now, I’m very happy here in DC and playing in the MLS. I know soccer won’t last forever and that’s something I can accept and acknowledge now, so I plan to finish my degree, too.
Check out Brettschneider’s 1st Major League Soccer goal: http://www.dcunited.com/video/2011/06/highlight-brettschneider-goal