South Whidbey soccer star returns to train youngsters

South Whidbey High School soccer star Joseph Supang is headed back to the rock. Supang was the leading scorer for the 2000 Falcon boys team that placed second in the state and a forward for the 2004 national champion Seattle University team. This summer, he and some friends are putting on a soccer clinic for committed youngsters, age 9 to 17.

Joseph Supang

South Whidbey High School soccer star Joseph Supang is headed back to the rock.

Supang was the leading scorer for the 2000 Falcon boys team that placed second in the state and a forward for the 2004 national champion Seattle University team.

He loved playing for the Falcons.

“At state, we lost 2-1 to Steilacoom, a game I’ll never forget,” he said. “I had the assist on the one score but we lost in overtime.”

This summer, he and some friends are putting on a soccer clinic for committed youngsters, age 9 to 17.

The camp will be presented by Seattle Sounders, Seattle University and University of Washington players.

The soccer clinic runs from 9 a.m. to noon, July 7 to 11 at the soccer field at South Whidbey Intermediate School on Maxwelton Road.

“My coaching philosophy is to teach players the importance of developing good fundamentals and technique at an early age,” Supang said.

Supang was born in Botswana, a former British colony located just north of South Africa that won its independence in 1966.

In 1996 his mother married a Peace Corps volunteer who brought the family to South Whidbey, where they still live.

Moving here presented a few challenges.

“It’s hot in Botswana, in every season, and I had never seen snow before,” he recalled. “Getting used to the climate, culture and English took some time.”

“But I always have seen it as a chance to get a good education and play the sport I love,” he added. “Soccer brings together people from different backgrounds and cultures, fused into an entity with a single goal.”

Supang is a former member of the Seattle University men’s soccer team, a professional player in Belgium and member of the Botswana National Team. He is currently playing for a local club in Seattle called the SeattleWolves FC.

He hopes to be invited to play for the Botswana national team again as they start their quest for a berth at World Cup finals in South Africa in 2010.

On July 15, Supang finishes his master’s degree in sports administration and leadership at Seattle University. His dream is to become a full-time college or professional coach using the skills he learned on the soccer field and the knowledge gained in the classroom.

He’s excited by the chance to share his skills with younger players.

“The better that players are individually, the better the team will be collectively,” he said. “I want them to learn the game properly, by combining passes and having a methodical buildup when they are in possession of the ball. I try to instill an excellent work rate and a strong level of commitment, which can be used on or off the field.”

For details on the upcoming clinic, call Supang at 206-661-8783 or e-mail supangj@seattleu.edu.

Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or sports@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

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