Jack Green's actions speak louder than his words
Green’s humility and leadership have been a spark for men’s soccer
From the Newsstands: This story appeared in The Eagle's November 2022 print edition. You can find the digital version here.
Soccer is the epitome of team sports. Throughout the history of the game, the best teams have consisted of players who accept their role on the team, regardless of how much it affects their personal accomplishments. While buying into your role at the expense of the spotlight can be difficult, men’s soccer midfielder and senior Jack Green has done this with humility and positivity.
As a freshman, Green’s chances at finding his role on the team were improbable to say the least. AU’s coaching staff had completely changed since the time he was recruited and before he played his first minute of college soccer.
“All they had were some highlight tapes of me from my sophomore year of high school,” Green said. “The new coaches really just didn’t know me.”
In addition to being unfamiliar with Green, the new coaches were also cutting several freshmen to downsize the roster. While Green was confident in his abilities, he was nervous about the possibility of being cut during his first season as a collegiate soccer player. However, throughout the course of the 2019 season, head coach Zach Samol saw that Green would be a key contributor on his roster.
“During that first season, I knew that Jack had the soccer skills to be a good player,” Samol said. “But he also had this work ethic that allows him to improve every year.”
Since his freshman season, Green’s role on the team has become clearly defined. As an experienced senior, he knows that he needs to stabilize the offense when he comes off the bench.
“My coaches play me off the bench because the beginning of the games are hectic and back-and-forth,” Green said. “When I come into the game, that’s when the game is settled.”
Although being on the bench may prompt anger, bitterness or resentment from seniors, Green seized the opportunity to be a role model for his teammates. According to Samol, Green’s selfless mentality has been critical to establishing the team’s culture.
“Younger players look up to him because he’s an older leader who doesn’t lead with his voice,” Samol said. “He’s a team-first guy; he’s always been that way.”
Since Green settled into his role on the team, he has been a potent offensive catalyst. Over his junior and senior seasons, Green has racked up four goals and five assists so far while being a starter in only two games. Additionally, he became the first midfielder in Patriot League history to be named Midfielder of the Week in two consecutive weeks during the 2021 season.
For Green, his stats and accolades are not a testament to his personal talents and hard work alone. Instead, they are indicative of his team’s ability to give everybody an opportunity to contribute in the best way they can.
“I know the impact that I bring coming off the bench, but it’s really a team effort,” Green said. “As much as there’s things that I do individually, it’s really about the mentality of the guys and them knowing the job that needs to be done and letting people execute that in the way that they can contribute.”
While Green’s play on the field is critical to the team’s success, his positive attitude has been equally as impor- tant. According to Samol, Green’s positivity has been the focal point of his leadership.
“He’s not a vocal born leader, but he leads us as a positive guy,” Samol said. “He’s somebody that you can always count on to show up, play and have a great attitude.”