By Ben Ferree/NPSL.com
Tyler Long has been playing soccer since he was eight years old. During that time, he’s played a
lot of different positions and seen his game grow, but nothing has grown more than his
leadership abilities on the field.
An important player for AFC Mobile’s U-19 team, Long quickly impressed head coach Hatem
“The first thing I noticed about Tyler is his personality,” Morsy said. “It’s not only about being a
player, he acts like he is a professional player. He is always in charge. He is responsible. He is
wise and it is a pleasure to have him in the team this year. He can be one of the team captains.
He is a responsible kid. He is in charge and a leader. He commits to the team and commits to
his coaches. He always tries to get the team together no matter what the issue is.”
That maturity wasn’t always the case for Long.
“A couple years ago I was the player who would joke around too much and get yelled at,” Long
said. “But my coaches have helped me become a leader and I’ve put that into the game.”
Mobile usually plays Long at left wing, a position he likes best.
“I have the speed for it,” Long said. “I’m pretty technical and can take on a person or two.”
But if need be, he can move all around the field.
“He can play in more than one position,” Morsy said. “He can play forward, right wing, left
back, right back, he can play the 10. But his best position is left wing. He is very talented, left
footed, and has a lot of skills.”
Long hopes those skills can propel him to the next level, and he hasn’t let the pandemic altered
2020 season dampen his spirits.
“2020 has its challenges,” Long said. “Trying to take the sport that you love into the next level
has its mental and physical problems but I try to stay positive about it and keep pushing forward.
My goal is to become an American professional athlete. I’m working hard at it and won’t be
giving up anytime soon.”
That dream could soon become a reality.
“I think he has a future as a professional soccer player with some development in his skills and
his moves in the field,” Morsy said. “A little more on timing and when to keep the ball, when to
play it quickly, if he takes it seriously he can definitely be a professional player.”
Perhaps the highest compliment the U-19 coach could pay the player?
“We will definitely have him in the full team next year,” Morsy said.
For the young man to impress that well already in the U-19 pilot is a testament to his ability.
Long’s focus is laser driven.
When he isn’t playing soccer, he said his interests were simply “spending time with my friends
away from social media.” And he’s ready for the future, ending things by saying “wherever it
takes me, I’ll be playing soccer.”
Photo Credit: Alyssa Newton