Despite being just 28, James Weber has done just about everything in his life.
He proved to be one of the all-time greats in Wisconsin high school history after setting a state record for career goals with an absolutely astonishing 173 total goals. Later he led Xavier University to a conference championship and a NCAA tournament berth. After a successful freshman year, he went on to sign a professional contract for third division side Gullringens GoIF in Sweden. He would lead them in scoring for the next five seasons. During the offseason, Weber returned to Wisconsin to play professional indoor soccer, three seasons for the Milwaukee Wave and two seasons for the Brew City Legends.
Weber was also the first signing and the first captain for the NPSL’s Milwaukee Torrent.
“James Weber is a Torrent player from the first minute,” Torrent Owner and CEO Andreas Davi said. “With his experience on every level, including playing pro in Sweden, he will be a big asset to the team on and off the field.”
Playing in Milwaukee was very important to the Hartford, WI native.
“It is always great to play for my hometown team in front of my friends and family,” Weber said. “Milwaukee Torrent has such a big place in my heart and returning to play for them was an easy decision. The future is bright here in Milwaukee and I want to be a part of it as much as possible.”
The Torrent will clearly benefit from the return of such an exciting player.
“My style is based on a pure drive to get the ball in the back of the net,” Weber said. “I treat every game like my life depends on it and I will do whatever it takes to score goals and win games. My best position is forward since it puts me as close to the goal as possible. I feel I benefit our lineup greatly because I can be a teammate that other players put their trust in to finish off opportunities and win games in crunch time.”
His Torrent teammates will benefit from his experience at the professional level.
“Playing at a high level in the past has given me the experience I need to take my game to new heights,” Weber said. “I wouldn’t have been exposed to a top physical league if I hadn’t played Division I collegiately, and I wouldn’t have been exposed to a top technical league if I wouldn’t have gone to Europe to play. Both opportunities have elevated different parts of my game and my overall abilities have grown because of it.”
Being involved in the indoor game also proved to be quite beneficial for Weber.
“Playing professional soccer taught me at a young age how to beat pressure,” Weber said. “I signed my first pro contract at the age of 19 and I didn’t have much indoor soccer experience. Since the field is so small, there is always a defender close by ready to chop at your ankles and take the ball away. I learned to play in small spaces without panicking. I think indoor and outdoor soccer are completely different sports. However, at the end of the day the goal is to always win games.”
Weber has already accomplished so much in his career, yet he is determined to do even more.
“My short-term goals are to bring a national championship to Milwaukee,” Weber said. “I think we should set our sights on winning our region and go from there, but I believe this team can accomplish tremendous things this year. I would love to lead the league in scoring, but obviously winning is my main priority. My-long term goal is to play soccer for another solid 8-10 years at a high level, in whatever league that may be.”
Weber has been impressed with what the NPSL has to offer.
“I have not played a game yet in the NPSL since my first year with the Torrent so I am not able to judge on the level of play,” Weber said. “However, I have noticed the growth, both in the number of teams and recognition around the country for being a great league. I am hoping I can add to the level of play, along with the league’s popularity in this 2021 season.”
Off the field, Weber has earned the reputation as a popular author after gaining praise for A Soccer Ball and Some Faith and The Teenager’s Guide to Becoming a Professional Soccer Player.
“I got involved in writing because I live my life to impact others,” Weber said. “I felt that if I made myself vulnerable and put my story out there, others would find hope and intrigue in my words. My book, A Soccer Ball and Some Faith, tells my story from a child to the pros and the adversity I had to face every step of the way. I knew that playing professional soccer and being seen on TV or the Internet wasn’t enough for me. I want to reach the world in a deeper manner. I then wrote The Teenager’s Guide to Becoming a Professional Soccer Player because I wanted to give my advice to a younger population and provide guidance that I wish I had at a young age.”
The Torrent will be counting on Weber’s leadership to lead the team through a successful 2021 campaign. He has a lot of good advice for his younger teammates and those looking to follow a similar path to the pros.
“I would advise younger athletes to grind every single day,” Weber said. “Opportunities aren’t going to come across your table regularly. You need to fight every day like someone is watching and be ready to go and get those opportunities to make it to the next level. I think a lot of young players are too focused on beating the player next to them and not focused enough on beating the player they were yesterday.”
Remember the name James Weber as he is sure to be one of the league’s most talented and dynamic players, someone who will be at the top of the goalscoring charts.
Photo Credit: FC Milwaukee Torrent