MLS VETERAN LEADING THE WAY FOR FC ARIZONA
FC Arizona’s Andrew Weber isn’t your average soccer player. He is someone who is the ultimate star both on and off the field. A veteran goalkeeper with over 11 years of professional experience, he was even part of the cast for the 20th season of The Amazing Race on CBS alongside twin brother Elliot. Simply put, Weber excels at everything.
Weber was a four-year starter at the University of New Mexico, finishing his collegiate career as the career leader in several goalkeeping categories, including games played (83), minutes played (7,681), wins (50), saves (350) and shutouts (25). He was a three-time all-conference and two-time all-region selection for the Lobos and would lead New Mexico to its first three NCAA Tournament appearances in 2001, 2002, and 2004. Interestingly he was also the first goalkeeper in school history to score a goal in 2003 as a junior and actually finished his collegiate career with three assists.
He would go on to play for four MLS clubs: D.C. United (2005), San Jose Earthquakes (2009-11), Seattle Sounders FC (2012-13), and Portland Timbers (2014-15). He also spent three seasons with the Montreal Impact in the USL First Division from 2006-08, where he made 29 regular season appearances. He would return to USL Pro in 2013, making 14 appearances for Phoenix FC with a 1.48 goals against average.
Weber has twice played in the CONCACAF Champions League and even won an MLS Cup with Portland in 2015. The latter certainly was one of his favorite memories of the pro game.
“There’s nothing like the road to the MLS Cup. It was great being part of something that had never been done before. It’s something I will cherish forever.”
Weber had a strong relationship with the fans and supporters in Portland and he certainly is a great choice to build a strong fan base for FC Arizona.
“We have a great local soccer culture; the fans are our most important asset. Without fans, we don’t have jobs. I’m looking forward to building relationships with them, building a product on and off the field that will make them proud.”
Getting an MLS veteran to play for an expansion team was quite a coup. FC Arizona Owner/General Manager Scott Taylor is thrilled with the opportunity to have Weber as a player-coach.
“We are excited to have a locally raised guy like Andrew on the squad. He is a leader and has played at the highest levels of soccer in America. Nice thing is, he is still in his prime, so it will be really fun to watch him in the goal for FC Arizona next spring.”
It is a great situation for all involved. Weber will be one of the league’s top keepers the second he steps on the field and he certainly will put people in the stands. He definitely will be a mentor for younger players using the NPSL as their pipeline to the pros. Weber has been done there and done that.
While he didn’t expect to be back in Arizona, Weber is looking forward to being in the Grand Canyon State.
“It was my time to come home and build something from the ground up. I want to plant some roots and play in front of our home fans.”
Weber has already started his own goalkeeper training company called Net Kings Elite (http://www.netkingselite.com/) and has been an active presence at FC Arizona events from Day One.
What is the biggest reason Weber is at FC Arizona in the NPSL? He got the opportunity to follow his dreams; now he wants to give back to the game that gave him so much. He is clearly the right man to do just that and grow the game at the same time.
Weber is very excited to be working with Head Coach Aidan Davison, who played 20 years as a professional player.
Davison’s experience included time in the English Premier League with Bolton Wanderers and Bradford City. He also represented Northern Ireland in European Championship and World Cup qualifying, retiring at the age of 40 with over 400 appearances at all levels. Davison has become a major figure in the coaching community, having served as Reserve Team Manager at Hull City and Head Coach at Jax Destroyers.
Weber is eager to learn from a player and coach of Davison’s reputation. Over and over again Weber stressed the importance of giving back and learning more about the coaching side of the game. Being a player-coach with FC AZ will allow him to do both.
It’s pretty certain that 2017 is going to be big for soccer fans and supporters in Arizona and the entire Southwest. After all, Andrew Weber and the rest of the Red Lions are coming to town.