“Prince Bere is one of the most talented players I have ever coached. His pace and strength on the ball set him apart. Prince can play any position and is a great leader. He has the potential to play at the highest level.”
Those are the words of Merritt College head men’s soccer coach Zach Sullivan, who coached Bere for two seasons. The comments are quite complimentary, but that is expected for a player that has quietly collected loads of awards.
He received Bay Valley Conference Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference honors during his time at Merritt, but this was just the beginning. He would take the NPSL’s West Region by storm, claiming All-NPSL 2nd Team honors. His team, SF Stompers FC, gave him the 2015 Shane Kilby Most Inspirational Award to go along with Man of the Match honors and the opportunity to captain the squad.
Versatility and lightning speed are a huge part of Bere’s game, something that should make him very attractive to pro scouts this weekend.
“I would say my speed is one of my biggest attributes, but equally as valuable is that I am very versatile and can play all over the field. For the Stompers I played mostly on the outside defense and on the wings in the NPSL. I have also featured up top as a striker, center midfielder, and center back while playing with the reserves at times in the offseason. I play wherever the team needs me and I always give 100%.”
The Stompers brand has been a mainstay in the Bay Area for decades and playing for them is a great opportunity, an opportunity Bere relishes.
“The Stompers have provided me the opportunity to play in the NPSL, which has brought me this opportunity to compete in the 2016 NPSL Combine. The management promised me that if I continued to work hard and dedicate myself that good opportunities would come. The coaching staff has done a good job preparing us players for the NPSL, but I think what I learned most from them was to own up to my responsibilities as a team leader on and off the pitch with or without the captain’s armband on. It has taught me to drop the ego and become a student of the game.”
Bere was quick to compliment the quality of play in the NPSL, saying it has played a major part in his development and improvement as a player. Playing on local teams or in regional leagues was no match for his time in the NPSL.
“The quality of play in the NPSL is very high. The NPSL is a lot more physically demanding than the other leagues in the area. The game is a lot faster, the teams are a lot fitter, and the level of play is a lot more physical.”
Bere, who was born in Nigeria, grew up in the San Francisco area and played for a number of high-profile youth clubs. He won a California State Cup with the Newark Argonauts and also played for the De Anza Force in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. He would move on to play in several leagues and teams as an adult before moving up to the level of the NPSL.
He took great pride in playing for the Nigerian All-Stars because “there is a sense of cultural values and pride when playing with my fellow Nigerians here in the States.”
Bere has experienced a lot in his career, but is eagerly looking forward to the combine. He is hoping to have the opportunity to earn a tryout or sign a contract with a pro club.
He will be joined at the combine by teammates Khalid Arramdani and Luis Castillo. Arramdani, a natural goalscorer and one of the region’s best finishers, was in the running for the PUMA Golden Boot for much of the 2015 NPSL season. Castillo is a physical defender that has earned a name for himself in the Golden Gate Conference.
With the combine right around the corner, it’s easy to say that it’s a very exciting time to be a Stomper.