NPSL alum and DCFC captain Bakie Goodman has followed up his stellar 2017 performance with Le Rouge by signing a professional contract with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC.
“It was great, I was really glad to sign my first professional contract,” Goodman said. “And I’m really glad to be in this spot, we are doing really well and have great coaches, great teammates, and I’m really happy.”
Goodman was a major factor in Detroit City FC reaching the playoffs and recording their first playoff win in club history in the 2017 season. All in all, Goodman started and appeared in 15 games, scoring two goals and recording five assists. Even more than the stat, however, Goodman’s leadership qualities added to the success of the squad.
“Bakie is an all-around, complete player. He has good skill sets with his technical ability and tactical awareness, combined with tremendous fitness and work rate,” Detroit City FC Head Coach Ben Pirmann said. “He is also a selfless leader and a wonderful young man. He sees the game and has a great competitive drive, and he’s a player who makes his teammates better.”
All in all, playing in the NPSL really helped Goodman’s development and preparation for his professional career.
“Detroit was a great club, the talent was very good when I was there,” Goodman said. “It was a good stepping stone towards where I am now.”
In addition to the development side of the NPSL, the experience of playing in front of the Detroit faithful was a special experience as well. Fans of the club are known for their passionate support, with thousands remaining on their feet throughout the match, chanting, jumping, and letting off as much smoke in as many colors as possible. That support was a highlight of Goodman’s time with DCFC.
“It was awesome, it was like 7 or 8,000 fans a game,” Goodman said. “And they didn’t just show up, they knew everything about the team, the clubs and the players…we really enjoyed that.”
His time in the NPSL is only part of the story.
Goodman was a top Division I player that went 57th overall to Seattle Sounders FC in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. Goodman had an impressive career with the Hoyas with 80 games (71 starts) to his credit. The midfielder scored seven goals and tallied 12 assists for 26 points over four years. Three of his goals were game-winners, and he served as a team captain his senior year.
As a freshman, Goodman was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie squad, and earned a place on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Oct. 14, 2013. Goodman played an integral role in three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the quarterfinals in 2014, as well as two BIG EAST Regular Season Championships and one tournament championship in 2015.
Now that he has signed a professional contract, Goodman is looking to improve his game and take advantage of his opportunities.
“I just have to keep working everyday,” Goodman said. “Have to get quicker, more physical and improve in the mental aspects of the game.”
Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley is expecting Goodman to be a difference maker in possession when he’s on the pitch.
“Bakie is a very good possession player,” Lilley said. “He’s a crafty midfielder who we’re excited to work with this year because of his ability to connect passes and successfully work himself out of high pressure areas.”
That possession play is exactly what Goodman tries to bring to the pitch and his team.
“I’m a possession player so I always want to make sure that we have the ball,” Goodman said, “I try and keep possession, move the ball around, and help the team.”
With Goodman’s leadership ability and talent on the ball, Pittsburgh should have a strong number 8 for years to come.
Contributor: Daniel Cermak/NPSL.com
Photo Credit: Chris Cowger, Delaney Hoolahan, Jon DeBoer/DCFC, and Riverhounds SC