Sean Brailey is the senior goalkeeper for the Fordham men’s soccer team, and one of only six seniors on the team. Given the chance to start the 2014 season, Brailey has already recorded 35 saves and one shutout.
The Fordham Ram: How and when did you start playing soccer?
Sean Brailey: It was one of those things. When I was around six or seven, my mom just signed me up for soccer. I played soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring. They just sign you up when you’re little, and whatever sticks, that’s what you stay with. And soccer was the one I went with. I have to credit my mom for signing me up — without her, I wouldn’t be here right now.
TFR: Why did you choose Fordham?
SB: Throughout high school, I always had a spot because I was one of the only kids who played goalie. When I first started playing, and when you’re little, they just rotate or throw a different kid in goal every game. When it was my turn, I guess I did well, and it just stuck with me from when I was eight years old, all the way through high school. I started recruiting later on, and everything just fell into place coming here.
TFR: Being a goalkeeper, you have one of the toughest jobs on the field. What made you choose the position?
SB: It’s one of those positions that is high pressure, and all the eyes are on you. It’s not really towards my personality, but it was something I was good at. I found that I was able to adjust to the position quickly and through coaching from the time I was 10 or 11, I just kept training and training. And it all paid off.
TFR: Can you recall a particularly intense moment in goal during your Fordham career?
SB: During my Fordham career, my sophomore year was my first year playing. In the second or third game, we were at Brown, who was nationally ranked. We were up 1-0, and it was late in the second half. They were bombarding us with shots and crosses in the box. But, we just bunkered in and were able to weather the storm, and we walked away with a 1-0 win. That was one of the best and biggest games I’ve played here.
TRF: How does your position in goal enable you to help your teammates on the field?
SB: You are the last man, so you can see everything in front of you, unlike forwards who can only see so much. One of the biggest things for me is being loud and vocal — either to my defenders telling them where to go or where their man is. It all comes from me, so there is a lot of responsibility relies on being in that position where you can see the whole field.
TFR: Have you taken on more of a leadership role since starting the season, especially since the majority of the team is composed of young players?
SB: We have probably one of the biggest freshman classes in my four years, and a lot of new guys coming in. A bunch of our starters were hurt last year, so it’s a fairly new team. I feel like just being one of the seniors on the team comes with the standing that I have experience after being here for three years. Also, just being a goalie means you have to be vocal. I’m not the loudest guy, but I’m just trying to lead by example.
TFR: How has the team dynamic changed since your freshman year?
SB: It was a fairly older team when I first got here. There were a lot of seniors playing, and a lot of the younger guys did not see as much time. There has always been a solid core that has really transitioned from year to year. Being that we spend a lot of time together, whether it’s on or off the field, we get to know each other pretty well. It’s really easy to assimilate into our group.
TFR: What do you ultimately hope to accomplish in your final season?
SB: We set out a goal to win the Atlantic 10 Tournament. We haven’t made the playoffs in the past two years, but you always want to shoot for something high. Given that we have a lot of talent on this team — It’s probably one of the most deep teams I’ve been a part of in my four years — we feel like we can make a solid run. We just need to be more tuned into the game for a full 90 minutes. We just have to be positive, focused and just bring a lot of energy to every game, especially with conference season coming up.
TFR: Do you have any post-graduation plans?
SB: I’m keeping my options open. I’m an accounting major, so I’m undecided if I will do a fifth year undergraduate program here where I can sit for the CPA right away. Or, if I want to get work experience through training, and then sit for the CPA. It’s all coming really fast.