New Player Profiles: Men’s soccer
By Jordyn Matez
O’Vonte Mullings and Raheem Somersall are more than just roommates – they’re also some of the newest players on the FGCU men’s soccer team.
Mullings, a freshman, and Somersall, a senior, were both recruited for the 2018 men’s soccer season. Mullings began his collegiate career with the Eagles, while Somersall is a recent transfer from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.
Both athletes start their morning at the same time with an early morning practice. Following practice, Mullings and Somersall immediately head to class and remain on campus for multiple classes.
Once Mullings is released from class, he heads back to Alico Arena to log some of his eight required study hours as a freshman. Somersall isn’t required to log study hours due to his 3.4 GPA, which omits him from the requirement, but he still follows up class with homework and studying.
Mullings, a business management major, is hoping to one day own his own business, while Somersall, who is currently majoring in integrated studies, is simply interested in giving help where he can find it.
“I just wish to help people,” Somersall said, noting that some of his motivation came from how lucky he felt to have given the opportunity to play in America as a native of the Caribbean Islands. “I don’t know how, but I just wish to give back to people less fortunate.”
Somersall, being from St. Kitts where soccer is a much more popular sport, began playing soccer at just three years old. While he noted that he also ran track for a while, following in his parents’ footsteps as they both ran track, he fell more and more in love with soccer as he got older.
Mullings, however, said that he started playing soccer at 10 years old because his parents wanted to keep him occupied.
“My parents put me in soccer to stay out of trouble,” Mullings said with a laugh. “When I was younger I misbehaved sometimes, so they put me in.”
While Mullings also said that soccer helped him stay on track, Somersall joked that he’s “still a bad kid”, as the two share time on and off the field as teammates and roommates.
Behavior off the field aside, the boys have made their presence known among the veteran players of FGCU men’s soccer.
Mullings leads the team in multiple individual stats, including shots on goal, with a .650 percentage, and shots, with a .150 percentage. He holds the second place position for the team in points, goals, and game-winning goals. Mullings also received the ASUN Player of the Week honors for the week of August 27.
Somersall most recently received his first ASUN Defensive Player of the Week recognition during the week of September 17. He started in all of FGCU’s first five matches and leads the team as a captain.
Though both athletes have a career path for the later future, both Mullings and Somersall have mentioned an extreme interest in playing professional soccer.
“That’s the goal, that’s always the end result” Mullings said of his hopes to play professionally. “It’s tough, you know?” Somersall added. “You just need a finger in the door. You just need that 10 percent chance.”
Though Somersall hopes to go further after his collegiate career, he already has some national experience from his childhood career in St. Kitts of the Caribbean Islands. Somersall was a member of the St. Kitts and Nevis Senior National Team, also having represented his home country in the U-20 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier.
Regardless of his national credentials, Somersall said that playing in America is a whole different ball game.
“Soccer isn’t as big for Americans, so the atmosphere in the crowd sometimes is a bit different,” Somersall said. “Usually you know which player is which, you don’t in America.”
After playing in St. Kitts, Somersall went on to continue his career in America, spending his freshman-junior years as a member of the Appalachian State University men’s soccer program before transferring to FGCU for his senior year.
“I feel like FGCU is perfect (for me),” Somersall said. “The weather reminds me of home and it’s more cultural, and the team is just more fun.”
Mullings, a freshman, had originally planned to play in Vermont for his college career, but found himself at FGCU due to a close relationship with former Vermont Head Coach and current FGCU Head Coach Jesse Cormier.
“I got my manager to contact Jesse because he said that if the opportunity comes he’d be willing to take me with open arms,” Mullings said. “That’s how it all started, that’s why I’m here now.”
Mullings, being one of the youngest members of the team said that he feels “like a baby” as a freshman.
According to Mullings, freshmen on the men’s soccer team are all have a certain responsibility that they have to uphold throughout the duration of their first season. Mullings’s task?
Keeping track of the practice pinnies.
“Where I come from, the coach brought the pinnies to and from practice, so I was responsible for nothing,” Mullings said, adding that the whole experience was foreign to him.
“I forget the pinnies sometimes, I’m not going to lie,” he said, with a laugh. “I’m just not used to it.”
Regardless of the pinnies he’s tasked with, Mullings also said that he’s enjoyed the learning opportunity that comes with being among the youngest of the team.
“Seeing a lot of older guys (like Raheem), how they conduct themselves bring in this environment for a while, they know what to do in specific situations,” Mullings said. “They help me manage certain things better than how I possibly would’ve done.”
Along with his teammates, Mullings also said that he looks up to many professional athletes, though he couldn’t name one specifically. According to Mullings, he finds that he gets specific attributes from a variety of athletes.
“All athletes have different stories,” Mullings said. “They kind of make me who I am, so I don’t know if I could say that I have a specific one.”
Somersall that he looked up to Lebron James, saying that it was impressive how many people envied James solely because of his talent, though he looked up to rapper Big Sean personality-wise because of his family values.
Though both Mullings and Somersall are still fairly new to the atmosphere at FGCU, they both said that they’ve had no problem fitting in and loving their time as a student athlete.
“Everybody has a different personality here, you know,” Somersall said. “You’ve got a group from France, Brazil, different Latin-American countries, but overall it’s good. Everybody comes together at the end of the day, and you learn a lot.”