Tacoma, Wash. – The youngest of six children and the son of a former United States international soccer player, one has to work incredibly hard to standout. Aodhan Quinn can be described as a late-bloomer. He wasn't highly recruited out of high school and spent a year at Bradley before arriving at college soccer powerhouse, University of Akron. Like most things in life, the best things are worth waiting for; so is the case with the soccer prowess of this extremely talented midfielder.
Aodhan Quinn grew up in idyllic San Diego where he played club soccer for his father's team, which ultimately became FC San Diego. He also played four years of varsity soccer for Mt. Carmel High School. During that time, Quinn tallied some impressive stats and accolade. However, due in part to his late growth-spurt, he wasn’t highly recruited.
As a freshman at Bradley, Quinn started twenty-two games and was named Freshman All-American 2nd Team by Goal.com. At that point, the college world finally knew the name Aodhan Quinn, and coaches around the country realized the quality of player they may have been able to sign.
Aodhan's father, Brian, a NASL and MISL soccer great, also coached MLS' San Jose Clash. During his tenure with San Jose, he drafted a talented midfielder from Indiana University, Caleb Porter. Porter, now the head coach for Portland Timbers, was previously the head coach for University Akron, where he built the program into a national powerhouse and a became renowned for producing excellent professional players.
Quinn transferred to University of Akron for the 2011 season, where he started twenty-three games for the Zips and was named All-MAC First Team selection.
Entering his senior season with Akron, Quinn is universally recognized as one of the top ten collegiate midfielders in the country.
“The experience at Akron has been amazing. I have improved so much as a player--it's just unbelievable,” said Quinn on his growth as a player with the Zips.
As one of the team's captains, Quinn's growth and maturity on and off the field has been significant. Aodhan’s current Akron head coach, Jared Embick, has noticed the growth in the midfielder’s game following a successful 2012 summer run with the Sounders U-23.
Jared Embick said, “He came back with confidence. At this age, a lot of times you may have the ability but you've got to have that belief. When he went to Seattle last year he had a great summer in terms of performance and development and came back a much more confident player. That made a huge difference in what he brought to our season.”
It's not just Embick that appreciates the value of the PDL, Quinn, too is quick to praise the league and the Sounders organization for their part in player development.
Quinn said, “Being with an MLS affiliate is really good because you get the opportunity to train with the first team on occasion, you get to see professionals play and train. It's helpful to see what they do and how to get better. We have good coaches with the U-23s and they help you develop here during the summer, which is the best thing you can ask for."
In returning for his second season with the Sounders U-23s, Quinn has shown a lot of growth from the previous season. The attacking midfielder's ability is unquestioned. He is a threat to score or make a lethal pass from most parts of the pitch. In becoming more assertive in his leadership, Quinn has begun elevating his game to the next level.
“Aodhan Quinn is a special player with the ball at his feet. He can change a game with one pass or shot and has the quality needed to get to the next level if he keeps improving,” said Sounders FC U-23 manager, Darren Sawatzky. “The leadership qualities we see in him this year are a testament to his hard work and growth as a player. It will be fun to watch him through the PDL season and through the fall at Akron,”
Both Sounders and Zips fans are expecting a lot from Aodhan Quinn this summer and fall seasons. If he stays healthy and plays to his ability, he will undoubtedly become one of the next Akron Zip players to make their way into professional soccer.
Fans can watch Aodhan and the Sounders U-23 play twice this week. On Wednesday night, the Sounders U-23 play at Sunset Stadium in Sumner against the North Sound SeaWolves. Then, on Sunday at 2pm they host the Portland Timbers U-23 at Tumwater High School. Tickets are currently available on SoundersU23.com