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From the Inside with Mike Foss
Foss looks to take the next step up development ladder


USL Feature by Mike Foss of the Northern Virginia Royals

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What began as a spur of the moment project for at the 2007 Super Y-League (SYL) ODP Camps, From the Inside with then SYL player, Mike Foss is back for its fourth season. The 2007 season also marked Foss’ first season in the Premier Development League with the Northern Virginia Royals. Nearing the end of his collegiate career, Foss is looking to make a name for himself in the PDL this summer, his forth in the league and third season with the Royals.

He is... trying to make that next step.


It is a little surprising this is the fourth year of “From the Inside.”

I thought between hiding in Utah (in 2009) and writing about my facial hair (in 2007), Jason Minnick and would want to stay as far from the inside as possible.

But they didn’t and I’m back.

Back in Virginia, playing for the Northern Virginia Royals once more. I’m looking forward to spending the summer on the east coast again.

Make no mistake, playing in the Southwest Division of PDL afforded me road trips to Ventura County and Santa Monica. But the sandy beaches of the Pacific coast cannot compare to the rest stops along I-95 en route to Jersey and Carolina.

I have an eerie feeling this summer will be a defining experience in my career and because of that feeling, I’m glad I will be in a familiar scenario.

The Royals’ Richard Edgar (left).My roommate and teammate for the past two years, Richard Edgar, recently completed his final season with me at George Mason University. Rich was our senior captain, an All-American and All-Conference selection, and former U.S. U-17 National Team player (relax girls, he’s taken).

After graduating, Rich had tryouts with DC United, Austin Aztex, Richmond Kickers and Rochester Thunder. All four decided against signing Rich and now he is playing with the Royals.

Make no mistake, Rich Edgar is a tremendous soccer player. But he is currently at a point where many tremendous soccer players have found themselves. Holding fast to one final lifeline.

“I don’t know if this summer is the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning,” I said to Rich on our way back from training Wednesday night.

This fall begins my senior season at Mason. That’s 18 regular season games remaining in my career. That’s potentially how close my career is to ending. It is an overwhelming prospect. Yet, it is a reality for every player. At some point, you stop playing. At some point, you wake up from the dream.

For players like Rich and myself, dreams in the balance, this PDL season has a far different weight in contrast to seasons past. We play, train and compete with the hope that we can be launched up the pyramid of US soccer. But in the back of our minds, deep down, buried next to dark memories of Pauly Shore movies, is the knowledge that we may never make it to that next step.

The doubt is short and fleeting. I’d rather celebrate in the successes like that of my friend and former D.C. United youth teammate, Bill Hamid, who just won his first MLS game in goal for the black and red against Kansas City (on ESPN prime time no less).

We don’t stop playing for fear of losing. We keep playing in hopes of winning.

From the Inside with YOU
Do you play for a USL team? Do you like to write? is looking to replace add to the content generated From the Inside. We’re looking for additional contributors on United Soccer Leagues’ official blog, Free Kicks. Contact Jason Minnick at to find out how to get involved.

Foss’ Past Articles
PDL Career Progresses with Ogden [+] - Friday, July 10, 2009
NV Royals defender discusses his trial opportunity with Real Salt Lake [+] - Friday, June 13, 2008
Royals find positives... even in a rainout [+] - Tuesday, June 3, 2008 writer discusses the early 2008 season [+] - Tuesday, May 20, 2008
When you hit the bottom [+] - Monday, July 23, 2007
NV Development trumps 2007 results [+]
 - Thursday, July 12, 2007
Royals battle adversity, enjoy fan support [+] - Monday, June 18, 2007
Player/journalist makes his PDL debut [+] - Friday, May 31, 2007
Former SYL ODP player, current Super-20, future PDL’er talks [+] - Wednesday, May 9, 2007 
’88/’89 & ’90 Boys SYL Select Teams Announced [+] - Tuesday, January 23, 2007

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