Goshen Write on Sports campers interviewed Femi Hollinger-Janzen, a 23-year-old forward for the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer, via Zoom video, following his afternoon practice session on Tuesday.
Hollinger-Janzen, who is from Goshen, immediately sought to put the campers at ease: “Ask me anything you’d like.”
Though Hollinger-Janzen is only in his second year as a professional, one of the campers prompted him to think long term with a question about what he would like to do when he is no longer playing soccer.
Hollinger-Janzen said that he studied sports management at Indiana University, where he helped lead the Hoosiers to the NCAA Tournament in each of his four seasons with the team. When his playing career ends, he said he’d like to be a director of operations for a soccer club, running the team, scheduling games and organizing tournaments.
Another student asked how he felt about being drafted by New England, traded to Minnesota and then re-acquired by New England. Hollinger-Janzen sketched the scene when the news broke of his return to New England. He was at a preseason workout in Minnesota when the general manager came up to him in the hallway and said, “Hey, we love having you here but we really needed a goalkeeper.” With that, Hollinger-Janzen learned that he had been traded, a forward for a goalkeeper.
“Three hours later, I was on a plane to New England,” he said.
When Hollinger-Janzen graduated from Bethany Christian High School, he was named Indiana High School Player of the Year. At IU, he tallied 22 goals and eight assists in 88 games. As a freshman, he was a member of Indiana’s 2012 NCAA College Cup winning team. He scored the game-winning goal in the semifinal victory over Creighton that year; at season’s end, he was on the College Cup All-Tournament Team.
“Being a professional soccer player is a dream come true,” he said. “It’s still kind of mind blowing. I’m living out the dream that I had as a kid.”
Even when he’s not playing soccer, he’s playing soccer. Hollinger-Janzen, who spoke to Goshen Write on Sports from his home, said he likes to play video games at the end of the day to relax. Which is his favorite game? “FIFA,” he said.