Former Hartlepool United apprentice scores in US college soccer
A former Pools apprentice has swept the honours board in Stateside soccer.
Twenty-three-year-old Jonathon Carr spent seven years with Hartlepool United from the age of 11.
After failing to secure a contract at 18, he accepted a League Football Education Scheme offer to apply for a college scholarship in the States.
He spent two years at Hartwick College in New York before transferring to Ohio’s Lake Erie college.
“At the time, the school’s team was not doing very well,” said Jonathon.
“I dislocated my kneecap, so I missed most of the season, but this year we have done really well.”
He has captained the college team on its best ever run: “In America they have conferences, little local leagues, across the country,” he said.
“We were the first team from the college to get through and win the conference to reach the regional competition, then get through that to nationals.
“I was awarded Conference Player of the Year and then I was Regional Player of the Year.”The biggest honour came when he was one of just a handful of player to make the All-American list.
“One of the biggest awards in the sport is the All-American Award,” he said.
“It recognises the best players in the country. Thirty-six players are named from 230 teams,” said the former Monkwearmouth School pupil.
Since crossing the Atlantic, the Sunderland fan has followed in the footsteps of club legend Kevin Phillips.
“I think he was a right back originally,” he said. ”I was a right back at Hartlepool then I moved into attacking midfield when I got to America.”
Jonathon is due to graduate from his sports management course in the summer. He has spent Christmas and New Year at home in Sunderland with mum and dad Alyn and Sharon and younger brother James.
He is hoping to be picked up by a professional team in the US but is keeping his feet on the ground.
“I will speak to my coach and see if I can secure any trials but I am realistic about it,” he said.
“I would love to work in the sporting field, probably football, maybe coaching or something like that.”