Steamboat Springs graduate to play soccer in England next fall
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Riley Moore spent just one year at Steamboat Springs High School but made an instant impact on the boys soccer team, recording five assists to set the school’s single-game record.
Now, the short-term Sailor is taking his skills to England, where he was accepted to the i2i Soccer Academy in Newcastle. While there, he will study international business and sports management at Northumbria University.
The program allows players to train with former English Premier League coaches and staff. The i2i Academy brings Moore one step closer to his dream of playing professionally with England or Germany, where his family is originally from.
“I’m just excited to play at a high level, again,” Moore said. “And pretty much live and breathe soccer, again.”
Soccer has taken Moore to England before, as well as Wales, Denmark and Norway. Even with all he’s accomplished, he wants more.
“My goal is to get into the next level as far as professional or semi-professional in either England or Germany,” Moore said. “After that, go into coaching when my playing career is done.”
Moore grew up in Sedalia, Missouri, where he set the Smith Cotton High School single-game assists record with five and used 36 helpers to earn the single-season record. His 36 assists in 2017 is also tied for the second-most assists ever in a season in Missouri high school athletics.
“I guess I just have pretty good vision of the game, and I’m willing to take risks within it,” Moore said. “I understand the way that other players move and know how to exploit things like when they’re off-balance, put a good ball through and see beyond the lines of the game.”
He started playing organized soccer when he was 6 and has come to love every nuance of the game across 13 years of competing.
“It’s always been, you go on the field and all of your problems and everything in life goes away,” Moore said. “It’s a really engaging game because, unlike other sports, you can’t be joy-sticked by your coach. It’s really pretty much impossible to run plays, so your mind always has to be alert and at the ready to adapt to whatever given situation you have and there’s countless numbers of them.”
As a young player, Moore started playing futsal, a five-vs-five, indoor version of soccer. He credits his experience playing that variation of the game to his vision that has carried him around the world.
In 2016, he was a part of the U-17 Kansas City Futsal Championship team that competed in the National Futsal Championship, according to Moore’s website.
“I think it did a lot for my skills as well as my movement because futsal is more played off the ball than on the ball. That really helped me excel in my movement,” Moore said. “The thing that helped my vision was, growing up, I played with a team that was two years older than me. Even for my age, I’m not the biggest size, so I really had to adapt my game to play smaller and quicker, so my vision had to be sharper.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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