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For AC St.Louis’ Brad Stisser, Soccer is a Family Affair

AC St. Louis forward Brad Stisser can truly say that soccer is a family affair.  His mom, Barbara, and dad, Scott met at Chico State in northern California where BOTH were soccer players.  Older sister Nellie also played,  and while Brad and his father were kicking the ball around at one of her tryouts, ” Lorne Donaldson’s son Julian saw me and invited me out to be part of their team. The rest is History, Julian and I played on the same team since we were about 10 years old.”  Thus began Brad’s long association with Real Colorado, where he was part of a national championship Olympic Development Program coached by Frank Kohlenstein and US World Cup star Marcelo Balboa.  Brad credits Lorne and Frank, along with coaches Jared Spires, Neil Payne, Rivers Guthrie and others as helping him with his development.  But soccer really is a family affair for Brad, and “all in all, I have to thank my pops for pushing me through all the tough times I had as an athlete and helping me achieve my dream of playing professionally.”                                                          

Brad (r) and friend

Brad attended Coastal Carolina College for a semester, but that didn’t work out geographically for the Denver area player, so he transferred to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles in 2006.  LMU, famous nationally for their high-octane basketball team in the late 1980s that featured Bo Kimble and the late Hank Gaithers, had a soccer program that was struggling, but Brad takes pride in having a hand in their record improving from  3-16-1 his junior year to 7-8-6 as a senior.  Collegiate highlights include LMU upsetting then #2 ranked UConn before 6,500 fans in Connecticut and Brad’s free kick goal against New Mexico that also resulted in a 1-0 win.

Brad also played for the Real Colorado Foxes in the Premier Development League, along with his Denver buddy and ACSTL teammate Chris Salvaggione.  Brad won PDL Player of the week for the week of 7//4/2009 and also made the 2009 PDL  All Western Conference team.  He is a big proponent of the PDL, because, as he says “Playing PDL is a huge help in getting to the next level. Playing against professional teams getting used to a faster paced game and keeping you in shape till the college season starts is crucial to making it at the next level. It’s a good system for players that are trying to make it and I think the earlier you can get into it the better off you will be.”

Brad also trialed in Perth, Australia and Saarbrucken, Germany, and while at Saarbrucken he got an email about the ACSTL tryouts.  He immediately came back and attended the invitational tryouts, and was signed by the team  How is training and preseason going?  According to Brad, “The training sessions have been going very well. They are very intense and we are starting to gel as a team who just started playing together not so long ago. I’m very excited to see how this season goes with the group that we have here at AC. Every pre season game we show a little bit of progress on things we work on at practice and that’s a key.”  He has been playing mainly in the forward role, sometimes in a withdrawn role, and thinks of himself as a striker.

I asked Brad how he liked St. Louis so far.  Here’s the lowdown in Brad’s own words.  “I have to say that I am loving the St. Louis area. I’m living in Fenton with a family along with my teammate and buddy from back in Denver, Chris Salvaggione, and we couldn’t ask for a better set up. There is only a couple places besides Denver that I have enjoyed enough to live in and STL is one of them right up there. I will tell you though that one time up at the top of the ARCH is enough for my lifetime.” 

I asked Brad, also sometimes known as ‘Stiss’, about favorite movies, books, and music.  Seems like he has a strong preference for comedies such as “The Hangover.” “The 40 Year-Old Virgin,” and “Superbad”, while some favorite reads include “Left Behind” and “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.”  Although he likes all kinds of music, “even classical and country,”  Brad will most likely be tuned in to reggae and enjoys such bands as Rebelution, 311, Bob and The Expendables.  His pregame ritual includes some amped music and a prayer.  Brad also enjoys playing cards and fly fishing, so someone will have to get him to Maramec Springs for some trout fishing this summer. 

Finally, Brad shared his thoughts on players he admires and teams he roots for.  ” There are so many good players out there. Watching Messi as of late has given a whole new meaning to Great Footballer. His vision and knowledge of the game are things that I admire aside from his God-given talent. I also like pure strikers such as Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres, and Carlos Tevez. Overall I’m a Barcelona fanatic when it comes to any team. They play the best football on the globe as far as I’m concerned. In the EPL I’m a Liverpool fan though. ”

“I also really get into basketball and I’m a huge Nuggets fan, but when they’re not playing I try to catch as much of the Lake Show as possible. KOBE! ”

Thank you, Brad, for sharing some time with us.  And I hope you can help your friend pictured above get a good job in soccer.

(For the soccer newbie, pictured with Brad is world-famous Brazilian star Ronaldinho in his Barca days).

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