Thursday, March 16, 2006

Schweitzer retires from Rhinos, Is Cary USL in his future?

Rochester Rhinos defensemen Scott Schweitzer has announced today that he is retiring from professional soccer. Schweitzer, a former NC State and Carolina Dynamo player, returns to the Raleigh-Durham area where he will serve as a director at Next Level Academy, a youth soccer academy here in the Triangle. "I did some coaching in the offseason," said Schweitzer. "It's something I've always enjoyed doing. It's more of a foot skills and developmental academy than tactical. It's a way for me to give back to the game that has given so much to me. It was a hard decision for me to retire, but it was something I had to do for the security of my future." Scott has previously been on staff at Apex's First Touch Academy and his wife Kristin has been developing a new KinderKixx program for U6s at Dream Sports Academy in Apex. While Schweitzer is really just kicking off his new coaching career, there is plenty of reason to speculate that Scott may be in line for a position with Triangle Professional Soccer. Schweitzer said he would consider working in some capacity with the new United Soccer Leagues First Division franchise being run by former Rhinos general manager Chris Economides scheduled to start play in 2007. Given his long-standing relationship with TPS Managing Partner Economides, his proven on-field leadership ability, his ties to the local area, and his desire coach, it's not a far stretch to imagine that Schweitzer may be positioning himself to be the first head coach of the new USL team here in the Triangle. In fact, Scott was present at the press conference back in January to announce the expansion franchise in Cary. "Is he someone I'd consider (as head coach)? Absolutely. Have I offered him anything? No," Economides said.

Schweitzer, a native of Rahway, New Jersey, has been a member of the Rhinos for seven seasons from 1998-2003 and 2005. He ranks second all-time in games played (171) and seventh in assists (12). He appeared in 172 regular season games, 29 playoff games and 16 U.S. Open Cup games for the Rhinos in his seven seasons in Rochester. Schweitzer started in 170 of the 172 regular season games.

Schweitzer spent the 2004 season with the Syracuse Salty Dogs, starting in all 16 games in which he appeared. He anchored the Syracuse defense for former Salty Dog's Head Coach and current Rhinos Head Coach Laurie Calloway.

A graduate of North Carolina State University where he was a two-time All-American, Schweitzer helped the Wolfpack advance to the NCAA Final Four in 1991 and Final Eight in 1992 and 1993. He was also named the 1992 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year.

Schweitzer's professional career began with the Carolina Dynamo of the USISL Select League (Division 3) in 1996. In 1997, Carolina moved into the USISL A-League where Schweitzer was named to the All-A League First Team, while playing in 17 games for the Dynamo.

-- Jarrett @ 3/16/2006 08:16:00 AM


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