Morgan Langley '11
Signs Pro Soccer Contract
by Mark Anskis
The City Islanders are the official USL PRO affiliate of the MLS' Philadelphia Union, which plays its home games just seven miles from Swarthmore's campus at PPL Park in Chester. As the Union's top affiliate, City Islander players could be called up to the major league club at any point during the season.
Langley, an economics major from Honolulu, Hawaii, wrapped up his Garnet career with one of the best offensive seasons in program history, leading the team with 14 goals, 14 assists, and a program single-season record 42 points. He reached several milestones during the 2010 season, becoming the program's all-time leader in career points (95) and assists (27) while finishing in the top 10 nationally in assists, assists per game, and points per game. For his efforts, Langley was named the 2010 Centennial Conference Player of the Year, received two All-American honors, and was named to the NSCAA All-Region First Team and ECAC Division III South Region First Team.
With Langley's help, the Garnet captured the 2010 Centennial Conference Championship, reached the second round of the NCAA Championships, and achieved the first No. 1 national ranking in program history.
Langley did not think that playing soccer professionally was an option until the later stages of his senior season. Langley - who recorded 73 of his 95 career points during his junior and senior seasons - said that playing at Swarthmore and at the Division III level helped him develop as a player and a person.
"The soccer program at Swarthmore, unlike at the Division I level, allowed me to develop as a player and get playing time," he says. "I was initially small coming into college, so I don't think a Division I program would have allowed me the time to develop. The coaching staff and my teammates at Swarthmore created such a good environment within the program."
Langley, whose contract with the City Islanders is for one season, is the second member of the men's soccer program to sign a professional contract during the 2010-11 season. Ladulé Lako Lo Sarah '09 signed a one-year contract to play professional soccer with 1st Division club FK Bregalnica Stip in Macedonia in September.
"It's unique for a school like Swarthmore to have a professional athlete in any sport, but to have it happen so quickly back-to-back, I think, highlights that this is an elite program," says Garnet head coach Eric Wagner. "Our results, the credit that we have been given in polls, and our NCAA tournament runs show that. But now, our players are also showing that they are capable of playing at the next level."
The City Islanders opened their 2011 season on April 23 and are currently 2-0-1. Their next match is Sat., May 14.