Making the most of his opportunities

As a captain of the men's soccer team, Tim Brady has faced plenty of challenges on his way to becoming a key contributor for the Cardinals as a senior.  Brady has been playing soccer for as long as he can remember or in his own words, "I think I started to play soccer the day after I learned how to walk."

Growing up, Brady's three older brothers each played soccer and he was constantly around the game.  Brady credits his parents for not forcing soccer on him but instead teaching him the fundamentals and then letting his love for the game develop.  Brady played in high school for Christian Brothers Academy where there is a great tradition of strong athletic teams.  While there, he was on the freshman squad as a freshman, the junior varsity as a sophomore, and then varsity as a junior and senior.

In the spring of his junior year Brady tore his meniscus and went through months of recovery before he was able to come back.  He was not able to return until just before the start of his senior season, which was a major setback, but he did not make excuses and made sure he was in the shape he needed to be.

Brady's hard work and team-first attitude earned him the role of captain for his senior season.  Each of his brothers had come through the program and played for the same coaches so it was a very proud moment for all of them when he earned the title.  During Brady's senior season, he helped lead Christian Brothers Academy to appearances in the Shore Conference Tournament championship as well as the state championship.

When Brady joined the team here at Catholic he saw limited time as a freshman and later during a training session he tore his meniscus once again, this time in the other knee.  This injury was once again a huge setback and things did not look good for Brady to make the team his sophomore season.  He was told that if he did not come into the season in the best shape of his life he would probably be cut.  This only motivated Brady though, and he came back and earned a spot. 

Brady became a utility player on the team and "did anything the coach needed him to, whether that meant playing 20 minutes or two minutes."  He continued to work hard coming into his junior year and when his roommate suffered an injury, Brady was called upon to fill in at the position.  He took full advantage of the opportunity and helped lead the Cardinals to their first-ever Landmark Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament.

This season Brady was elected a captain along with fellow senior Kevin Duffy.  As Brady describes it, "My high school and college careers sort of mirror each other; not much playing time in the beginning, facing hardship and injury, and then taking advantage of the opportunity I was given."

These are the same traits that Catholic University men's soccer coach Travis Beauchamp points out, "Tim is of high character and leads by example.  He may not be the most talented player we've ever had, but his work rate and leadership make him very valuable to our program."

After graduation Brady plans to go to graduate school back home in New Jersey.  If the opportunity to play professionally ever presented itself he would definitely consider it, but right now Brady is focused on his CUA career and future graduate studies.

No matter what he does, Brady will continue to play soccer whenever he has the chance.  "Soccer has been an escape for me, a way to release stress and enjoy life.  I will continue to play as much as I can after graduation and make sure it stays in my life."

Off the field, Brady has some hidden talents others may not know about.  He has been playing the piano almost his entire life.  Brady's grandmother was a concert pianist in New York City and performed at the famous Carnegie Hall.  She taught Brady how to play at a very early age and he has stuck with it ever since.  As Brady puts it, "It acts as another escape for me, just as soccer does, but it is filled with different passion."

Brady also enjoys playing all sports with his friends and helping others, which is why he says he wants to be a teacher.  Beauchamp adds, "We always talk about being proud of our guys now and after they graduate, and there is no question with Tim regarding that." 

Brady will use the lessons he has learned in soccer to help lead him through the rest of his life.  As he believes, "Life is all about realizing opportunities and taking advantage of them."

Brady and the Cardinals return to action on Saturday, October 2, when they play host to conference foe Merchant Marine Academy beginning at noon.

Story written by Ryan Horka '11

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