Comets Indoor Soccer

PLAYER PROFILE: COADY ANDREWS, FROM BASEBALL TO SOCCER

Andrews recorded a total of 7 points with 4 goals and three assists this season

One of the Missouri Comets’ three local players, Coady Andrews, a Shawnee, KS native started playing at a mere five-years-old. However, unlike most professional athletes, he stepped away from the sport for the majority of his childhood.

“I started playing recreational soccer for the Mustangs. I was actually coached by Dr. John Williamson, he has been my dentist my whole life.” Andrews said.

Andrews was a Mustang for about five years before quitting soccer to focus on baseball. Andrews and his little league team traveled frequently in search of higher-level competition, which resulted in soccer not really fitting into his schedule.

“I played a few different positions, but was best at center field. I also played third base, catcher and was second or third in the pitching rotation on the mound.” Andrews remembered.

The little league team found much success locally and made it to a few United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) Little League World Series. The travel soon became more of a job for Andrews, and by the time he reached high school,  he decided that it was time to hang up his bat and glove.

“I loved the game, my team and experiences, but I just got burnt out with baseball.” Andrews explained.

Entering high school at Mill Valley in Western Shawnee, KS, Andrews found himself back on the soccer field.

This reintroduction to the game came in the form of extra curricular activity.

Andrews joined the Jaguars because a few of his close friends were playing and he wanted to get back into some sort of competitive sport. Just like riding a bicycle, he found himself back on a familiar playing field this time enjoying the game more and more.

It took one high school season to light a fire in Andrews. He slowly but surely began making strides towards getting back into the game and developing as a player.

During his sophomore year, Andrews joined the KC Legends club and was placed on the second team, as he really didn’t have experience in club soccer at all starting his club career at 16 years old when most players start before the age of 10.

“Playing for the Legends was really the beginning of my adventure towards professional soccer.” Andrews shared.

“I initially played for Kevin Wardlaw on the second team, but about halfway through the season my buddy and I were moved up to the first team to play for John Collet.” Andrews explained.

Andrews played for the KC Legends for the remainder of his high school years and really flourished as a player. Under the guidance of Kevin Wardlaw, Andrews began to pursuit a collegiate career. Much to Wardlaw’s delight, Andrews committed to play for him at Mid America Nazarene University, a solid NAIA soccer program.

“Obviously I started later than most players, so the recruiting process for me wasn’t typical. However it was a blessing to play for Coach Wardlaw and I was very excited to continue playing for him at Mid America Nazarene University.” Andrews shared.

Back on the pitch, this time at a higher level than he previously played, Andrews’ love and passion for the game grew tremendously. A MNU teammate and close friend John Lemon, made the trip with Andrews to Cleveland to play on the reserve side of the USL Pro Cleveland City Stars throughout the summer.

“My buddy and I wanted to challenge ourselves and evaluate how we compared to the USL teams so we played out there two seasons. It was a great experience. I really enjoyed playing there both summers.” Andrews shared.

It was while playing for the USL Pro reserve team that Andrews realized the potential opportunity to play professional soccer was well within his reach.

Before his Junior year of college, Andrews was searching for a new opportunity to play at a higher level. After playing with the Kansas City Brass, a PDL team, Andrews decided to attend the University of Missouri – Kansas City where former Brass teammates and current Missouri Comets teammates John Sosa and Bryan Perez played.

“I called BP [Bryan Perez] and let him know I was enrolling at UMKC. He called Coach Benben directly to set up a meeting with Benben and I,” Andrews shared.  “Before I knew it, I committed to play at UMKC for my junior and senior year.”

“I really enjoyed my time at UMKC, I loved living on the Plaza and playing with Sosa and Perez and at the NCAA Division 1 level.” Andrews said.

Upon graduating from UMKC with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Finance, Andrews was ready to begin training for the next step in his career. As a young college player, he set a personal goal for himself to play professional soccer in the MLS.

Taking the steps to do so included attending an MLS combine. Andrews began training for the combine locally. His training included attending training sessions with the Missouri Comets, coached by Kim Roentved, father of former UMKC teammate Cole Roentved.

Andrews attended the outdoor combine and was pleased with the work he put in.

“I was really happy with my performance and was hopeful for what the next step would be.” Andrews shared.

It was just days later that Andrews received devastating news that his father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

“I knew I had to come home. I immediately changed my plans to come home and be with my family,” Andrews said.  “Esophageal cancer is the most rapidly increasing deadly cancer.  He fought hard, but the cancer had progressed to a dangerous stage. The doctors removed a portion of his esophagus with hopes of removing all the cancer cells. After numerous scans and tests, the doctors at Mayo Clinic discovered about 12 tumors, now in his bones.”

About four years ago, Andrews’ father lost his battle against cancer.

“Loosing my dad was definitely hard on me and my family. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever experienced,” Andrews divulged. “It’s just one of those things you never think will happen to you.”

Andrews appreciates family differently now, after loosing an integral part of his.

“My two sisters, mom and I are very close and lean on each other a lot,” Andrews shared. “My twin sister, Lindsey, lives in Minnesota, but Hilary my older sister is here in KC. My mom is also here and she and my girlfriend, Michelle, never miss a game.”

Aside from his immediate family, Andrews is grateful for his soccer family, which have embraced him from the beginning.

“As a young professional player you don’t know what to expect. You are exposed to many different types of coaches, teammates, and fans. I try to learn from all of them,” Andrews shared. “I couldn’t be any luckier to have landed here with the Comets, they’ve become like family to me”

“The support of the Comets fans throughout my five seasons with the team has been amazing. Comets fans love the team so much and stop at nothing to show us their support,” Andrews explained. “They have a unique energy, its contagious. This year in particular, they made away games feel like we here right at home. It’s a great feeling to play in front of them.”

There’s no doubt this has been a special year for Coady Andrews and the Missouri Comets. A perfect 20-0 season is virtually unheard of.

“I don’t know if you could ever do this again,” Andrews explained in regards to the undefeated season. “Everything has come together perfectly this year.  This group of guys is pretty unique. This has been a team effort. I absolutely attribute much of our success to Vlatko [Andonovski].”

“Coach Vlatko creates a hard working culture with a family mind set. He has high expectations for us. He brings in talented players and has no time to mess around.” Andrews said.

Its similar high expectations Andrews has for himself that has brought him from a five year-old player who gave up the game to now, a professional soccer player with his sights set high. Andrews’ journey through the ups and downs of life and the quest to become a professional player screams perseverance.

“I want to break in (to the MLS) somewhere, at this stage I know what I want to get out of soccer. I will continue to strive to improve my game and reach my goals. “ Andrews stated.

This season Andrews was invited to a tryout for the MLS Philadelphia Union, where he is no stranger to the coaching staff. He has made many appearances in Philadelphia training with the team and is keeping his options open.

“I had a great time at the tryout and received great feedback, which is almost like a double edged sword because you hear their opinion of you and are hopeful, then it just doesn’t pan out. I appreciate their positive feedback and continue to use it as motivation” Andrews explained.

It wasn’t in the cards for Andrews to be added to the MLS roster this season. However, he is focused on the MASL playoffs that are quickly approaching and couldn’t be more excited.

“I am so grateful to be a part of the Comets family and playing this season has been a huge blessing. I am loving this team and life right now, but it will be that much better when we win this MASL title.” Andrews shared with a grin.

Andrews’ best Comets memories consist majorly of his teammates and the friendships he has built.

“When I think of my favorite times, I think of road trips or locker room moments before and after games. I am lucky to have been able to play alongside some great guys. Every minute I get to continue playing or coaching with these characters has been enjoyable and has brought a smile to my face.” Andrews shared.

Don’t miss the MASL Central Divisional Final on Thursday March 12 at the Independence Events Center where Coady Andrews and the Missouri Comets host the winner of the Milwaukee/Chicago series.