Men’s Soccer: Prince-Wright invited to try out for British national team

By Alex Oltmanns

While it might have been a disappointing season for the Pitt men’s soccer team, the play of at… While it might have been a disappointing season for the Pitt men’s soccer team, the play of at least one of its members did not go unnoticed.

Junior Joe Prince-Wright was recently invited to compete with 30 other British-based players in the United States in the British University Team trials, which will determine the team for Great Britain in the 2011 World University Games held in China. The University Games are the third-largest event after the Olympics and the Asian Games. Prince-Wright is the first Pitt player ever invited to the trials.

Prince-Wright, hailing from Southampton, England, also competed in the 2008 team trials for this year’s team, as the games take place every other year. As the youngest player in the field, Prince-Wright did not make the final roster.

“The experience from last year’s trials made me realize that I can compete with the top players in England,” Prince-Wright said. “It gave me confidence knowing that I can compete at that level.”

Competing against numerous seniors and post-graduate students in the previous trials, the competition was stiff. Yet Prince-Wright at least left a lasting impression going into the upcoming tryouts, as he scored the lone goal in a 1-0 scrimmage.

While happy with his performance the last time around, Prince-Wright knows that he needs to show even more in next December’s trials. “I feel like I need to make a bigger impression,” he said.

Prince-Wright burst onto the radar of the British University Games’ coaches when he scored two goals in a game against Seton Hall last season in which an English coach was in attendance.

The coach contacted Pitt head coach Joe Luxbacher to find out more about the then-sophomore.

He has nine points in 22 career starts in his three-year career at Pitt, while primarily playing midfield after an accomplished prep career in England, where he was a member of the five-time Southampton City Cup championship team ,and also earning the 1999-2000 Sportsman of the Year Award.

Prince-Wright is confident that he can improve enough to make the team next year as he has plenty of time to improve over the course of an entire summer as well as his senior season at Pitt.