An Interview With Past HUSC Player DJ Bednar

What was your jersey number with Hartford United?
I wore number 19 at Hartford United and still wear it to this day.

Where are you currently playing and what position(s) are you playing?
I play at The University of Missouri St. Louis, where I am a left or right winger.

Do you have a goal to play professional soccer after college?
Doesn’t everyone have a goal to play professionally? 

My long-term goal was to always play college soccer and now that I have accomplished that why not shoot for the stars? If the opportunity is there to play overseas after college I will definitely give it a whirl, but finishing school always comes first.

Do you plan to coach once your playing career is over?
I will most definitely be coaching once my soccer career is over due to the fact I can’t see my life without soccer in it in some aspect.

Did You play rec soccer before coming to HUSC?
I did play rec soccer before coming to HUSC. I played at Erin.

Were you excited or nervous to join a HUSC?
I was excited for the new opportunity and the new level of competition. If you’re an athlete you have to be excited when presented an opportunity to compete.

If you could meet up with one HUSC coach for breakfast who would it be and why?
I would meet up with Jim Schrot for breakfast because he has always kept it real with me as a player and a person. He understood what my goals were and he helped me a great deal along the way. His sarcasm is also something I enjoy quite well. One of the greatest coaching styles I’ve come across in my career.

If you had to do it all over again, is there anything you would do different?
I would get myself out there even sooner. I would have started going to ID camps as a freshman and sending emails out as a freshman in high school. It is never too early.

What was important to you in your development as a player with Hartford United SC?
All of the coaches in the program share your love for the game and I think that is such a key aspect of the club. They are like a second family to you and develop your game as well as your character. They are very interested in developing the fundamentals of the game that are essential for your growth as a player. All the coaches are very approachable as well and I still stay in touch with some to this date.

What is your proudest team accomplishment with HUSC?
That’s a tough decision but I would have to say winning our league my U-13 year or playing up with the first team to advance to the state league.

What advice would you give current players about the goal of reaching the college game?
Never sell yourself short. Believe in yourself. Make short-term goals as a player and work hard to accomplish those goals. Be coachable and be open to criticism, so that you can keep developing as a player. The most important thing is to get yourself out there. Send emails to several college coaches with your schedule and highlight video if you have it. Go to ID camps. Be your biggest critic and always expect more out of yourself. Listen to your coaches they know more than you think.

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