NPSL Spotlight With Amani Walker of Albion SC PROS
GoalNation spoke with Week 9 NPSL Player of the Week Amani Walker who led Albion SC PROS to a win last week in our latest highlight interview of the award’s recipients. The former University of California Irvine standout brought his goal tally to four in the past two matches over the weekend.
Related Article: NPSL Player of the Week: Amani Walker
NPSL Soccer News: Albion SC PROS forward Amani Walker was awarded Mitre National Player of the Week honors following his hat-trick performance during Week 9.
Walker helped lead the PROS to a 7-3 victory over City of Angels FC.
Albion’s Week 10 fixture concluded a 2-1 favor for the PROS versus Oxnard Guerreros. Walker scored the opening goal of the Saturday match as Albion records its third consecutive win.
GoalNation spoke with Walker as we present our latest feature of the NPSL’s Mitre Player of the Week.
Diane Scavuzzo: When did you become involved with the NPSL?
Amani Walker: I joined Albion PROS this February, with it being my first time in the NPSL. What I like most about the PROS is the culture being created here in San Diego. This team is about the city and we want to create a buzz around soccer and the way we can reach everyone in San Diego.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is your position?
Amani Walker: I play center forward. Every forward enjoys scoring goals first and foremost, but I truly enjoy the process of scoring a well-orchestrated team goal.
Diane Scavuzzo: When did you first start playing soccer?
Amani Walker: I first started playing around 3 years old, first through AYSO, and then in a separate rec. team called the Pele Lions. I played four years at UC Irvine under George Kuntz from 2007-2010.
Diane Scavuzzo: What does it take to be an impact player?
Amani Walker: It’s a mindset more than anything. You have to be committed and willing to do what is needed to influence the game. Demand that your opposition conform to you and not the other way around. That doesn’t happen without an understanding of the game and the ability to place it into action.
Diane Scavuzzo: Please tell us about your coach — what is he like to play for?
Amani Walker: Ziggy is demanding of us in the best possible way. He coached last year and saw exactly what this team can do in the league and wants us to reach a level higher than that this time around. Tactically, he knows where to place the pieces and it’s on us to execute in the right moments.
Diane Scavuzzo: What inspires you?
Amani Walker: Enjoyment of the game. We want to win; I, in particular, am a very competitive person. But this is also a game I’ve been playing since I was a toddler, and I try to remember why I loved the sport so much. There are a few of us that have been lucky to call soccer a profession but it should never be a drag. I enjoy playing, I enjoy winning, and usually when you’re playing well, the rest follows.
Diane Scavuzzo: What are your goals as a player?
Amani Walker: Currently, it’s to keep playing well and to win a NPSL national championship. If we continue on this road we’re on, I think we have a wonderful opportunity. Personally, I want to keep scoring goals and help push our success in whatever way I can.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you want to play in Europe or in the MLS?
Amani Walker: I think the goal of every player is to play at the highest level they possibly can so of course I would. I was drafted to the Chicago Fire out of college but I didn’t sign a contract with them. But I love a chance to get back there again or travel anywhere in the world and play.
Diane Scavuzzo: If you could pick any super power, what would it be and why?
Amani Walker: Fly or teleport. Who wouldn’t want to be able to fly wherever they wanted, but the ability to travel throughout space and time I think would be most interesting.
Diane Scavuzzo: Who is your favorite soccer team or player? Who do you root for behind closed doors?
Amani Walker: I’m a major Arsenal supporter being that Thierry Henry was and is still my favorite player.
Header Photo Credit: Keith and Michelle Dereld