Until recently, Luca Barnoth was still playing for TuS Haltern in the regional league. He has been dreaming of professional football in MLS in US college since summer. At FUSSBALL.DE you will find out what everyday life looks like in a scholarship and why it was not enough for Shaw to succeed in 04.
8 o’clock in the morning. The alarm clock is ringing. A short walk to the dream stand, and only half an hour’s walk? No time. Luke Barnoth eventually moved to the United States to study. And for the most coveted soccer scholarship. At 7.15am we train for the first time, then we work hard. Atlantis now has to wait, calling duty at Florida Southern College.
On August 6, the plane took off from Frankfurt am Main to Tampa. Luca Barnoth shares an apartment on campus with his friend Leo and another German. Born in Recklinghausen, little Luke was dreaming of a professional career when his parents signed him up for the famous “Miners Forge” at FC Schalke 04 after his first move to SV Hochlar 28.
But at his heart club he was sorted out at the age of 13 because he complained he wasn’t fast enough. The next stop was Dেলsseldorf, with Fortuna he played in the Junior Bundesliga, but that was not enough for a professional contract. He then moved to TuS Haltern, the home club of world champion Benedict Howides, where he played in the Oberliga Westfalen and even the regional league.
“It’s awesome. Last year I went to Sprockhovel’s away match on a team bus with Haltern. Now I’m in Miami.”
Strength training, video analysis and co.
Then came the unique opportunity: Bergerfeld Comprehensive School, where national team captain Manuel Neuer, among others, earned his technical diploma, maintained a relationship with an organization that organizes scholarships in the United States. Luca Barnoth attended an information session with her parents about this career opportunity – and was interested. It took some time after that, but in the summer of 2021, the adventure finally began. For almost four months now, the 20-year-old has been living a completely different life in a sunny state than in Germany
“The program is very demanding and the schedule is tight,” reports Luca Barnath from her new home in Lakeland. After the morning unit, it moves to campus, with only a brief lunch break, lectures, presentations and tests or changes, the day is scheduled through football topics such as strength training or video analysis. “In the evenings I usually get so tired that I fall into bed,” the midfielder admits.
After all, there is plenty of time for a half-hour video call with parents once a week. From time to time, he sends messages to his friends in Germany via WhatsApp or calls on FaceTime. Focus on his academic and athletic training. Luca Barnoth is studying “International Business Administration”, which is comparable to a degree in business administration in Germany. She developed her rather average school English so fast. It is not difficult for him to speak in front of the assembled class.
US professional football at a glance
He was able to integrate more quickly on the pitch. After two weeks of separate training and two weeks of preparation with a few friendships, the conferences begin in early September. These are the regional leagues where the season starts in the United States due to the size of the country. Which means: “Sometimes you have to fly away to play,” says Luca Barnoth. “It’s awesome. Last year I took a team bus with Haltern to an away match at Sprockhovel. Now I’m in Miami!”
Half an hour is enough to travel from Lakeland to Tampa or the metropolis of Orlando. The Atlantic is just as close, and the 20-year-old has been taken, especially with St. Pete Beach. “The quality of life is very high here,” said Luke Barnoth He hopes to live a sunny side of life for four years until he graduates in 2025. Until then, he wants to recommend himself to U.S. professional football through the American draft system. “The level of the conference league is comparable to that of the German Oberliga regional leagues or better teams,” said Luka Barnath. “However, scholarship holders are generally better than American boys. One of the Germans comes in 1. FC Saarbrucken. In our college, for example, there is a Spaniard who has played for Espanyol Barcelona and has already played against Barাa or Real.”
On December 15, Luca Barnoth flew home. Christmas is celebrated on New Year’s Eve with friends, at home with family. He returns to Florida in mid-January, and the next season, which lasts about two and a half months, begins – and if all goes well, Luca Barnoth arrives at the beach from time to time.