English transplant adjusting to American version of ‘footy’

When Kingsley Northcott first set foot on a soccer field in the United States, something was off. The rules were the same, but the crowd was quieter, the shoes were nicer and the feeling was just different.

  • Wednesday, April 23, 2008 12:00am
  • Sports

Kingsley Northcott is still adjusting to the American version of soccer.

When Kingsley Northcott first set foot on a soccer field in the United States, something was off. The rules were the same, but the crowd was quieter, the shoes were nicer and the feeling was just different.

“In England, you don’t wear Nike, you don’t wear nice brands,” Northcott said. “It’s a whole different atmosphere. You’d be playing in stadiums with tons of people watching you and with tons of people chanting.”

The Lake Washington sophomore moved from England to the United States in August 2004 with his family and, despite differences in the game, he’s fitting in nicely with the American soccer scene.

Northcott plays midfielder for Lake Washington and has become a vital piece for the Kangs. He scored his first goal of the season on April 10 against Eastlake, and he says he’s quickly adjusting to the differences in the game played here.

“Over there, you don’t have homework, you just have soccer to play,” Northcott said. “Everything revolved around soccer. Every kid in England has been brought up to love football.”

In addition to Lake Washington, Northcott also plays club soccer for the Eastside Football Club on the Eastside FC 91 Red team. In March, the team won the state championship over Snohomish United 3-2. Northcott scored two goals in the game.

The win carried added meaning for Northcott because he played for the Snohomish club before transferring to Eastside. Despite leading the team in scoring, Northcott wasn’t getting enough playing time. So he opted to transfer.

Even while playing an extensive club schedule, Northcott and first-year Lake Washington coach Shaun Warner have managed to avoid the club soccer vs. high school soccer pitfalls many teams fall into.

“I’m pretty adamant that when you play with the high school team, your priorities are with the high school team,” Warner said.

Warner said he’ll ease up on Northcott in practice if he has a game coming up soon, but also said Northcott will pay for it at the next practice. “I’m not playing favorites out there,” Warner said.

Warner said Northcott’s greatest strength on the field is his mental game. He remains extremely calm under pressure and has great field vision.

“We’re really excited about his future,” Warner said. “He’s a tremendous player.”

Northcott has always looked up to David Beckham, now of Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy, and plans to play at the next level.

He watches what English “footy” he can, but it’s a little harder to find on TV in America, and there’s still the issue of exactly what to call football. The one played with a pigskin ball, that is.

“I just call it American football now,” Northcott said. “It would get really confusing, and I would say ‘I’ve really got to start changing the way I say it.’”

Northcott and Lake Washington (4-6 overall, 3-4 KingCo 4A) play next on April 25 at Inglemoor (2-7-1, 1-5).

More in Sports

Sportswriter Shaun Scott and his friends Brian Walker and Tony Walker met NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal at Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada on Nov. 24. Courtesy photo
A memorable Vegas trip

Sportswriter Shaun Scott meets one of the best NBA players to ever lace up sneakers.

Blasting through the pool, racking up victories

Lake Washington swim and dive team shines in KingCo.

Kangs defeat Rebels in girls hoops showdown

Lake Washington and Juanita players battle for the ball in a 2A/3A… Continue reading

Lake Washington defeats Juanita in boys hoops; local girls squads face off tonight

Torin Montgomery amassed 15 points and 17 rebounds to lead Lake Washington… Continue reading

Intong leads tight-knit Juanita team to success

Rebel senior jumps into her fourth year on the squad.

Liesse helps lead LW to hot hoops start

Kang sophomore possesses an all-around game.

Amberly Melendez: Walking the long road

Northwest University graduate shines on the world racewalking scene

Juanita battles Bellevue in hoops action

Juanita’s Tyler King reaches for the ball while Rebel Jake Hohu provides… Continue reading

Kirkland athletes are ready to row in college

Kelly, Laukaitis compete for Sammamish Rowing Association.

Lake Washington, Juanita football players earn all-league honors

A plethora of Lake Washington and Juanita football players earned 2A/3A KingCo… Continue reading

Kirkland-based adult tennis squad takes second at nationals

Mixed doubles squad travels to Florida for tourney.