Soroka solid both on and off the field

Whether he’s shaking defenders out of their boots or setting his teammates up with scoring chances, Ryan Soroka of St. John’s men’s soccer has quite the extensive resume.

The Langhorne, Pa. native achieved high school All-American honors several times throughout his soccer career, and reached superstardom on an international stage while with the United States’ U-17 national team. With a number of timely goals and slick moves, Soroka was a key part of the team’s fifth place finish at the 2005 World Championships.

Although Soroka makes headlines on the field with his abilities, he’s a modest person whose team-first philosophy and quality work ethic would be any coach’s dream.

Zindine Zidane is his favorite player, but his own father is responsible for his deep love of the game.

“My dad is the one that inspired me the most. With me being able to talk to him, it helps my game and everything,” Soroka said of his roots. “I started when I was younger because my dad played. I would have to say he got me into playing.”

The No. 11 on Soroka’s Red Storm jersey is worn because of his dealings with the national team. He still wears it because it represents a symbol of his national pride. Soroka cites one of his accomplishments in international play as one of his most memorable athletic moments at any level of the game.

“I scored a goal against Australia at the Nike Friend
lies with a shot to the back post,” he said. “I would have to say it was one of my favorite goals.”

Before a contest, like most athletes, Soroka likes to listen to music to get himself ready for the contest. On off-days, he likes to spend his downtime with some rest and whatever schoolwork he may have. He keeps his competitive fire burning off the field with X-Box sports video games, such as Madden or NBA 2K8

Soroka pays attention to some other sports, such as football, and says he’s a Philadelphia sports fan. However, soccer is his main sport to play and watch.

If Soroka was to continue his soccer glory and land a lucrative contract at the professional level, he claims he would avoid the flashy purchases and take a smart, conservative approach to his riches.

“I’d have to say I would invest in a house. You have to invest your money in the right things and then just put most of it away somewhere.”

Soroka set a high benchmark for St. John’s this season, claiming he wants them to “finish at the top of the Big-East Conference, capture the Conference tournament title, and have a good run in the NCAA tournament.”

Soroka still cherishes the memories of his freshman season.

“Being a freshman, you don’t know what to really expect and then you have a whole season thrown at you. You have to deal with it and with the team doing so well last year, it kind of was a big moment. When you put the whole season together, with all the ups and downs, it’s nice to look back on what we went through and how we were able to be successful.”

Rather than break any records or put American soccer on the map, Soroka wants to leave a rather modest legacy after he graduates from St. John’s. Asked if he’d want any specific personal records, he responded with a simple “No, not at all.”
He added, “I just want to be remembered as a good person on and off the field, and have a positive impact on my teammates.”