A freshman find

As a freshman, a player isn’t expected to crack the starting lineup, much less score a hat trick in his second collegiate game – but that’s exactly what Jordan Seabrook did.

The 5-foot-11 Indianapolis native leads the USF men’s soccer team with 10 points after four goals and two assists thus far this season. His effort hasn’t gone unrecognized, as he was named the Big East Rookie of the Week for the week ending Sept. 4. He was also honored by College Soccer News as one of “100 freshmen from coast to coast to keep an eye on” and named to the SMU Radisson Classic All-Tournament Team last weekend.

Still, Seabrook doesn’t seem to let it get to his head.

“(The awards are) nice to have, but it doesn’t really do much for me on the field,” Seabrook said. “I am glad to be recognized, but at the same time I know I have to keep it up. Big East Rookie one day doesn’t mean you are going to be successful later in the season. I take it for what it is worth and try to move on and continue to play at that level in the future.”

Seabrook was recognized for his abilities while in high school, where he scored 38 goals and 15 assists at North Central High School. The speedy forward was named a two-time NSCAA High School All-American and attended the Adidas Elite Soccer Camp in 2004. He also played for the Olympic Development Program Region 2 Team. However, soccer wasn’t the only sport Seabrook participated in while growing up.

“Coming from Indiana, basketball is huge and I played for a long time,” he said. “Once you got to high school they wanted you to focus and stick with just one thing, and I knew soccer was my love.”

The USF track team will also enjoy Seabrook’s speed this spring as he will be running sprints, hurdles and perhaps some short relays.

Coach George Kiefer knew Seabrook would challenge his teammates for playing time when he recruited him, but didn’t expect it to be in the role he is in right now.

“Jordan has been given a great opportunity with Hunter (West) and Simon (Schoendorf) being out,” Kiefer said. “He has made it very difficult to come off the field because he is scoring a lot of goals and creating a lot of things. When he committed (to USF) it was a very good day for the program.”

Kiefer describes Seabrook as a fierce competitor on the field, but quite different off.

“Off the field he is a very pleasant, easy-spoken guy,” said Kiefer, who is in his fourth year as coach and has tallied a 29-23-5 record. “On the field he causes a lot of fire and he just keeps going, and every game he has had a few chances.”

According to Kiefer, Seabrook creates a lot of them on his own, but it also helps to have a good midfield.

Sophomore teammate Rodrigo Hidalgo is leading the team with four assists, two of them to Seabrook in the game against Jacksonville. Hidalgo is very impressed with his teammate’s performance.

“As a freshman, to come in and perform the way he is doing, it is fantastic for himself and the team,” Hidalgo said. “We are all really happy with him right now.”

Hidalgo described him as a positive and nice guy who is a good example for other young players.

“He never argues back to upperclassmen, never complains about any of his duties,” Hidalgo said. “I think he is a very nice kid and a great person.”

Seabrook said he expects a lot of himself and is confident in his abilities, but believes there is always room for improvement.

“A lot of my game is really being developed right now,” Seabrook said. “I am trying to get my skills up to the level that a lot of the other players are. I think I am pretty good at scoring goals, but I missed a lot of chances as well and I think that as I start to progress and get more mature as a player and get more time out here with the guys, I’ll be able to put away more of my chances than I am now.”

Coming to USF, Seabrook expected to be competing for time rather than becoming such an impact player right away.

“With the situation that has happened now with people being hurt, I knew it was a possibility,”

Seabrook said. “I knew if somebody got hurt I would need to step up, and that’s what I think I have done.”

Seabrook and his teammates will have a chance to put it away against Seton Hall on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday against Georgetown at 1 p.m. Seton Hall is one of five opponents USF has never played before. The Bulls will look to get their first win over Georgetown. The last meeting between the two was in 1998, which USF lost 2-0.

Despite a 1-3 record so far this season, Seabrook isn’t discouraged.

“The teams we are losing to are quality teams and we are not losing because they are necessarily beating us. We are losing because of things that we can correct,” Seabrook said. “At this point in the season that’s not really a big deal to us. We just want to identify those problems now rather than later and work them out so when we get to the Big East Tournament we will be able to beat anybody.”