We asked Aidan about his experience, the differences with the Netherlands, and if he has any tips for you!
"My experience here has been fantastic so far. Monroe College was the perfect stepping stone for me to acclimate to the American soccer and school system. It also serves as an excellent platform for potentially transitioning to a good Division 1 school with a solid scholarship. Everything, from the location to my teammates, just falls into place.
The most significant difference I've noticed is the style of play. Perhaps it's influenced by my coach, but the game here is much more possession-based, minimizing risks. Another major distinction is the vast distances between places; away games are rarely within a 30-minute radius. Exploring other cities requires substantial travel, often necessitating a car. In larger cities like New York, where I am based, public transportation is reliable, eliminating the need for a car.
For fellow athletes considering this step, I highly recommend it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. My crucial advice is to opt for a meal plan, whether full or half. With busy days filled with training and studying, managing your own meals every morning, afternoon, and evening can become annoying.
One of the most enjoyable aspects for me has been the trips during away games and tournaments. We've already visited North/South Carolina, Maryland, and Philadelphia. These trips provide a fantastic opportunity to explore various parts of America, staying in hotels, which adds to the overall experience. While we haven't flown yet, many universities often fly for away games, making it an exciting prospect. We still have an upcoming away game in Florida, which involves flying, and I can't wait for that adventure."