Travis Ward’s soccer dream came true recently with a phone call from someone who needed no introduction when he showed up at an open tryout for USL League One side Greenville Triumph SC.
“Getting the phone call from a New Jersey soccer legend like [Head Coach] John Harkes was the best moment of my soccer career,” Ward said in a news release about his signing. “I’m ready to build on that moment and make Greenville proud.”
Ward grew up in Ocean County, N.J., starring at New Egypt High School before a successful four-year career at Rowan University. During his time in Glassboro, the 6-foot-1 forward scored 29 goals and added 16 assists in 70 appearances despite missing eight games in his senior season with an injury.
He spent 2018 with the Philadelphia Fury, scoring four goals and assisting on five others in 10 appearances in the American Soccer League. His Rowan teammates Vinny Ignatowicz and Jake Connors were also part of that Fury team.
“I’m extremely excited to help our team in whatever way I can,” Ward said. “The energy and excitement of fans on social media has me ready to not only contribute on the field but make the entire city proud in everything I do in my new home.”
He joins former teammate Shane Doherty as recent pro signings from the program. Doherty signed with Galway United in the Republic of Ireland last week.
Rowan head coach Scott Baker said he is proud of the success his players have after leaving the program whether it’s still in soccer or another career field.
“During the recruiting process I explain to the players that I want them to train to be a pro soccer player like they are not getting a college degree and study to earn your degree like you will never play pro soccer,” he said. “This mentality gives our players the most options after their college careers.”
For Ward, that means joining the inaugural roster of a new team in a new league that kicks off with its first regular season match between the Triumph and South Georgia Tormenta FC on March 29.