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South Jersey brothers leaning on each other with soccer shut down for coronavirus

Zac, Jake and Owen Moore have been seeing a lot more of each other than usual

(From Left) Owen Moore, Zac Moore and Jake Moore pose for a photo in the park behind their house
Moore Family

A typical day for Owen Moore involves commuting from his home in Woodstown, New Jersey to King of Prussia for school and multiple daily training sessions with games nearly every weekend in the fall and spring.

Over the past four weeks, Moore along with all of his teammates in the Philadelphia Union Academy, his two older brothers Jake Moore and Zac Moore and soccer players at every level across the region have been staying put.

“It’s definitely been different,” said Owen, a goalkeeper for the Union’s U17 team.

Jake and Zac have been working at a greenhouse where their parents both work while also completing school assignments and doing their own training and workouts. Greenhouses are considered essential businesses during the statewide shutdown for the coronavirus outbreak so Jake and Zac have stayed pretty busy with work.

“I’ve just been working as much as I can and then coming home to do my workouts,” Zac said.

Owen has had time to himself to do individual workouts and his YSC Academy classwork online, but he’s also seen a lot more of his two older siblings and his parents than he typically does during the season. The 50-minute commute each way and the intensity of the schedule in a professional soccer academy doesn’t leave a lot of the time he now has in plentiful supply.

“I get random FaceTime calls just because people are bored,” Owen said. “And we do a lot of work together for school. It’s nice to have classes actually just to see everyone and interact with people.”

Owen has been able to stay in close contact with his teammates, coaches and teachers through messaging apps and other online platforms. He gets instructions about workouts from coaches and logs into Zoom and Big Blue Button for school.

Zac, meanwhile, is in the unfortunate position as a senior missing out on so many of the things kids his age typically look forward to before they start college. He’s committed to play soccer at UMBC in the fall.

“It’s supposed to be the best time ever,” Zac said. “Senior trip, prom, just little things. Everything I looked forward to at the end of high school is just done.”

Jake, a junior in high school, is the lone field player in the family so he’s gotten plenty of shooting practice in hitting balls at both Zac and Owen. He’s training with an eye toward his senior season at Woodstown in the fall and like his brothers making the most of the current situation.

“It’s good having my brothers here and I like having Owen around more,” Jake said. “It is a bit annoying though too.”

The park near their house has served as a respite while offering all three a chance to work on their soccer skills. When not at the park or doing school assignments, they also spend ample time on XBox.

“Even if we aren’t competing against each other, someone is always sitting by you and interrogating you and getting in your ear,” Owen said of their gaming.

Before the shutdown, Owen had already spent three weeks of preseason with his teammates in Brazil and was slated to be in Frisco, Texas for the Generation adidas Cup finals this week and the Spring DA Cup at the end of this month in Kansas City. All of that has been shut down, including opportunities to train with Union II, with a return date unknown.

“It’s disappointing but all we can do is make the best of the situation and look forward to being back out there again,” Owen said.