WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Not many folks from the Boston area make a side trip to Iceland on their way to Charleston, SC, but Mansfield, Mass. native and former Williams College striker Charlie Romero '11 did and as a result has succeeded in landing on the roster of the Charleston Battery of the USL Pro League.
Normally the trip from Mansfield, MA to Charleston, SC is only about 950 miles, but Romero's journey included an important side trip to Iceland that helped him earn a spot in the USL Pro Combine in the winter.
Romero's quest to play professionally included a 2-game stint on the New England Revolution Reserve Team and the trip to Iceland, where he trained vigorously with two teams in Reykjavik.
Working hard and continuing to develop as a player and a scorer were traits that Romero refined at Williams, tirelessly working on becoming a threat to score and topping the Ephs in scoring as a junior (12 goals, 6 assists) and a senior (9 goals, 7 assists) on his way to earning Third Team All-America honors in 2010
Romero's hard work and persistence paid off, as he was one of 102 players invited to the USL Pro Soccer Combine in Bradenton, FL, at the end of January. Romero opened a lot of eyes when he netted four goals in the event's final scrimmage.
Working with his agent Romero accepted the Charleston Battery's offer of a tryout. Romero netted goals in two preseason scrimmages for the Battery increasing his value and the Battery's interest in signing him.
"Very excited that my journey has brought me to Charleston," Romero said. "It's a first-class organization and a great city." Romero will be the third Eph to line up for the Battery, joining Dan Calichman '89 and Josh Bolton '06 on the Battery's all-time list of players.
"I've been playing both winger and forward throughout the preseason," noted Romero. While Romero wore number 3 at Williams he will wear number 17 for the Battery, but even more important he has become the 14th Eph coached by Mike Russo to join a pro league.
Romero's life as a professional soccer player normally includes training in the morning, lifting weights a few times a week, and the occasional team yoga session. "We also make team appearances around Charleston to give back to the community and hopefully recruit some new fans for the club, " Romero stated.
The 10-team USL Pro League has teams in Antigua (The Barracuda), Charlotte and Wilmington in North Carolina, Dayton, Harrisburg (PA), Los Angeles, Orlando, Pittsburgh, and Richmond.