Spotlight Saturdays: Noah Franke
Updated: Sep 11
By age 6, Noah Franke had already tried all the sports. Baseball got boring quickly and he was too short for basketball, but soccer was the one that came easily for him.
"I was good right from the get-go," Franke said. "So I stuck with it because it's obviously more fun when you're good at something. "
Now, almost 20 years later, Franke still has an unmatched love and passion for the game, something that has only gotten bigger in the past year after he tore his ACL and had to step out of the field to rehabilitate his knee. The attacker just got the all-clear to start playing a week ago after 8 months of recovery.
"Being out of it for this long made me realize how much I love playing soccer," Franke said. "I just get the itch for it. I wanna get back out there. Just watching it and seeing other people play it's fun."
The former Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC player said that he's glad he's past the hard part now. He said that having such a serious injury took a toll on his mental health because of the fear of getting injured again or not being able to ever play at the same level.
"I had to train my knee on how to run, how to walk, how to touch a ball again. It's like my leg forgot how to do everything, so mentally it's really tough," Franke said. "But now I'm confident that I am [going to be able to play at the same level], my doctor told me I'll make a 100% recovery."
Franke, who had surgery on New Year's day, is confident that he'll return stronger than ever and is now attending some practices with Inter Orlando to get back into it now that the hardest part is over.
But this is not the first time that Franke has played with the team.
Last year during his off-season, Franke joined Inter Orlando for a couple of games to stay on top of his game. He said that he enjoyed playing closer to home, where his family could come and see him and also getting to train with the rest of the team.
"It's a great group of guys," Franke said. "Having an environment like that is fun and I got to play at a high level with a great coach."
As for what's next for Franke, he's looking forward to continuing his recovery and getting back to his usual level. He's also looking to land on a team.
As for the long run, he hopes to make a career out of his passion and keep playing as long as he still enjoys it. He would also love to play with Barcelona, but he admits that he finds the Premier League the most fun, hoping to play with Manchester City or Liverpool.
His advice to those looking to make a career out of soccer is to never give up and to get out of your comfort zone.
"You have nothing to lose, so just get out there and don't always assume that the first feedback you hear is the right one," he said. "I've been denied multiple times on my career and I just kept going on trials and trials until I finally found a coach that wanted me, then I landed on the team."