Behind every professional soccer player is a story of hard work and dedication, and the same is certainly true of Chad Vandegriffe. Chad is a professional indoor and outdoor soccer player and has won many awards over his career including winning the 2021-22 Major Arena Soccer League Defender of the Year award.
Back in his early days, he played soccer at a small Missourian college preparatory school. There he quickly became the team captain and led his team to the Missouri state championship in 2006.
He was also a four-year letter winner and dabbled in other sports such as baseball and basketball where he, again, became a valuable member of the team.
After graduating, he attended Southern Methodist University and then moved on to Saint Louis University. In both universities, he played soccer and even made the Atlantic 10 Conference all-tournament team in 2010 as well as Atlantic 10 honorable mention in 2011.
Chad became a national runner-up in 2011 as well as a U-23 regional champion. He went on to play with the St. Louis Ambush from 2013 to 2016 in the Major Indoor Soccer League and Major Arena Soccer League. He had an impressive first season that earned him a spot on the league’s All-Rookie Team.
In 2015, he signed with the expansion club Saint Louis FC in the United Soccer League and continued to play with them through the 2016 season. Always striving to reach the next level, he continued to work his way to the top, which included signing on with the Milwaukee Wave for the 2017 season and winning the 2018-19 Major Arena Soccer League Championship.
Chad eventually moved on and started playing for the Florida Tropics SC on a two-year contract in 2020. During his time there, he made 44 appearances and, despite being a defender, was able to score 6 goals.
He also won the Major Arena Soccer League Defender of the Year for 2021-22 as well as the:
- Major Arena Soccer League Elite Six 2021-22
- Major Arena Soccer League All-Third Team 2021
- Major Arena Soccer League Regular Season Champion 2021
Chad has recently announced that he will be returning to play for the Florida Tropics SC for another consecutive season.
On this note, he commented: “I am looking forward to this season. We are headed in the right direction to bring home the first ever championship to our deserving fans all over Florida…”
Though Chad has reached heights that many will never see, his life is an example of what can be accomplished with hard work and a clear focus. For Chad, his focus was on becoming the best soccer player he could be.
To accomplish that goal, he never stopped. While, during his career, he consistently became one of the best defenders out there in his league, he did not let that accomplishment be his last. Instead, he strived to reach new heights and break new boundaries.
All in all, because of Chad Vandegriffe’s drive to always do better, he was able to break boundary after boundary to become one of the best defenders in professional soccer on the field today.