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Global Aug 10, 2012

Korrio Boys Player To Watch, August 2012: Dale Ludwig

By Jimmy LaRoue

Dale Ludwig is not tall in stature, but he stands tall on the field.

The, 5-foot-7 inch Ludwig, who plays for the Under-18 SOCA Lightning and Fluvanna County High School, has distinguished himself on the soccer field as a creative, attacking player and has emerged as a key player on Virginia’s 1995 Olympic Development Program team that won a national championship in 2011 and finished as runners-up in 2012, with Ludwig’s semifinal goal proving the difference for the team to reach the final.

Ludwig, who has committed to American University, was a first-team all-Jefferson District selection in 2012, helping lead Fluvanna to a region tournament berth and a win in the Region II tournament. As part of Under-18 SOCA Lightning, Ludwig has played an age-group up for the past three seasons and SOCA’s director of coaching and player development, Brian Kuk has seen him grow with the team, which has given him opportunities at the Region I level, most recently being selected to the 2012-13 Region I ODP pool.

Ludwig was part of the 1995 ODP team that won a national championship in 2011 and finished as runners-up in 2012, with Ludwig’s goal in the semifinal proving the difference for Virginia’s 1995 ODP team to reach the final.

“Seeing Dale do well at the regional level is great,” Kuk said on the club’s website earlier this year. “He has embraced the challenges the club has given him and is emerging as an elite player in Region I.”

Kuk said Ludwig has grown into a “fantastic player who is scratching the surface of the advanced game.”

For his accomplishments and his emergence as an elite player, Ludwig has been selected as the boys’ Korrio Player to Watch for August.

Kuk said Ludwig plays as if he’s 6-feet-1 or 6-feet-2, as teams underestimate his abilities in the air, but yet he’s fearless going in on tackles as well. And Ludwig, having been targeted for several years by the club as one of its top players, has used the influence of former SOCA players who are now playing Division I soccer, has used that influence as motivation to work out more, improve his game and take his nutrition more seriously.

“I think he’s always had the confidence he cold play, but it’s given him more confidence that he could play with them on a daily basis,” Kuk said.

Kuk said that with Ludwig projected to play as a forward or an outside midfielder at the college level, the club will give him more exposure in those spots.

“He’s definitely a lion,” Kuk said, “and he really likes to get after it.”


[+ View past Korrio Players To Watch]