As part of our Featured Player content series, SoccerWire is publishing Q&A articles with recently-committed players who are Featured in the SoccerWire Player Directory. The series will allow players to share their stories on the college recruiting process, travel and high school soccer, and their passion for the beautiful game.

In this edition we will showcase Reese Black, who has committed to play NCAA Division I soccer in 2024 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Black plays travel soccer in the Girls Academy for Tophat and has been a member of the U.S. Youth National Team at multiple age levels.

SoccerWire: What made you decide to commit to Charlotte?

Reese Black: UNC Charlotte has a beautiful campus and everyone was very welcoming. The reputation of the school, history of success, facilities, and its amazing coaching staff was exactly what I was looking for in a school. The training session was high intensity and fit the level of play I was looking for in a program.

SW: What was the recruiting process like and what did you learn about yourself while going through it?

RB:The recruiting process was a little stressful for me. As I explored my options and went on multiple different visits throughout the US, I was able to see that I was looking for more of a bigger school with a good atmosphere and competitive culture. The team at UNC Charlotte and the coaching staff was a huge factor in committing, and I saw this university as a great fit for my overall academic and athletic goals.

As I was going through the process I learned a lot about life skills, time management, and communication. It also helped me prioritize my personal goals and determine my strengths, weaknesses, and expectations.

SW: How has social media and being a SoccerWire Featured Player helped you with the college recruiting process?
Being a SoccerWire Featured Player helped with exposure by providing me the opportunity to showcase my athletic highlights and videos on both the website and on social media. It gave me increased visibility in the eyes of college coaches and recruiters.

SW: What are you interested in studying in college and why?

Since I am only a junior in high school, my choices might change. Currently I am interested in multiple fields of study including psychology, medical, or criminal law. These have always interested me in the past, especially going through Anatomy this year and learning more about the human body.

SW: Outside of soccer, what clubs, organizations, and/or jobs are you involved in?

RB: Outside of soccer, I try to work as much as possible to earn money. Last summer, I worked at Mellow Mushroom and have been dog walking for several years. I recently applied for a summer job at Chick-fil-a and a local golf course. I enjoy staying busy and working, but also enjoy volunteering at the community food pantry.

SW: Who was your favorite soccer player growing up?

RB: Messi is one of the greatest players that has ever played the game. His composure on the ball, his ball control and ability to score from anywhere on the field makes him a dynamic player that has helped me with my overall game as a player.

SW: What’s your favorite part about playing forward and as an attacking midfield?

RB: As an attacker, my primary objective is to score goals. However, I love contributing to the team’s success and being the player that sets up goals for our forwards by playing balls behind the opposing team’s defense or taking on players. As a midfielder, I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself to see what I can do for the benefit of my team. Ultimately, being part of a winning team is a rewarding experience, and I am always striving to help my team achieve their goals.

SW: Do you have any pregame rituals that you like to do to get yourself ready for a game?

RB: I wake up on game day and have a good breakfast which consists of a bagel with eggs and avocado, then I listen to my music as I drive to the game. And I always wear 2 french braids – it’s a superstition!

SW: If you could give one piece of advice to a younger player that wants to play soccer at a high level what would it be?

RB: If you want to play at the highest level, making sacrifices is important, and it is an important part of growing up as a player. When you get into high school, it’s easy to get distracted by friends and other activities, but you have to remember what your goals are and set aside that time to train or get some extra touches in. Balancing your social life with the demands of high-level soccer requires discipline, but the rewards of reaching your goals make it all worthwhile.

SW: Is there anyone that you would like to give a shoutout to who has helped you both on and off of the field?

RB: All of my coaches and trainers growing up have played a huge role in helping me as a player and person both on and off the field. I am grateful for the opportunity to play alongside such talented and amazing teammates. My parents have also helped me become the player I am today, always pushing me and motivating me to strive for excellence in order to reach my full potential. All of the people in my life have been a strong support system to help me reach my current level of success.