Adam Yingling

BRAND NEW START — Gettysburg product Adam Yingling, seen here playing for Ohio Wesleyan University, is looking to launch his professional soccer career with the Maryland Bobcats of the National Independent Soccer Association. After a number of tryouts elsewhere, Yingling agreed to a deal with the Bobcats in March.

Any one familiar with the high soccer scene in the Gettysburg area knows the name Adam Yingling.

Yingling was a star while in high school for the Warriors, helping lead his team to a four division titles, a conference title, two district championship games and a pair of wins in the state tournament.

Now, after finishing his career with Ohio Wesleyan University, Yingling is taking his game to pros, having agreed with a contract with the Maryland Bobcats of the National Independent Soccer Association.

“In short, it’s been challenging,” Yingling said of his path to the pros amid an ongoing pandemic. “Ideally I wanted to go back to Europe and play in Austria, where I had been while I was studying abroad. But obviously with COVID and everything that became a lot more difficult.”

So after graduating from OWU in 2019 as a first-team All-North Coast Athletic Conference selection at forward, Yingling began a long and winding path to find his home with a pro team.

That path initially began with a trial for USL Championship side Loudoun United in Leesburg, Virginia. Loudon is as an affiliate of longtime MLS club DC United and at the time, the academy director at DC United was Ryan Martin, the son of Ohio Wesleyan coach Jay Martin.

”So he called me and after playing a couple of scrimmages with them, they kept me on as a permanent practice player,’ Yingling said. “So I was there doing everything the first team was doing, which was great, but I had everything I needed aside from the contract and an income.”

“When the pandemic hit, the USL rules stated that the only players that could return to their clubs were players who were under contract. Yingling says at that point, the club decided not to extend a contract offer so he began to look elsewhere.”

The next steps saw him catch on for a week in training with fellow NISA club Michigan Stars, but after what was a successful week, Yingling says the club opted not to keep him on. {/span}

After catching on with management group Ottawa Pro Sports Management, Yingling then attended a combine with FC Tulsa of the USL Championship

“I played very well there and was actually the MVP of one of the games we played,’ Yingling said. “They said they were interested, but they wanted me to get a little more experience. It’s a little frustrating, then, because you need more experience but you can catch on with a club to get that experience.”

At that point, Yingling decided it was time to slow down. He moved home and planned to train in Gettysburg before evaluating his options post-pandemic.

“That was honestly my plan,” he said. “To live in my childhood house and just work on improving. But then my girlfriend got a job with John’s Hopkins and I moved with her to Baltimore.”

While in Baltimore, he says he began to build connections through pickup games and friends he had made.

“I was out playing games with their reserve team and played with a couple of guys on (Maryland Bobcats) and it didn’t take long before they said ‘yeah, this guy can play,’” he said. “That’s when they came to me and asked if I was interested.”

Yingling said he officially agreed to a deal with the Bobcats in mid-March and has since tried to manage balancing his soccer career with his current full-time job where he sells payroll software.

“I joke with my friends that I sell payroll software for a living and moonlight as a professional soccer player,” he said laughing.

Yingling added that he’s currently working his way into the team and that as the season progresses, the schedule should be easier to balance with his work life.

“There was a bubble tournament in Chattanooga this past week and I really couldn’t play because I haven’t really been able to practice much,” he said. “But the regular season, the practices are usually at night and the games are on weekends. So hopefully I can work my way into the 18 and then eventually the starting XI.”

The allure of playing close to friends and family, as well as the potential to move up in his career were what drew Yingling to the club.

“The NISA is a growing league. Most recently you had Oakland Roots, who played in the league and is now in the USL Championship. So there’s that path there for growth which is exciting.”

Yingling and the Bobcats continue their season on Saturday, May 1 when they travel to Detroit City FC.

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