Photo Credit: Azusa Pacific Athletics
Sven Simon and his Azusa Pacific teammates returned to the NAIA National Championship for the third consecutive season in 2007. Their perseverance paid off as the Cougars captured the program’s first-ever title after defeating Concordia. Azusa Pacific defeated their Golden State Athletic Conference rival 2–0 with Simon scoring the historic first goal late in the first half of play.
The senior forward finished as one of Azusa Pacific’s most accomplished players. Throughout his career, Simon was named to several post-season teams including NAIA All-American and GSAC All-Conference. In 2007, he ended with 9 goals and 6 assists in the regular season.
Sven Simon continues Soccer City FC’s interview series from 2007's collegiate champions. He kindly answered our questions regarding the NAIA Championship, the Azusa Pacific program, and his time watching World Cup '06.
- As the season progressed, was there a specific moment where you realized that Azusa Pacific was going to win the 2007 NAIA Championship?
- Now that you have had time to reflect on the Championship, how satisfying was it to score the opening goal?
A: Honestly, attending APU has been one of the best choices I made in my life, thus far. Through APU, and particularly through my Coaches Phil Wolf and Dave Blomquist, I have learned that it is not about me scoring a goal, or the team winning a National Championship. It is about a lot more than that – the relationships that we build. Therefore, although it is great to win a National Championship and to score the opening goal, I am a lot more satisfied with the outstanding and special relationships that I was able to build with my coaches, teammates, and their families.
- Prior to this season's NAIA Championship, name your top three moments at Azusa Pacific?
1. Meeting my wonderful girlfriend Sara
2. Playing the most intense round of team “spoons” during our pre-season trip 2007
3. Scoring the golden goal in overtime against Lindsey Wilson at Lindsey Wilson in 2007
A: When I think of Coach, the first thing that comes to mind is: My God, My Team, My Self – our team motto. He is the perfect role model, and a man of character. He is the most humble, caring, and genuine person I have met in my life. Through his “leading by example” nature he has transformed me. If I would have to choose a person that I would want to be most alike than I would immediately say: Phil Wolf!
- Were you in Germany for the 2006 World Cup? How was the experience?
A: Yes, I was in Germany for the 2006 World Cup, and I got tickets for my girlfriend and I for 5 games (Ghana vs. Czech Republic, Ghana vs. Italy, Ghana vs. U.S., Ghana vs. Brazil, and Brazil vs. France). It was definitely one of my favorite life experiences and probably the best time I ever had in Germany. The experience was incredible. Millions of people from everywhere in the world were celebrating the sport of soccer in a 100% friendly way. Streets had to be closed off so that people can walk on them, international street vendors were on every corner, and flags from all different countries were just everywhere. So it was simply a time to make friends.
- Are you looking into playing professionally or are you now solely focused on your MBA?
A: Right now I am extremely focused on my MBA. However, I certainly look around for all kinds of job opportunities. Meaning, if an opportunity of playing professionally arises, I would definitely look into it. However, graduating with my MBA certainly puts me in a nice position where not playing professionally would not be a disaster. Connecting the two by getting a job in the sports industry would be an ideal fit.