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  • Staff report

Pro Soccer Player Logan Ketterer learning French at EPCC

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

BY ABIGAIL BELL


(R) Logan Ketterer playing for EP Locomotives.


Allez, on se donne à fond! Translation: Let’s give it our all!

 

You may never have thought French would be needed to be a pro soccer player, but Logan Ketterer found himself moving to Montreal, the second largest French speaking city in the world, to play soccer, and turned to EPCC to help him succeed on this new team.


Looking back, Logan Ketterer never expected his life to look the way it does now. It started with playing sports as a kid, and now he is a pro soccer player in the MLS and loves it.


“It's a fantastic life to be able to play a sport for a living, like, I'm living the dream,” he said.


He has been playing soccer for a total of 25 years, including soccer as a kid, five years in college and eight years as a pro soccer player. During that time has played for Columbus Crew and the El Paso Locomotives pro soccer teams. Now he is in Canada preparing to play with CF Montreal.


Throughout his life he has maintained an in-the-moment mentality that has helped him advance to where he is today. By putting his all into whatever was in front of him, Ketterer has proven that hard work and effort can take you a long way.


Ketterer grew up in Racine, Wisconsin playing all different types of sports as a kid.


“I really started liking soccer a lot when I was about, like, 12. That's kind of when it kind of started to become my main sport,” he said.


He continued playing multiple sports up until his junior year of high school when began to focus on soccer full time. He had the opportunity to play for FC Wisconsin, formally known as FC Milwaukee, and played against other travel soccer teams.


“And that was kind of when I realized, like, okay, maybe soccer can get me to college and, you know, kind of open some other doors like that,” he said.


Logan Ketterer playing goal keeper.


Ketterer decided to pursue being a college athlete with his love for soccer and for his position as a goalkeeper.


“I don't like running that much, so I'll just stand in the net, and I’ll do my job back there,” he said, laughing.


Ketterer loves being a goalkeeper. When talking about why he liked being a goalkeeper, he said it was a position with a lot of pressure and critical thinking.


“I think I like goalkeeping the best because it's a position where, like, you have to be very reactive.” He said explaining further, “It's trying to, like, problem solve and think ahead. Kind of

like chess, like, I need to, like, see, okay, well what are they trying to do, to see if I can fix that

before it happens.”


“I think that's kind of like the thrill and the rush is that it doesn't seem like you're always

involved, but you always have to be. And you have to keep yourself engaged in finding out what might happen, how things might go wrong, so that in that one second that things do go wrong, am I in the right spot to fix it?” he explained.


He went on to say, “As a goalkeeper, you get a lot of that pressure. Like, if I make one mistake

and there's only one opportunity all game, we lose 1-0. So, I have to be perfect. So, I'm kind of

okay with that, and I'm okay kind of carrying that weight on my shoulders.”


“I think that's kind of one of the things that kind of makes me excited about soccer,” he said.


Ketterer went on to play for Bradley University in Illinois, a D1 school, for five years. While he

played soccer there, he completed his degree in accounting.


Even after playing college, Ketterer said that he never really imagined he would go pro.


“I had no idea. Like, the goal was, okay, play soccer and do well,” he said.


(L) Logan Ketterer as goal keeper.


Ketterer’s goal remained the same throughout high school and college; play soccer and do his best.


“I put in the work there and then I became a starter and then, okay, now I'm starting for two years and I'm doing pretty good. Like, you know, maybe there was a small chance I got drafted and I ended up getting drafted,” he said.


Ketterer was drafted in the MLS super draft by the team Columbus Crew and played with them for two years. When talking about his experience, he said it was one of the first times he really began to believe he could make soccer his career.


When Ketterer he first got to the team, he met Brad Stuver, who is now a starting goalkeeper for Austin FC in the MLS. Stuver’s story inspired Ketterer and continues to be an encouragement to him today.


“He had been around for five or six years, and he was kind of the first like vet that I got to kind

of like experience and kind of try to emulate a little bit,” he said.


He continued to explain how Stuver’s career path had been an encouragement for him.


“He got his first shot at being an MLS starter at 30, 31 years old. And, you know, that's where I'm at now. So, it's like, do you have the work ethic and the mental capacity to put in the work for eight, nine, ten years before you get that chance? And it's trying to just keep your career going long enough, and putting in the work and making sure you're doing the right things on and off the field, that you get that opportunity,” he explained.


Stuver also helped Ketterer see that he could make soccer his career, with the right mindset.


“I think that's kind of one of the first things that I kind of saw that I was like, okay, man, maybe I can make this happen. I might not be the most talented, I might not be the most, you know, skilled player or whatever. But if I put in the work and I make sure I do things the right way, like I'm going to make it hard for teams to let me go,” he said.


After his contract with Columbus was up, he got the opportunity to be a part of the El Paso

Locomotives first year as a soccer team in the USL league in 2019.


“I wanted to go to the USL and, you know, kind of build a resume a little bit. So, I had to show

that I could go play every weekend, every game and, you know, perform on the field,” he said.


Ketterer said it was exciting to be part of the first years of this team.


“I was really excited to like, kind of get to move to a team that had never, like, started before.

Like, that was like such a cool experience,” he said. “El Paso is an amazing city, like my wife

and I loved it. Met some of our best friends that we've had, like we're a part of that team, but like, getting to go to that city and like, be part of it from the beginning was, like, a really cool experience.”



During his three years with the locomotives, he was also able to play with the Portland Timbers for a month and after his 2021 season with the Locomotives, a Montreal coach from the MLS league wanted Ketterer on his team.


“Then after that season, the coach up here saw me and wanted to bring me in to Montreal. So, it was kind of like, you know, going to El Paso and playing for those three years was like kind of me trying to get my name out there, and it absolutely helped. And that's what kind of got me the chance to come back to MLS,” he said.


Now he is in Montreal, Quebec getting ready to be part of CF Montreal.


As this is a new team, Ketterer explained how there are a variety of different players in various

stages of life on each team he has been on. CF Montreal is no different.


“It's an interesting thing, like the team can be so different. Like, you know, I'm 30, married, you know, we have a kid on the way, there are some guys who already have kids, there's some that are 19 years old and, you know, moved from Iceland or, you know, come from Argentina like it's very different people,” he said.



Ketterer has moved all over for his soccer career and has come across several challenges;

specifically learning new languages. Quebec is the only province in Canada in which French is

the official language, which means Ketterer has to learn French.


“I knew no French before I came here,” he said.


He had faced this same challenge before when he moved to El Paso and knew little Spanish. But in order to be a better part of his team, Ketterer was determined to learn the language. However, language apps were not helping him, and he wasn’t progressing.


“Doing a Duolingo 5 minutes a day, didn't really, like, do it for me,” he said. So he decided to take a foreign language class at EPCC.


“I needed to kind of like, all right, I have homework, I to sit down and study,” he explained.


Ketterer said that his class has helped him practically apply his French in his day-to-day life in

Canada.


“When we go into little breakout groups and we have to actually have conversations and then,

you know, when I shut the computer down and I go to the grocery store, I have to then use those same conversations and things I just learned,” he said.


While he was in El Paso, he learned Spanish at EPCC. Now that he is in Canada, he is taking an online French course through EPCC with Dr. Maria Ramirez.


When asked how language affects the team, Ketterer said it was important in many ways to

connect with his teammates.


“A lot of guys speak English as well, but, you know, just being able to try, and everyone

appreciates, like, you giving an effort. Like they don't care if your accent bad or you

mispronounce things, like just being able to try and have those conversations,” he said.



In addition to this, Ketterer said it was important to know French during practice because some of his coaches only coach in French, so he has to make an effort to understand what they are saying.


“If I'm just sitting there with, you know, birds spinning around my head because I don't know

what's going on, then it doesn't help me at all,” he said.


Ketterer said that being able to speak a little bit of his teammate’s language helps build

relationships, on and off the field.


“If I'm just working in an office building, well I may not ever meet that person. But now here we are, a team. We have to work really well together on the field, so if I can speak a little bit of the same language as them, or you know, the other way around, like it really helps kind of bring the team together and helps you actually perform on the field,” he said.


He went on to say, “It helps just to have anything in common, or just being able to speak a little bit of whatever they’re speaking can help you just create some sort of relationship where maybe I would never meet this person before in my life.”


In addition to having to speak French on the field, Ketterer wants to learn French to feel more

like a part of the city that he is living in.


“To be able to have basic conversation with people and do simple things is so much easier. And it makes you feel like you're part of the city more, like I'm not just a visitor,” he said.


Ketterer’s commitment to learning French to be a better teammate and citizen is a testament to his work ethic and determination to give his all wherever he finds himself in the present moment.


Ketter explained his mindset this way; “I think it's like just being able to be present in the

moment. Like, okay, I know I'm here at least a year, or two years, or however long the contract that you signed, okay, what can I get out of that year? If I just go home and sit on the couch and I do nothing, and go to practice and come home, then that's a boring life. But you go out, you learn a little French, you go hike in the mountains, you take some tours, you see the city like, you know, you're able to do so many things and such a privileged life. So why not take advantage of being able to do what you can and actually enjoy the city?”


This mindset is what has pushed him to learn Spanish, give his best in whatever team he is at,

and now to learn French to be a better teammate.


When asked about his future goals, Ketterer maintains this same mindset. Although he

mentioned he would like to be a steady MLS starter and possibly win the MLS cup, he ultimately wants to continue giving his best in the present moment and sharing his experience with others.


“I think it's just knowing that my role is to be a leader and experience and help bring along other guys and create a good team environment, like that's my goal,” he said.


He desires to continue to help other soccer players and share his experience with his teammates.



“How can I help all these young guys who are now in their first year, their second year? How can I get them to understand that, okay, you have to work hard, and you have to, you know, put in this work and have a good attitude every day, and, you know, how can I do these things that help teach these things that I've learned over my eight years of being a pro and five years in college soccer?” he said.


Summarizing it all, he said, “How can I use my experiences to help everybody else? And I think that's kind of, some of the most rewarding internally for me.”


Throughout his career, Ketterer has had the steady support of his wife. He is so grateful that she has been willing to travel all over for his career.


“She's moved all over for me, and she's made, you know, made a house a home type of a thing. So you know, she's been fantastic to support me in my career for this long,” he said.


Ketterer loves being a pro soccer player and he shared how his unique career has allowed him to have many beautiful experiences.


“I get to do it for a living, and I get to make enough money to live in incredible places. And, like, I probably never would have moved down to Texas if it weren't for El Paso, but we loved it there, and we had a fantastic three years there. And I never would have, you know, spent any time in Portland or probably with Columbus. I probably would have just stayed in Wisconsin or Illinois my whole life and just lived there and had no other cultural experiences or anything or never would have learned really, Spanish or French,” he said.


Moving forward, Ketterer’s goal will continue to be putting his best in everything he does, not

only as a soccer player but also as an overall person. As he prepares for his season with CF

Montreal, he is ready to play his heart out. Ketterer’s story reminds us to continue to put in our

best wherever we are planted for the moment.


“If I look back 15 years, I never would have thought that I'd be living in Canada playing

professional soccer. But it's been fantastic. And I think, you know, I never would have thought that I would be decent at Spanish or be trying to learn French either. And I think that's like the benefit of just the life I live lets me do those things,” he said.




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