Western New York Player of the Year Troy Brady left no doubts that he could dominate high school competition, tallying 27 goals and 15 assists in his senior campaign en route to the all-state first team and his second consecutive All-Western New York honor.
Skills that separate at the high school level are often less dynamic when matched against better competition, whether it's local college players, the cream of the local youth academies or grizzled NPSL veterans.
In other words, the Dec. 28 tryout at Sahlen's Sports Park was a far cry from what Brady's Grand Island High School team faced in the 13-0 and 14-0 beatings of Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda, respectively.
For his summer roster, FC Buffalo head coach Brendan Murphy had Brady firmly on his radar, but the fourth-year coach was curious to see how the Vikings senior measured up against more mature players.
"I've seen [Brady] before, but not really up close like this," Murphy admitted following the session. "He is solid, he's strong on the ball, he's not afraid, willing to mix it up with the big guys. Decent in possession, defends well, plays both sides of the ball, good vision and usually in the right spot. I think he could fit in."
Murphy confirmed after the tryout that Brady had indeed been chosen for the 2016 NPSL squad, and we caught up with Brady to briefly discuss his high school season, his college choices and whether or not he's a Stinger guy.
BN Soccer: Now that you have a little hindsight, are you pleased with your decision to choose high school soccer over the Empire Development Academy? (Note: Brady did still play with Empire United Buffalo, which allows players to also play HS)
Troy Brady: Yeah, I definitely [made the right choice]. It was just an amazing season with all my close friends I grew up with especially, so it was a great senior season to make it to the State Final Four, so I'm definitely happy.
BN Soccer: What does it mean to you to be named Western New York Player of the Year?
Brady: Winning player of the year was my goal this year, and achieving it, there's no better feeling, but it's just another step in my career, and something else to build off of, never satisfied.
BN Soccer: What's next for you? Have you decided upon a college yet?
Brady: I'm waiting on Canisius -- me and Coach Gav [Gavin Falconer] are going back and forth, and Oneonta I applied at too, so that's one of my options.
BN Soccer: What made you consider Canisius?
Brady: Just the idea of being local is really nice -- I'd definitely be on campus too, but I'd get the college experience and play Division I, which I basically worked all of my life for.
BN Soccer: What are your feelings about soccer now that you're in-between high school and college, and making a decision on where you're headed?
Brady: Definitely nerve-racking, but it's nice that it's finally the next chapter of my soccer career.
BN Soccer: How would you evaluate your own play at today's tryout?
Brady: I thought that I played well, and enough to show the coaches I could make a difference on FC Buffalo. And I guess I did enough because they're going to keep me on.
BN Soccer: What led you to try out for FC Buffalo?
Brady: The professional atmosphere -- transition from club level, u-17 to college, where you're facing 20 to 23-year-olds.
BN Soccer: Anyone who followed your Twitter account before knows your love for Jim's Steakout. What is the Troy Brady order there?
Brady: Of course the stinger with medium fingers with blue cheese, no onions.
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who gets whatever the special is from Jim's Steakout, at firstname.lastname@example.org