A Soccer Great, On and Off Campus

Eric Anderson ’13  Photo: Mickey Goldin

This past summer, soccer captain Eric Anderson ’13 took his talents and reputation for excellence to Maine, where he earned a coveted spot on GPS Portland Phoenix, one of the 73 teams that play in the Premier Development League (PDL) of the United Soccer Leagues. Considered by many soccer aficionados to be the top amateur men’s league in the country, the PDL offers an opportunity for the nation’s best amateur players to showcase their abilities in hopes of advancing to the top levels of American soccer.

Anderson came to the league already having earned a number of accolades at Babson. Not only did he vault into second place on the program’s all-time goals (41) and points (107) lists in his first three years at Babson, but he also became the only two-time First Team All-American in team history. Thanks in large part to his scoring prowess, the Beavers won a pair of conference championships and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of his three seasons.

Naturally, Anderson didn’t stop at simply making the Portland team. Beginning the year as a reserve, he broke into the starting lineup midway through the summer. By the end of the season, he found himself in familiar territory—leading the team in goals despite playing in only 11 of Portland’s 16 games. For good measure, he then tallied his sixth and final goal of the season in the team’s playoff loss to Ottawa.

“Playing for the Phoenix this summer was a great experience for me,” the 6-foot-3-inch striker says. “It was very rewarding to work alongside players who have already played at the next level and others who strive to in the future.”

Although his summer success justifiably has Anderson thinking about playing professionally some day, he believes his PDL experience served a more immediate purpose. “Everything I went through in Portland, particularly starting the summer on the bench and breaking into the starting lineup during the second half of the season, definitely had me feeling prepared and confident for my last year at Babson.”
Chris Buck, Sports Information Director