Oliver White is a professional soccer player for Boston, Massachusetts. White was the 2012 Gatorade Player of the Year for Massachusetts in high school where he also won a state championship. The forward then attended Harvard University, and has played in Australia for Kingston City FC. He also spent time in USL League 2 with FC Boston, and now plays for Forward Madison FC of USL League 1 on loan from USL Championship side, Memphis 901 FC. White is a very well rounded player that is lethal on the attack with a very bright future ahead of him.
The Oliver White Interview
1. Growing up in Boston, what was your youth career like?
In Boston I started playing for FC Bolts then switched to FC Blazers when I was U15 bc the coach had a lot of experience helping players get recruited to college.
2. In 2012, you won Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year. What was winning such a prestigious award like that like?
Honestly it was amazing and one of my proudest achievements bc I didn’t expect to win at all, they usually give the award to the player with the best stats but I think they gave it to me because I had good stats and my team also won state cup that year.
3. How were you initially recruited by Harvard?
My recruiting process to Harvard was pretty simple because they sent me an email inviting me to their camp spring of my junior year and I knew I was interested in going there so I replied right away and set up the camp and an unofficial visit and really liked to visit and the team and I committed a few months later.
4. What was it like to play for one of the most famous schools in the world, Harvard University?
I’m so happy I played at Harvard and look back on it a lot because I got to play with high quality players in great facilities, but the best part might really might’ve been the time I spent with my team mates not on the field because everyone was from such intelligent and different backgrounds I would learn something new every day.
5. How was your collegiate experience? What did college ball teach you as a player?
Honestly my college career was not nearly as successful as I had hoped, I only scored 9 goals in 4 seasons even though I played a lot of games every year, The coach also changed my position a few times and it was tough. But what it definitely taught me is the best players are always ready to help at any positions and help out any way they can.
6. In 2016, you played for FC Boston of the USL League 2. How was your tenure with Boston?
Playing USL2 was a great experience for many reasons, first was that for the first time since high school I got to play with a lot of my friends from Boston who had gone off to different colleges, but the second and maybe most important thing was I got to play at a very competitive level, I actually was only there for 4 games bc about a month into the season I got offered to go on trial at St Patrick’s Athletic in Ireland. I unfortunately did not make the team but both those experiences taught me a lot and helped me prepare to go play in Australia
7. In 2017 you jumped seas to play for Kingston City FC in Australia. How was your transition from America to Australia?
The transition from America to Australia was a little tough at the beginning, it’s very far and a different country but once I got settled after a few weeks it was great. The soccer level there is a lot higher than people give it credit for and the country is amazing in almost every way. Playing there also taught me another valuable lesson of the ability to settle myself wherever I am. I am happy to be playing back in the states and now whenever I move to a new team I know I can settle quickly because any transition will be easier than going to Australia
8. What’s your take on pro/rel for USA?
Honestly I hope pro/rel happens bc it’ll make it easier for players to get into the pro system, and will force the best teams to actually have a good style of play, not just be able to keep putting money in.
9. In March, you signed with Memphis 901 of the USL Championship. How were you feeling after signing with Memphis?
When I signed for Memphis I was so excited, just to get a Chance in the US but also have a chance to prove myself at an expansion team.
10. In July, you were loaned to Forward Madison FC of USL League 1. How was you past season with Madison?
My past season with Madison was great to get me more experience in the us but I wish I scored more goals.
11. What’s it like to play in front of the rowdy crowd at Forward Madison?
The crowd in Madison is maybe the best I’ve ever played in front of, Memphis is close too. Both get thousands of fans!
12. If you could meet your past self from ten years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
If could meet myself from 10 years ago, I would tell myself to keep believing in myself, there were times I doubted I could make it as a pro but I’m so glad I kept going now
13. What’s the biggest misconception about being a professional?
The biggest misconception is that all pros make a lot of money, most of us play for the love of the game.
14. Who is your biggest role model and why?
My biggest role model is Thierry Henry by far, especially as someone who was a top prospect then didn’t develop immediately as a pro, then when given the right situation became a superstar.
15. What are your goals for your post playing career?
My goals after playing and undecided to be honest.
16. In five words, describe yourself.
Competitive, intelligent, honorable, debonair, sangfroid.
17. What’s your go to snack on the road?
go to snack is definitely trail mix
18. If you have a dinner with any three people in the world, who would they be?
Jay Z, Thierry Henry & Barack Obama for sure. All 3 so successful but each could give a specific perspective on how they made it in their own fields
19. What’s your all time greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement I am proud of is signing my first pro contract and then any contracts since. I made a commitment to myself on that day to consider the fact that I want to play pro soccer as long as I can when I make every decision, that I want it to be me whole life
20. What do you believe separates an amateur from a professional?
the difference b/w amateur and pro is more than just being paid. A pro is willing to let every single decision they make be about soccer & making soccer their lifestyle when an amateur can focus on it sometimes but not all the time
21. Who’s the best player you’ve ever played against?
The best player I had ever played against is Sasha Kljestan.
22. If you were to write a book about your life, what would it be called?
The title of my autobiography would be: Perseverance Begets Prosperity.
Interview by Chris Dailey
Big thanks to Oliver for the amazing interview! Best of luck next season!
Photo via https://twitter.com/forwardmsnfc