Lucas Stauffer is an American professional soccer player for FSV Wacker 90 Nordhausen in Germany. He played college soccer at Creighton University, his fantastic play there lead him to being the 26th overall pick the the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. He was drafted by the Vancouver Whitecaps, although he didn't sign, he was quick to find another professional contract. He joined the New York Red Bulls franchise, and spent his time there with the New York Red Bulls II of the USL Championship! During his time at Creighton, he spent the summers playing in the PDL (now USL League 2) for the Portland Timbers u23s, Des Moines Menace, and Ocala Stampede. Lucas is a great player, with fantastic footwork and superb passing abilities. Truly a great player!
The Lucas Stauffer Interview
1. What was your youth career like?
Honestly I just remember wanting to play all the time. Luckily my family opened a Futsal academy in 2002 so I grew up mostly playing futsal hours on end every day. I obviously played for clubs growing up in my area but I think that was the thing that set me apart from other players my age. I really loved the game and my parents did everything they could that allowed me not only to play all the time but also play against the best players I could. I’m very lucky to have had the support group from my family and city that I did that encouraged me to play with and against older players.
2. You had quite a successful collegiate career at Creighton, what was it like to play for a program as prestigious as them?
Playing at Creighton was fantastic. I think it’s the best program in the country hands down. From the city, to the school support for the team, to the facilities, you can’t really ask for anything more. On top of that, the staff was fantastic. Elmar Bolowich and Johnny Torres did and do a great job of producing professional players and getting them ready for the next steps in there career. When no one really wanted to take a chance on me, they did and I can’t really imagine it working out better.
3. While in college you played in the PDL (now USL League 2) for Portland Timbers u23, Ocala Stampede, and Des Moines Menace, what was playing in the PDL like? What did these teams teach you?
The thing that these 3 teams have in common is that they were run very professionally from top to bottom. As a player you dream to play for organizations that value doing the little things right and want to take care of the player. Without organizations doing everything they can for the players, I think it’s hard to perform to your optimum potential, but if they are doing everything they can, then you really have no excuse to not give 100% day in and day out.
4. How were you feeling after being drafted by the Vancouver Whitecaps?
I was so happy! A great city with an amazing fan base and a fantastic club. I love the staff and all the players there. Was a very happy time for me.
5. How were you feeling after not signing with the Whitecaps?
Haha on the other hand, when I did not get signed, I was honest distraught. I wanted to play for that club so bad but for me it just was not in the cards. But with that being said, it has been a fantastic motivator for me. I don’t think I could have done more in preseason than what I gave at the time. I’m happy the way it worked out because then going to Redbull and learning a totally different style of play than what I was used to really made me better. Redbull is a very demanding system and asks a lot of there players. Now in Germany it’s very similar to Redbull, so I’m happy how everything has played out. Definitely not finished and DEFINITELY not satisfied.
6. What were you thinking after you got your first pro goal against Charlotte?
That was a great moment. I think I came off the bench and that volley was my first or second touch of the game. Towards the end of the season with Redbull I came off the bench a lot, was usually the first guy to come in. So that showed me that the coaches trusted me, even though you wish to start and play every minute, you have to help the team in anyway you can. Still trying to earn a starting spot everyday in training though, never complacent!
7. You transferred from NYRB II to FSV Wacker 90 in Germany, what was it like to not just switch clubs, but counties?
When I got cut from NY, I did not have really any offers from anywhere. I had one in the new USL league one team with a good team and a great coach but playing in a first year league ultimately scared me. So I have some contacts in Denmark that said they had something for me so I took some of my savings and booked a one way ticket to Europe. To make a really long story short I bounced around through so countries on different trials and came to east Germany through a friend of mine and a company that he was working for. The rest is history!
8. What have you learned as a player while in Germany?
I think the biggest thing is tactically. The tactical education that this players get from a young age is better than what most players get in US. I really had to ask questions and watch a lot of video during preseason to do what was asked.
9. Who’s your biggest role model?
My parents 100%. They sacrificed so much for me and support me in every way possible. This isn’t possible without them.
10. Most memorable moment in your playing career so far?
Probably playing in the DFB Pokal. Besides the German bundesliga league trophy, this is the only tournament you can use to qualify to play in Europe. Unfortunately we lost the first round against a second division team but it was a great experience.
11. Best player you’ve ever faced
This is a tough one. I’ve played with and against some really good players who have played at the highest level, champions league, world cups you name it. I’ll give you 6 in no order.
1. Juan Quintero
2. Giuseppe Rossi (he was training at Redbull)
3. Kei Kamara
4. Carlos Vela
5. Yordy Reyna
6. Efrain Juarez
12. Coolest city you’ve ever been to?
Vancouver, Canada and probably Helsinki, Finland.
13. What’s your biggest tip for players working to become pro?
The biggest advice I can give is to just stick with it. Everyone’s path is unique to themselves so don’t get caught up in who’s doing what(I know it’s hard) but focus on you and getting better everyday and you’ll be fine.
14. What’s one thing people don’t realize about being a professional?
How much sacrifice it takes to do it!
15. What are your main goals for the future?
Right now my goal is to get promoted into the 3rd league with my club here and besides that it’s really just see how fast I can climb the ladder in Europe.
16. What separates a professional from an amateur?
I think it’s just a difference in mindset.
17. What’s your biggest strength?
My comfort level on the ball and how I read the game are probably the two things I like most about how I play.
18. What’s your biggest weakness?
Right now it’s definitely speaking on the field! I need to get better with my German!
19. Any last words for the readers?
If anyone’s got any questions my Instagram and twitter are always open so do not hesitate to ask! Lucas_stauffer9 for both.
Interview by Chris Dailey
Huge thanks to Lucas for the phenomenal interview! A great player on the pitch, truly a reader of the game! Plus, a fantastic person off of it! Best of luck for the rest of the season in Germany, we're rooting for you! Thanks again fella!