‘IT’: THEMI ANTONOGLOU
Click to viewTHEMI ANTONOGLOU’s profile on the OPSM database: https://www.opsmpro.com/players/Themi-antonoglou/
hemi Antonoglou has the ‘it-factor’ as many people call it.
On the field, he’s a play-maker. An outside-back who likes to push up the field and create opportunities that help the team get on the scoresheet, similar to fellow Canadian outside-back Alphonso Davies. Off the field, he is humble and hardworking, putting in the extra work that helps make him the next featured athlete of OPSM’s NextGenSeries, highlighting the best u23 players represented by OPSM.
Antonoglou looks up to Davies as a role-model, somebody who is a hard-worker that quickly went through the ranks of Canadian soccer and is now playing on the global stage.
To understand just how good Antonoglou is, we have to go back to the very beginnings…
Antonoglou, Toronto born and raised, started his career at West Toronto and was then scouted by Danny Dichio of Toronto FC.
Dichio, a legend of the game, realised that Antonoglou had the ‘it’ that we talked about before. The ‘it’ is something that makes you go ‘wow’, you may not realize what the ‘it’ really is, but you know it’s good.
“He (Dichio) saw that I had potential… and at around 10-11 years old he asked me to go to a camp and from then on I have been playing with TFC.” Antonoglou said.
Since being scouted to join TFC, Antonoglou has made his mark. At only 18 years of age, Antonoglou has already seen professional minutes with Toronto FC II of the newly formed USL League One.
“It’s kind of crazy because I never played in front of a crowd that big before,” Antonoglou said while talking about making his professional debut, “My first game was in Richmond and there a lot of people. I was kind of overwhelmed, kind of nervous, but as the game progressed I got over that and I focused on my game.”
The 18 year old talented outside-back also played in a game against North Texas FC at Globe Life Park in Arlington, former home of the MLB’s Texas Rangers.
Themi Antonoglou is very intelligent for a player at such a young age. He doesn’t take any training for granted and puts in 110% work every time he steps out on the pitch.
Being surrounded by guys like Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore help push Antonoglou to keep working to get to the next step of his career, making the Toronto FC first team.
Antonoglou has trained with the first team before, and is continuously progressing to the next phase of his career.
Antonoglou talked about the step-up from academy to pro, stating, “It’s a pretty big step-up because every single player is taking everything seriously, the game is a higher tempo, everybody is playing quicker passed, 1-2 touches, you can’t hold the ball for to long or else you’re going to get cracked by another player… Honestly, as you prolong and get used to the play you get better.”
It’s safe to say that Antonoglou’s progression has been quite successful and he’s certainly on the right track.
Currently being helped guided by OPSM, who scouted him at one of his Toronto FC Academy games, the sky’s the limit for Themi Antonoglou.
Pacey, athletic, and skillful, Antonoglou can do it. From making overlapping runs from one side of the pitch to another to shutting down attackers in 1v1 defensive situations, Antonoglou is truly a name to watch for.
All together, if I hoped you learn one thing from this article it’s that Themi Antonoglou has the ‘it’. There is something about him that you just like. That something has taken him a long way so far, and he’s only just begun.
If you loved what you read make sure to go back and read past OPSM NextGenSeries articles. To check out Themi’s OPSM profile, go over to the OPSM Database, and to learn more about the author, go to www.thesportscourtblog.com.
WRITTEN BY CHRIS DAILEY