Brothers freshman midfielder Andrew Burkhardt and graduate transfer defender Corey Burkhardt have never played together on a team until now.
Both Burkhardts are new to the Temple men’s soccer team this season.
Corey, a graduate transfer from Seton Hall University, received another year of eligibility because he did not play during his first year in 2015. Corey played alongside his twin brother Spencer during his time as a Pirate.
All four Burkhardt brothers play soccer, including the youngest Randy, who is a goalkeeper at Lower Dauphin high school.
Andrew committed to Temple during his junior year of high school. Corey then followed him after graduating from Seton Hall in December 2018. He was looking to complete a master of science in sport business and thought Temple was a “perfect” fit.
Corey has noticed that there’s a different “dynamic” playing with Spencer versus playing with Andrew, he said.
“Just being a twin, there’s probably a bit more of an understanding because I’ve played with [Spencer] longer,” Corey said. “Playing competitively with Andrew, you still develop a connection just like any new teammate. Because we’ve played in the backyard before, I understand him probably even a little better than some of the other guys on the team.”
Even though they have a connection on the soccer field, Andrew and Corey like to go on separate paths off the field. They only see each other during practice and games due to living at different places and varying schedules, Andrew said.
Coach Brian Rowland has also noticed a difference between the two on the field. Andrew is an “attacking midfielder,” while Corey is more “versatile” and can adapt to multiple positions, Rowland said.
“They don’t have a ton of similarities in terms of just when you see them play and interact with them everyday,” Rowland said. “They don’t sit next to each other in the locker room or anything like that. They kind of have their own personalities and spaces.”
The Burkhardt’s have received opportunities to contribute this season. Corey has played 100 minutes in starts in the first two games of the season. Andrew appeared off the bench in the first two games and has logged 25 minutes. He recorded a shot on goal against Georgetown on Sept. 2.
Practicing with his brothers while growing up pushed him to become a better player, Andrew said.
He would often practice with Corey, Spencer and Randy. They used to play a game called “World Cup,” where they would all take turns shooting into the net. The last player to score in the round would be eliminated until there was a winner.
“I would be going up against them at the same time,” Andrew said. “Since they were at a higher level than me at the time, that would make me work harder and improve my skills to be able to beat them.”
Because Corey will only get to play with Andrew this season, he wants to take advantage of the time he gets to spend with his brother, he said.
“It’s an experience anybody would probably want to have,” Corey said. “Being able to say in 20 years that they’ve played with one brother and then three years later played with another. There’s not a lot of student-athletes that can say that. I think that’s something I’ll always cherish and I’m really glad that I did.”
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