Freshman midfielder an ‘important piece’ of men’s soccer

The freshman is emerging as an offensive leader, recording the most points of any men’s soccer player.

Freshman midfielder Jalen Campbell runs toward the ball during the Owls’ 0-1 loss to St. John’s University on Aug. 8. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Jalen Campbell continued his timely offensive production during Temple University’s men’s soccer game against Duquesne University on Saturday. 

With the Owls trailing by a goal in the 87th minute, the freshman midfielder set up junior forward Lukas Fernandes’ game-tying score to help the Owls earn a 1-1 draw.

Campbell recorded his second assist of the season on Saturday, and he leads the Owls (2-4-1) in points so far this season with four, coming from a goal and two assists. 

“I expected this output from him,” coach Brian Rowland said. “We try to score team goals and certainly where he is on the field puts him in position to make plays that I know he can make, so certainly he’s an important piece.”

His first college goal was the game-winner in overtime against Rider University on Sept. 5 in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Campbell assisted the tying goal in the 87th minute of Temple’s 1-1 draw with Duquesne University on Sunday in Pittsburgh.

“For my first goal, it was pretty exciting,” Campbell said. “Just the feeling and the vibe of the game was amazing, and scoring the goal in [overtime] was just awesome, especially celebrating with my teammates.”

Campbell has started every game so far and has recorded the most shots for Temple, tied with senior midfielder Hermann Doerner with 10 shots.

Rowland said part of what makes Campbell a valuable player is his ability to play multiple roles on the field. While Campbell is primarily a midfielder, he has played forward and outside mid positions, too. 

Campbell has been placed all over the field since he started playing soccer at age 3. When he got older and competed for his Canadian club team, Vaughan Azzurri 2000, Campbell began to focus on the offensive roles of midfielder, wide and forward. 

Campbell’s offensive production has earned him nods from the American Athletic Conference and the Philly Soccer Six, as he was named Rookie of the Week for the week of Sept. 10. 

“As he grows in his time here as a player, his role may become a little bit more specific, but right now, he’s giving us a lot of energy in our attack, and he’s pretty versatile,” Rowland said. “We can play a few different formations and know that he just understands spacing and where to go, so he just gives us some fluidity that’s important.”

Campbell has developed a close connection on and off the field with freshman midfielder Andres Charles-Barrera. Campbell, from Brampton, Ontario, and Charles-Barrera, from Coquitlam, British Columbia, were randomly matched as roommates and play next to each other in the midfield. 

Sometimes, when they are deep in conversation, the two are interrupted by their teammates who call them out when they use Canadian slang and slip in too many “ehs” while talking.

“We get caught up in slang that a Canadian would say,” Campbell said. “Someone else may jump on it and that’s when we notice after, that we’ve been talking like that.”

His teammates also notice his work ethic and, though Campbell is not necessarily a vocal leader, he still has influence on the team as a freshman.

“Jalen just makes everyone work harder just because the way he works himself,” Charles-Barrera said. “He works hard, he motivates others and he just motivates everyone to do better, to run more, to do more sprints, just everything like that.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.