Temple’s Armante’ Marshall recruits soccer players based on mentality

Temple University men’s soccer Recruiting Coordinator Armante’ Marshall looks for like-minded players to fit the Owls’ team culture.

Armante' Marshall, the assistant coach of the Temple University's men's soccer team, stands on the field before the Owls' game against the University of Central Florida at the Temple Sports Complex on Oct. 22. | AMBER RITSON / TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University men’s soccer Recruiting Coordinator Armante’ Marshall’s goal is to focus on the long-term strategy of creating a championship team, he said. 

Marshall doesn’t use talent as a main factor when scouting for recruits. His philosophy is to find like-minded players, who challenge themselves during competition, from all over the world.

“You look at the intangibles: how they work off the ball, are they lazy players off the ball, what’s their mentality when the game is difficult,” Marshall said. “You more so, look at players who are really showing their personality in tough games opposed to games in which they’re winning five to zero.” 

Marshall has recruited all kinds of players, from those turning down professional contracts, to play in college to those whose only offer is from Temple. 

In 2018, Marshall became the recruiting coordinator for Temple under the guidance of head coach Brian Rowland. Marshall’s best recruiting year came in the 2020-21 season, when Temple had six players earn AAC All-Conference honors.

Some of the notable players Marshall has recruited include defender Pierre Cayet, who now plays for the New England Revolution, sophomore forward Sean Karani and redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Eoin Gawronski.

Karani was labeled as a five star recruit and Gawronski was named American Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year heading into this season.

Marshall recruited Gawronski, who was under recruited in high school, asTemple was the only college to extend an offer to the goalkeeper.

“I came on a visit, late in my senior year, I met the whole coaching staff and ultimately decided I was gonna come here,” Gawronski said. “I think [Marshall] definitely did a lot of convincing so he was important in my commitment.”

Prior to his season-ending Jones fracture in his left foot this year, Gawronski was named to the 2020-21 Second-Team All-AAC and 2020-21 All-Rookie team. He also made 17 saves in four matches this year, including two shutouts. 

Temple brought in eight freshmen this season, two of which have received notable minutes including freshmen defenders Alex O’Leary and  Luka Kozomara. Six transfers joined the Owls and four of those players came from MLS youth academies. 

Marshall planned to bring in guys at all levels and is satisfied with the group that he brought in this season. Depth is key for Temple and Marshall recruited players ready to step in when called upon, he said.

Marshall has become accustomed to the year-long recruiting process and scouts players from across the world, he added. 

“There’s a phrase that recruiting never stops because it doesn’t ever,” Marshall said. “Naturally you’re ecstatic when you get a big fish, quote-unquote, but in saying that, you know, there’s not one player on our team who we don’t feel extremely excited about once we get a commitment from them.”

Before landing with the Owls, Marshall served on the coaching staff as recruiting coordinator for Jacksonville University from 2014 to 2018. He helped lead the University of South Florida Bulls to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances and two conference titles in 2011 and 2013.

Marshall has been on Rowland’s coaching staff for four years now and the two have won big games for the program, including the team’s highest-ranked victory against No. 2 Southern Methodist University last season.

Building a team’s culture does not take place over the course of a single season, but the subtle roster improvements Marshall makes will eventually help Temple reach their goals of winning the conference and beyond, Rowland said. 

“Whether we recruit staff or people, it always starts with good qualities as a human being and [Marshall] checks every box possible with that,” Rowland added. “He’s a great person to be around every day, and he does a fantastic job for our program.

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