After a disagreement at Delaware that led to his transfer, redshirt-sophomore forward Charles “Chas” Wilson has made an immediate impact for the men’s soccer team.
Playing on the front line for the Owls, Wilson is second on the team in goals (5) and third in points (11).
“The system that we play here is the same one that I played back in high school,” Wilson said. “I was able to fit in right away. [Temple] didn’t have a lot of target-strikers, which is my primary position. I was able to just plug into that spot and be a useful part of the team.”
While Wilson’s fit with Temple is evident, the reason as to why he ended up here in the first place is a bit murkier. Delaware coach Ian Hennessy said Wilson’s departure was “mutual” because neither side believed Wilson was a strong fit for their system.
“It worked both ways,” Hennessy said. “Sometimes it’s not a decision that either one makes, but rather a mutual respect for the program to just go different ways.”
Hennessy said Wilson left Delaware because of a lack of playing time and a desire to play in the Big East Conference next season.
“[Wilson] wanted a lot more playing time, and we just didn’t think at the time that he was a good fit.” Hennessy said. “I think [Temple coach] Dave MacWilliams has done a good job with the program. I also think the attraction of the Big East had something to do with it.”
Wilson said the decision to leave the Blue Hens was not mutual and that he had no intentions of transferring at the time. He said Delaware cut him from the team due to a nagging back injury he endured while playing under Hennessy.
“That’s kind of a sore subject,” Wilson said. “I got hurt a lot and [Hennessy] wasn’t willing to give me another shot even though I contributed on the squad. I fit into their system but he didn’t utilize me to the best of my ability, that’s for sure.”
Wilson first suffered the back injury early in his freshman year at Delaware, a season in which he was limited to one game. In the middle of 2011, his second season with Delaware, the injury flared up again. He was held to nine games, registering two goals and one assist.
“No athlete is allowed to be removed from a roster for injury’s sake at Delaware and probably any other NCAA school,” Hennessy said. “It wasn’t a good cultural fit for both of us and truly wish him the best with [MacWilliams] at his new home.”
Delaware is approximately 25 minutes away from Salesianum High School, where Wilson was a three-year varsity letter-winner. Wilson, a West Chester, Pa., native, helped lead Salesianum to two Delaware State Championships in 2007-08. The team compiled a 44-8-4 during his time there.
Coming out of high school, Wilson said a lot of the schools that originally recruited him were out of his price range. When he was cut from Delaware, Temple became a no-brainer.
“I knew some of the guys on the team here already,” Wilson said. “They asked me to come join them here.”
Following Wilson’s departure from Delaware, MacWilliams gladly scooped him up, he said.
“[Wilson] is a guy that really plays his back to the goal,” MacWilliams said. “He’s a guy that likes to get in the box and get on the end of things, whether it’s in the air or on the ground. That’s something we haven’t had in a while.”
Prior to his transfer to Temple, MacWilliams said he was already familiar with Wilson and his potential to light up the scoreboard.
“We knew about him before coming to Temple,” MacWilliams said. “We knew he scored a lot of goals playing for [club team] FC Delco. We were looking for another forward so it was a great fit for us.”
Looking ahead, Wilson still has two years of eligibility left following the 2012 season. With the offseason approaching, both Wilson and MacWilliams believe his role on the team will grow even further as Wilson is given time to become more accustomed to his new home. With more time to get to know one another and more time for Wilson to build even better chemistry with his Temple teammates, both Wilson and MacWilliams believe his role and responsibility on the team will only increase.
“As everyone gets more familiar with me I think my success and my role will absolutely expand,” Wilson said.
“The more time he has to get used to our system, the more he will do well,” MacWilliams said. “We’re looking for good things from [Wilson] for the rest of this year and for years to come.”
As for Hennessy, he insists he isn’t going to linger on his decision to let go of Wilson or how the situation was handled.
“There’s always going to be regrets. You could always do better or worse,” Hennessy said. “But that’s not the way we think at all.”
Tyler Sablich can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @TySablich.