So close yet so far.
Or rather the better way to describe Adam Ender Misirly's latest bid to play professional soccer in Europe would be "So far yet so close."
"No, a contract didn't materialize, but I feel I made myself better known," Misirly said of his tryout on the other side of the world with Prottur Reykjavic, a second-tier professional soccer club in Iceland. "Sometimes, it's a matter of networking with the right players and coaches.
"I got a lot of encouragement from the team to continue to pursue my dream."
Misirly is a 2009 graduate of Lake Central, where he helped the Indians attain a portion of their current 11-year sectional championship streak in boys soccer. Misirly had offers to continue his career in college, but opted to go to Germany, where he has relatives and friends, to play high-level amateur and semi-pro soccer with the hope of securing a pro contract amid the region.
"The passion they have for soccer over there is what really impresses me," the 23-year-old defender said.
Misirly also played for clubs in Austria, Macedonia and Sweden. Back home in the states late last summer, Misirly was among the 32 players selected for the final round of tryouts for the Indy Eleven, a new addition for the North American Soccer League, but didn't make the final cut.
In December of last year, Misirly followed a suggestion to attend several combines in Las Vegas and Danbury, Conn., hosted by SoccerViza, a player-identification company founded by everyman journeyman Joe Funicello, who, like Misirly, was an American-bred soccer player who through dogged persistence managed to reach his goal of playing pro soccer in Europe.
"From my performance at the combines, I was offered an 11-day tryout (with Prottur Reykjavic)," Misirly said. "Though it didn't work out, I learned a lot from my time there.
"Germany remains my favorite country to visit ... I'm proud of my German heritage. But Iceland is a great country to visit, too. It's a peaceful environment and the scenery is beautiful."
Misirly plans to attend another combine in Atlanta. If that doesn't produce another opportunity, Misirly may return to Germany where the contacts he made during his two-year stay may eventually help him reach his goal.
"To play professionally in Europe has always been my goal," said Misirly, who has been playing soccer since he was 4.
"Soccer in the United States has improved over the years, but here we still don't have the tier system at the pro level. Over there, pro teams are dropped to a lower level if they finish at the bottom of the league standings. And top-placing teams from the lower tiers move up. They don't have that incentive in the MLS, but that's one reason why soccer is so competitive over there."