Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 33
 
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
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BULL RUN: Paul Ehrenworth controls the ball in action last fall for the Princeton High boys’ soccer team as he helped the Little Tigers go undefeated on the way to the Group III state title. Ehrenworth recently competed in the Red Bulls High School Cup, an exhibition contest featuring some of the top high school players in the nation.

Thriving in Professional Environment, PHS’s Ehrenworth Plays in Red Bulls Cup

Bill Alden

Last Wednesday night, French soccer star Thierry Henry thrilled a crowd of 19,035 at Red Bull Arena as he produced a slick assist to help New York to a 1-0 victory over visiting Toronto.

Weeks earlier, Princeton High boys’ soccer star Paul Ehrenworth was thrilled to be on the same pitch as he took part in the Red Bulls High School Cup.

After getting chosen for the game, Ehrenworth was excited to learn that it has grown into a national event.

“I hadn’t heard about it before; I did some research and I see that it started a few years ago,” said Ehrenworth of the event which was being held in conjunction with the Barclays New York Challenge that featured the Red Bulls, Manchester City, and Tottenham of the English Premier League and Sporting Lisbon from Portugal.

“It went from North Jersey versus South Jersey to New Jersey versus New York to N.J./Pennsylvania versus N.Y/Connecticut. Now it’s the eastern U.S. versus the western U.S.”

Ehrenworth, who is in his fourth season playing for the Red Bulls Academy club team, relished living like a pro player for the weekend.

“They flew everyone in and we stayed at the same hotel,” said Ehrenworth, noting that he ran into Tottenham star Robby Keane in the hotel elevator.

“We trained on the field in the arena. We were in the third game on Sunday. They gave us personal lockers with our game jerseys hanging there. We had the same pre-game and post-game meals as the pros.”

While Ehrenworth’s team came up in the short end in the game, he felt like he rose to the occasion.

“We lost 1-0 but I thought I played pretty well,” said Ehrenworth, who played left back in the contest.

“The coaches told us that there was a reason we were here and to just go out and have fun. The field was awesome; the grass was perfect even though there had just been two games played. They still had the video board on so we could see replays.”

For Ehrenworth, a rising senior at PHS who won’t be playing for the Little Tigers after exhausting his eligibility due to a transfer season at Hun, being with the Red Bulls Academy side has been a godsend.

“It has been awesome; they treat us like young professionals,” said Ehrenworth.

“I knew a lot of the players; some were on my Olympic Development Program team. The training is awesome; there are so many players. We have a group of 20 or 30 kids that train. Everybody is fighting for their spot; you know you can’t have an off day.”

Competing at that level has kept Ehrenworth on his toes. “On the physical end, it is similar to high school soccer,” said Ehrenworth, who played mainly in the midfield last fall in helping PHS go 21-0-4 on the way to the Group III state title.

“It is very physical like high school. Soccer-wise, it does get really good. There is some quality play; it is much faster than high school soccer.”

Although Ehrenworth won’t be able to play in games for PHS this year, he thinks he can contribute to the program on a daily basis through some hard training.

“I still want to practice with PHS,” said Ehrenworth, who has committed to join the West Virginia University men’s soccer program after graduating from PHS. “When I was sitting out after my transfer, I played with the second team in practice. I think it helped the first team to go against that kind of competition.”

Ehrenworth is looking forward to the competition he will be facing at the next level.

“I looked at Big East schools like Syracuse, Seton Hall, and Villanova,” said Ehrenworth.

“I looked at West Virginia first and I fell in love with the campus and the team. The other schools had a tough time matching up. I could just see myself going there.”

And he can see himself being a force on the field for the Mountaineers. “The coach [Marlon LeBlanc] has a clear idea of what he wants me to do,” said Ehrenworth.

“He likes his backs to go forward and be part of the offense. That is what I have been encouraged to do with the Red Bulls.”

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