There is a life-changing decision facing three members of the IU men’s soccer team.
That decision creates a clash between two dreams – one in a scrub, the other in a jersey.
The tough question facing senior Ofori Sarkodie, sophomore Tyler McCarroll and freshman Matt Wiet is whether to pursue a career in medicine or professional soccer.
Time to decide
Although Wiet stepped foot on campus as a student just two months ago, he is juggling the prospects of two boyhood goals.
“I’m trying to decide between two entirely different worlds,” the defender said. “Medical school – obviously a little bit more of a prestigious job with regards to around the community and helping out, but pro soccer has always been a dream of mine.”
Wiet’s father, a physician at a children’s hospital in Columbus, Ohio, has given his son some guidance on the topic.
“He says, ‘Just go with your heart because you can always be a doctor later,’” Wiet said. “So, if I want to play pro soccer, I can.”
After shadowing his father, Wiet, the second oldest of six children, is looking at pediatrics.
“I’ve always been one of those people who loves hanging around little kids,” he said.
But the 17 years of school Wiet’s dad took to become a full-time doctor would not be of interest to Wiet if he turns pro.
“If I play pro soccer, then I’ll probably do something with regards to leg injuries or an orthopedic surgeon,” Wiet said.
Although Wiet has four years of undergraduate schooling and hours on the pitch ahead of him, his decision between professional soccer and medical school is made.
“My ultimate goal, as of right now, is playing professional soccer, either here in America or over in Europe,” Wiet said. “But, if I realize as it comes through college, through experience, that soccer’s not for me, then definitely medical school is where I’ll go.”
Time not necessary
With three years of eligibility left, Tyler McCarroll has loved medicine since he was young. Like Wiet, McCarroll grew up with a doctor for a father.
McCarroll has three years before he can follow in his father’s footsteps. Dr. John McCarroll is the IU men’s soccer team doctor, and Tyler McCarroll said his goal is to become either IU’s team doctor or work for the Colts as an orthopedic surgeon.
But the question of Major League Soccer or medical school is not as big of a challenge for Tyler McCarroll.
“If I had the chance, I’d always go medicine,” Tyler McCarroll said. “I love soccer, but ... even in high school, I always wanted to go to med school. That’s always been my dream.”
Time running low
Unlike his teammates, senior Ofori Sarkodie has to make his decision in just a few months.
With parents in the medical field, Sarkodie grew up in hospitals, and he would go to work with his mom.
“I’ve seen a lot of it,” Sarkodie said. “Just being around the game of soccer, I got really attracted to sports medicine.”
The back story, had chances to go into the MLS in previous years. He’s said medicine is a passion of his but medical school after a professional soccer career is not.
“You can’t go into med school at 28, 29 years old,” Sarkodie said. “I mean you can, but ... I have to look at something more along like physician assistant or physical therapy or maybe even optometry.
“I definitely want to try and stay around the game of soccer. It’s a beautiful game. I love it.”
Regardless, Sarkodie already knows where his future lies.
“Right now my heart is saying MLS, and I’m working hard for it,” Sarkodie said. “I want the opportunity to be at the next level, see where I stand with the pros.”