The road to life as a professional soccer player is not an easy one, yet another one of our own from San Diego is living his childhood dream. Shawn Nicklaw started playing at the age of four, spending his entire youth career with the La Jolla Nomads in which he never looked back. After attending University City High School and winning the Red Bull National League in 2007, Nicklaw earned himself an athletic scholarship from a top-tier Division I school, UCONN.
Nicklaw recalls stopping by Soccerpost (soccerloco) to strap up with the newest boots before upcoming games or tournaments throughout his years of developing as a person and a player in Southern California. “There is no better feeling than putting on a new pair of cleats,” said Nicklaw. “My favorite pairs I remember wearing from soccerloco were the Adidas Predator Manias and Nike Mercurial Vapor II & III. It’s weird how much confidence comes from feeling good about looking good.”
Following college, Nicklaw signed his first professional contract, a two-year deal, with the Danish Superliga side, HB Køge. Throughout his professional career, he has traveled around the world playing for USL Pro team Wilmington Hammerheads, the Icelandic Premier League club Thór, and just last weekend Nicklaw kicked off his second season with the sophomore NASL club Jacksonville Armada versus the New York Cosmos.
Transitioning from college to professional “was a big step in terms of speed of the game,” Nicklaw says. He has also faced the challenge of being a midfielder who converted to an outside back for his club and country.
The lifestyle and travel in another country was an experience that has only helped Shawn evolve as a player. Born from a Guamanian mother and American father, Nicklaw has been fortunate enough to represent his family’s crest with the Guam National Team alongside his younger brother, Travis Nicklaw.
[quote_box_center]”Playing for the national team and representing Guam at the international level is something special and makes it even better when you get to do it with your brother and fellow San Diego natives like Ryan Guy and John Matkin.” – Shawn Nicklaw[/quote_box_center]
One of Nicklaw’s most memorable moments came playing for the Matao when he assisted his brother Travis, who scored the winning goal, clinching a second FIFA World Cup Qualifying victory over India during their 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group D match.
Looking ahead to the 2016 NASL season, Nicklaw has put in an extra amount of offseason work around San Diego. He grinds out grueling beach workouts and trains with fellow local professional players at the USD campus fields. We wish Shawn the best of luck this year in achieving his goal, which is winning the 2016 NASL Championship in November.
Check out Shawn’s golazo from college!