Family.

As many of you already know, I signed with FC Cincinnati back in November.

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Before getting to present day, quick recap. I was fortunate enough to be able to return back home to Raleigh for the holidays, and for those who know me, meant everything to me. My family means the world to me. It’s cliche, but cliches are cliches because they're accurate and as the saying goes, you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family. Well, even if I got to pick my family, I would choose my parents, Cullen, Sarah Grace, Sutton and Manning EVERY SINGLE TIME! 

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I was able to spend roughly 7 weeks at home before reporting to Cincinnati. At first, most people thought I was crazy. I left the nest back in 2011 to attend Wofford College and immediately submerged myself into the professional life in January of 2015. I was able to make it back home for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year, but that was only for a few days at a time. But going back to what I said above, my family is everything to me. When I realized I had this 6-7 week window of down time with no real responsibilities, I knew right away what I wanted to do - I wanted to go home. 

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My two youngest brothers are 12 and 14. I wanted to support them like they've supported me all these years. I wanted to be at every practice, at every game. I wanted to show them that while I am doing my own thing, I was still and will forever be their number 1 fans. My sister Sarah Grace, a sophomore at Ole Miss, was also going to be home for winter break and I wanted to seize every possible opportunity to be with her; whether it was just laying around watching tv, running errands, or getting pedicures. I also wanted to “kick it” with my best friend, my homie, my dude, my brother. Cullen is currently working in Charlotte and while I was lucky enough to share many memories with him while in Charleston, I hadn't seen him in his element. I wanted to visit him in Charlotte, I wanted to see him in his world. I wanted to be there to support him in all of his endeavors. Best part about it all, we were all home in Raleigh for the holidays. The family was reunited, for the first time in a LONG time, and it was absolutely incredible. Lastly, I wanted to see my dog, Copper. If he could read, he’d probably be very upset if I left him out so there’s his shoutout. 

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But now finally getting to the good stuff… 

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It’s repetitive and I apologize, well, not really, but my family is my everything. However, family for me extends past my immediate family. While I have been truly blessed to have the best, coolest, funniest, most entertaining family of all time, I’ve also had the pleasure of having another family; my soccer family. Whether it was for just one year back when I was a kid, or 4 years at Wofford, or 3 years in Charleston, or only a few days here in Cincinnati thus far, my soccer family is something I will always treasure and hold close to my heart. 

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We are just a few days into preseason here in Cincinnati and still getting to know each other, but I love this family. It’s hard to really express what I am feeling, but if I had to put it into words, I’m thankful, I’m grateful, I’m excited. I’m thankful to be apart of such a special group of guys. I’m grateful for the blessing God has bestowed upon me by allowing me to be able to continue to do what I love everyday. And lastly, I’m excited to go to work each and every day. I’m excited to go to battle every day for the guys beside me, the community that supports us, and the Cincinnati family that loves us. 

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I will try to post again here soon, but for now, it’s time to go to work; it’s time to get better. It’s time to #RiseTogether!

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