FC Harlem Alumni Spotlight: Akil Howard

Akil Howard, FC Harlem Alumni 2010 -11 was recently crowned 2013 Big Ten Champions along with his Penn State Nittany Lions teammates.  Akil plays defender for the Men’s soccer team and is the son of Neil Howard, FC Harlem’s Head of Coaching. Akil’s Nittany Lions are ranked in top 10 on the NCAA Men’s Division I soccer poll. Akil is considered one of the top 20 players in the Big Ten.  Akil graduates in December 2013 with a dual degree in Psychology and African Studies.  Upon graduation Akil hopes to get the opportunity to play in Major League Soccer


Related: Penn State Athletics feature on Akil Howard

“It was late summer of 2011, and everything was going well for Howard as he settled in at Penn State, his third academic institution since graduating high school. Prior to training with the Nittany Lions, all he needed was a sports physical exam, a simple and routine matter.

This one wasn’t very simple or routine.”

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FC Harlem Staff Profile: Coach Anders Khan U19

Coach Anders Khan and assistants Matt Nevin and Rodley Ferguson lead the U19 team to their second consecutive winning season in the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL) this past Spring.

The team finished the season 7-3.  Coach Anders a former standout player at Mercy College and captain at Manhattan Soccer Club joined FC Harlem in 2011. “ I was playing soccer one Saturday in Harlem and met Irv as they were setting up for Fall Rec League.  We chatted for a bit and he expressed interest in getting me involved with the competitive teams.” Anders recalls.

Coach Anders

Coach Anders tough love no nonsense approach immediately yielded results. Coach Anders took a team that was 2-8 the previous season to 5-5 in 2011 and 6-4 in 2012. This success did not go unnoticed by Executive Director Irv Smalls.  “I was excited to have Coach Anders be a part of FC Harlem.  As someone who lives in the community he was more than aware of what challenges these young men may face off the field so he knew that to achieve success he needed to first get them to bond as a team, a family, a community.” The bonding occurred off the field as well as the players performed over 100 community service hours through FC Harlem and the community. 2014 U19 Spring Tryouts begin in November.