The senior striker and second-year captain, an all-state selection last fall as well as Central League MVP runnerup, has scored 17 goals for the Rams (10-1-1 as of Oct. 7) this season. He tallied four goals in a 6-2 win against Strath Haven Oct. 4, and two days earlier scored two vs. Upper Darby in a 3-0 win. “He has been drawing every team’s top defender and usually has two opponents surrounding him,” said Harriton head coach Biff Sturla. Kades, who will be playing soccer for University of Pennsylvania next fall, helps coach Sturla’s Under 11 travel team and also the Lower Merion Soccer Club’s Boys 2012 Birth Developmental Academy. “He is a great role model for the younger boys and they look up to him a lot,” said Sturla.
Q: What has been the biggest key to your offensive productivity?
A: The biggest key to my offensive productivity has been the chemistry I have developed with my teammates. I have played club and high school soccer many years with Evan Tracy and Justin Nachman, and this is my third year working up top with Mikkel Andersen.
Q: What do you think have been the biggest key(s) to Harriton’s success this fall? As a second-year captain and striker, how do you see your role of leadership on the Harriton soccer team?
A: Going into the year, the whole back line was new. Our first year goalkeeper Zach Schulman and our defenders have done a great job against quality strikers. As a striker, I help our defenders in practice, explaining what frustrates me as an attacker and show them what I try and exploit in other defenses.
Q: Earlier this year, Coach Sturla mentioned that hard work and dedication will reward players who do not have original success, such as yourself. Who have been your biggest soccer mentors, and what was the most important thing you learned from each of them?
A: I have had the benefit of learning from a lot of coaches over the years. The two that stand out are Biff Sturla and Blaise Santangelo. I played club soccer for Biff multiple years and he eventually rewarded me for my hard work and taught me the importance of playing soccer the “right way.” Blaise coaches WCUSC Men’s Program and U23 team and has given me the opportunity to play on his NPSL roster and in the U23 Regional Championship. Playing with current and former pros and Division 1 players has significantly improved my game.
Q: Two of your goals in recent weeks were assisted by your younger brother Zach, a freshman outside midfielder. Can you tell us a little about those two plays, how they developed?
A: The first assist was a chipped through ball that put me on a breakaway and was an easy finish. The second assist, was similar, just from a different angle. He has made a big impact on the team with three assists in the last four games.
Q: You’ve played both midfielder and striker. What do you like best about playing the striker position?
A: I love taking people on 1v1 and putting the ball in the back of the net.
Q: What do you think is the strongest aspect of your game? What part of your game are you working on the most currently?
A: The strongest aspect of my game is my ability to take defenders on. I am currently working on playing with my back to goal.
Q: What originally sparked your interest in coaching?
A: I have learned through experience that coaches have a big impact on kids lives. I want to be a positive influence on the younger kids in our club.
Q: Who is your favorite soccer player, and why?
A: Eden Hazard. His dribbling and passing is effortless and he dominates every game he plays in.
Q: You wear uniform jersey No. 18 – why did you pick this number?
A: It has religious significance as 18 is good luck in Judaism.
Q: What do you think you might like to major in at the University of Pennsylvania? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: I plan to pursue the PPE (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) major at Penn. I want to be an entrepreneur when I am done playing soccer.
Q: What extracurricular activities do you participate in at Harriton other than soccer?
A: I participate in the Freshman Mentor Program and SpeakUP.
Fun facts – Alex Kades
Favorite book: The Great Gatsby.
Favorite author: John Feinstein.
Favorite TV show: Breaking Bad.
Favorite movie: The Longest Yard.
Favorite athlete: Joel Embiid.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Cant Say by Travis Scott.
Favorite team: Philadelphia 76ers.
Favorite place to visit: Florida.
Favorite pre-game meal: Pasta.
Person I most admire: “My parents. They work tirelessly to make my siblings and me happy.”
Family members: parents Howard and Meredith, brother Zachary and sister Lily.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)
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