The senior striker has been a productive scorer for a powerful Aces squad during the past two LM boys’ soccer seasons. As a junior, he received second team All-Main Line honors as his scoring and all-around play helped the Aces post an undefeated regular season record and place third in the PIAA District 1 4A tournament. Lower Merion boys’ soccer head coach lauds Downey’s valuable versatility. Off the pitch, Downey participates in the Challengers Sports program, in which he plays basketball with special needs youths.
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: I believe that the strongest aspect of my game definitely has to be my finishing inside the box. I would like to improve my long shots so I can be more dangerous further from the goal.
Q: Tell us a little about your soccer training in the past offseason, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. What have you found to be the biggest challenge to your training during the pandemic, and how have you handled that?
A: Throughout the pandemic it was hard to find field space because for a while my club team wasn’t even playing. Most of the fields I would try to go to for practice would be closed, or someone told me I wasn’t allowed to play. I mainly just focused on keeping my fitness up and maintaining strength. After a couple of months my club team started training so I started to get back in the groove of playing again.
Q: Have you always played a striker position? What sparked your original interest in the striker position?
A: When I was really young and played on LMSC I played striker and I loved it, but then when I switched clubs to FC Delco, they saw me more of a center mid. I played center mid for club, but then played striker for Lower Merion. Striker is without a doubt my favorite position though, I’ve always been hungry in front of the net and I love that exhilarating feeling after scoring.
Q: How do you see your role as a team leader – on the field as a striker, and off the field as a senior in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: I believe I am one of the key team leaders for the Aces, on the field my teammates trust me with the ball and know that I can distribute well. Depending on the different teams we play, I adapt to how the center backs cover me. Also, I am good at playing with my back to goal, which gives opportunities for the wingers to get in behind. The team chemistry is really strong at Lower Merion, everyone on the team feels like they belong there. The COVID-19 pandemic has been scary, because at one point our season was postponed and has the chance of getting canceled. As soon as the season was put back on, the team went back to training hard and safe. I try to make sure everyone is being as safe as possible, but it definitely is worse not embracing teammates as much.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: Throughout the day I try to drink as much water as possible. I like to have a bacon, egg, and cheese for breakfast and then get my uniforms together and other attire for the game. I like to try to chill out but it’s hard because I usually have a lot of adrenaline the day of a game. Then I listen to music and eat my bagel with peanut butter and bananas and get hyped for the game.
Q: You wear uniform jersey No. 12 for Lower Merion. Why did you pick this number – was there a particular reason?
A: I wear No. 12 because it is my favorite number and has been since I was a child. It may sound silly but I have always been drawn to it.
Q: What is your favorite course at Lower Merion? What do you think you might want to major in at college? Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: My favorite course throughout my years at Lower Merion was most likely Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors. I want to major in business and I’m really excited to learn about it in college. A career field that interests me right now is real estate, and would like to get into that as early as possible.
Fun facts – Owen Downey
Favorite book: Percy Jackson.
Favorite TV show: The Boys.
Favorite movie: Wolf of Wall Street.
Favorite athlete: Desean Jackson.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: The Motto by Drake.
Favorite team: Philadelphia Eagles.
Favorite place to visit: Sea Isle City, N.J.
Favorite pre-game meal: Bagel with peanut butter and bananas.
Person I most admire, and why: “I admire both of my parents, Matt and Daneen, because without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. They always push me to the best of my abilities and put me first every day.”
Family members: parents Matt and Daneen, younger sister Grace (who also plays soccer).
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)