BANGOR, Maine — Andrew Barrowman II left a mark on the state’s soccer scene while a sophomore at Bangor High School during the 2013-14 academic year.
The midfielder was named to the Eastern Maine all-star team after helping the Rams advance to the Class A regional semifinals.
“I had an unbelievable experience playing for [coach] David Patterson at Bangor High,” he said. “I truly enjoyed it and I’m definitely glad I went up there and played. I had a lot of fun.”
Eighteen months later, Barrowman is still having fun while competing at the top levels of his age group nationally.
Not only is he one of the leading scorers for the New England Revolution Academy’s U-16 developmental team, he recently spent a week training with U.S. Soccer’s U-17 men’s national team in Bradenton, Florida.
“It was pretty intense,” said the 16-year-old Barrowman, whose father Andrew played professional soccer during the late 1970s with the Chicago Sting of the North American Soccer League and now works as manager of sales and marketing at Bangor Gas.
“Any time you pull on the USA shirt and represent the country it’s a major honor, but I definitely felt like I fit in.”
Barrowman II moved to Marshfield, Massachusetts, with his mother last fall in order to attend school nearer to the Revolution Academy’s training complex at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
He now is winding down his junior year at Marshfield High School while training with his U-16 team on late afternoons and evenings throughout the team’s 10-month season.
“It’s almost a lifestyle,” said Barrowman. “You’re with the team constantly training and doing all kinds of exercises.”
It was through his play with the Revolution U-16s that Barrowman caught the eye of U.S. U-17 national team officials.
“He is definitely on U.S. Soccer’s radar as are a number of our players, so he continues to push himself along and we’re happy with his progress,” said Bryan Scales, the New England Revolution’s director of youth development.
“The U-17 national team is getting ready for the U-17 World Cup that takes place this fall, and throughout the year U.S. Soccer scouts all the development academy games. Andrew had done well enough to warrant an invitation to go down and train with the U-17 team, and he went down there and by all accounts held his own so they’re going to keep an eye on him.”
While Barrowman’s likelihood of landing a berth on the U.S. team that will compete in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile from October 17 to November 8 is uncertain, he was encouraged by how he played within that environment.
“I feel when I’m playing with better players that I play better myself,” he said. “We’re all competing for a World Cup spot, basically, and they had everyone down taking a look to see who the final roster of 18 might be and I definitely felt like I fit in.”
Barrowman’s immediate soccer priority is helping his Revolution U-16 club secure a berth in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy championships that begin in mid-June in Indianapolis, Indiana
With a 10-4-8 record, the Revolution U-16 squad is on track to qualify for the tournament, which largely features youth academy age-group teams sponsored by Major League Soccer clubs from around North America.
“The level of play is definitely a lot different [from high school],” said Barrowman. “I would almost describe it as two different games of soccer. In high school soccer you have your good athletes and your select kids who play soccer all year around, and it’s really is a different game as far as technicality.
“The game I play now is very technical. Everybody is as good or better than the next guy so the level of play is crazy intense. It’s a lot more intense, I would say.”
Barrowman has scored eight goals for the Revs, including one last weekend during a 3-2 win over the Montreal Impact U-16s.
Barrowman likely will stay with the Revolution Academy program at least through his senior year of high school before either joining a college program or more immediately pursuing a professional soccer career either in the United States or overseas.
If he takes the college route, Scales said Barrowman could return to the Revolution Academy during summers to play for its U-23 team.
“The goal for me is to play professional soccer no matter what,” he said. “I know that’s something I can reach and just being down with the national team not only ensures that I can achieve that — I was playing with kids who already are professionals at 16 years old and are on the national team — but I know someday I could even represent my country in the World Cup and take it from there.”