SARASOTA, Fla. (May 25, 2009)—Out of the many players participating in this weekend’s Development Academy Spring Showcase, Glen Martin from Andover, Mass., might claim the most difficult road taken to arrive in Sarasota, Fla. The goalkeeper for Seacoast United out of Hampton, N.H., experienced a once-in-a-lifetime injury last September that kept him off the pitch for six months, and nearly cost him much more than playing time.
Upon transferring from his public school to Brooks School in Andover last September, the 5-foot-10 sophomore became the starting goalkeeper for the varsity team. In his second game of the season, Martin came out to stop a breakaway. What ensued became much more than a routine save for the former Super Y National Champion ‘keeper.
“The kid shot it, and I saved it, but when he went to jump over me his knee hit just the right spot unluckily, pushing my organs up against my backbone and ribcage, which severed some of them,” said Martin.
"At first I thought the wind was knocked out of me, but once I got my wind back I felt the pain afterwards and knew something was wrong. I was airlifted to Children’s Hospital Boston, where they kept me overnight and I had surgery the next morning."
With a severed liver, pancreas and duodenum, Martin had to spend the next 70 days in the hospital recovering. With as many as six tubes in his body to help keep the sutured organs clear of infection, he had plenty of time to think about the season he might have had. But rather than lament the lost time, Martin simply went back to training with his attention focused on being able to play at some point in the club season.
“I was out of the hospital in November and then I slowly started back up, finally getting back to 100 percent after about six months from the surgery and now I’m playing full time again,” said the skilled 15 year-old.
Responsible for four of his team’s five wins this season, including two shutouts, Martin has overcome the initial apprehension he experienced when he first got back in front of the net.
“There were a few plays in the beginning that I would hesitate on, but training and practice got me over that,” he said.
Saying that he “feels totally normal now, maybe even a little better than I did before the injury,” Martin is looking forward to finishing the season strong and taking back his spot at Brooks School next fall. In a position that is often more dependent upon mental than physical strength, it seems a good bet that Seacoast United will be in safe hands with Glen Martin patrolling the box.