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Barry McCabe: A Team of McCabe’s, FIFA, Shamrocks in SF & PPS Training

Photo by: Jiajun Wang
We chatted with Barry “Bazza” McCabe this week to get the scoop on why he’s so legit.

You’re a bit of a fan favorite, how’d you think that came about?

That’s pretty cool to hear! But the energy and support the fans bring, during and after games, makes everyone on the team feel like a fan favorite. I’ve been lucky enough to hang out with them and they know all the players. It’s amazing to speak with them about the game and the club. They’ve created an environment where everyone feels involved in what’s developing here!

Thoughts on the song, “We all dream of a team of Barry McCabe’s…”

Absolutely love it! It always brings a smile to my face when I’m playing, can’t help it.

You’ve played in the midfield and in the back at right back, is that your new home?

There’s so much talent in this squad, especially in midfield, that I am happy contributing the team in whatever position I can. Right back suits me, I enjoy running and overlapping, creating space for some of the more technically gifted players like Mambo and Ashley (inside joke).

Your experiences have included University College Dublin AFC in Ireland as well as competing on the East Coast at the Seacoast Utd. Phantoms. Tell us about those and how does this setup compare?

UCD was a full time set up, playing in the top Irish league, but also allowed me to complete my undergrad. Gained lots of experience playing against seasoned professionals every week. Had one or two decent seasons here.
Seacoast was a gift! Very grateful for the people there that took an interest in me and brought me out last summer. I was just about to quit football after spending a year at a school in Pennsylvania before that. Amazing set up and great people involved. The standard was very similar, perhaps with a more experienced and international squad.
The standards are all very similar, just different in the culture behind soccer at home. However, SF City are really creating a culture needed for professional football here.

Ummm… you’re in FIFA 14?

Yeah, our league was featured for a few years in the FIFA games. Mind you, my stats wouldn’t the best. And I am possibly the worst FIFA player around.

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Tell us more about your daily 9-5 gig where you’ve got your own business in training and making athletes better…

I began an Athletic development program called Pro Performance Soccer at the start of this year with the goal of offering opportunities for youth athletes to develop the physical and performance side of their games. Playing at the next level requires you to have strong athletic skills. College coaches look for players who can play, but who are equally strong, fast and injury free. I am creating a place for players to become that complete package. It completely compliments the great work all the clubs and coaches are doing in the City.
Both my BSc and MS are in Exercise Physiology and my experience working with Pro athletes have combined together to allow me to do this! My current players include kids from SF Elite Academy, Marin FC, SF Glens Evolution and San Jose Earthquakes; they have all seen the on-field benefits of training to be a Soccer Athlete.

What was it like representing Ireland at the International level?

As a kid it’s always amazing to be acknowledged for your talent and hard work. I was lucky to play with a handful of current Irish internationals. I was in an Under 21 squad in 2013, it involved only players playing in the League Of Ireland at the time. That was the most satisfying as I was really dedicated to my football at the time.

Why San Francisco?

I got a taste of the place a few years back while travelling around, and ended up staying here for a while. I always felt I would return and live here, for a while at least. The big draw for me with SF is how open and promoting people can be of you and your ideas. It’s never “that wouldn’t work” it’s more like “that sounds great, I know how I can help you grow that!” I like that attitude to things, so that is my big draw here.

Your thoughts on the Irish community’s roots having a key stake in San Francisco?

It’s really cool to see how involved Irish people are in SF as a whole, there’s always someone to reach out to for advice. My group of friends I have here are some of my best friends, ones I grew up with, went to school and college with, so it feels great.

What else should we know about you?

I really enjoy receiving a 60 yard zing from Danny Kirkland, one of life’s great pleasures.

You can find out more about Barry’s business, Pro Performance Soccer by logging onto: www.sffsoccer.com/pps-program/