It all ended with a trophy raise. After four years at UNC-Wilmington, senior and captain Phillip Goodrum finally brought home the regular season conference championship.
Although it was the culmination of his time in college, it is only the beginning of Goodrum’s soccer career. Goodrum was selected 75th overall in the 2020 MLS Superdraft by Atlanta United before signing his contract with Atlanta United 2.
“I knew Atlanta was interested, and I knew I was going to sign with Atlanta 2 when it happened. It was my first choice of where I wanted to be,” Goodrum said with a smile in his voice. “When it all went through, it’s something that I’ll never forget. One of the best days of my life.”
For Goodrum, the suspended season gives him time to adjust to the faster pace of the professional game and figure out ways to be productive at the next level.
“The biggest transition has been the speed of play. When you’re in college and you’re kind of ‘The Guy’ then coming to a place where everybody is good at this level,” Goodrum stated. “The adjustment to that speed of play and how to bring over my productivity from college and apply that to the professional level has been the biggest change.”
Once he has those adjustments down, Goodrum knows the goals will keep coming. One thing that has helped his transition is the team’s chemistry. Since the players only see each other at training, it was a nice surprise for Goodrum to see how the team came together off the pitch.
“Everybody gets along really well. It’s such a diverse group and such a rare group that brings all these different styles together,” Phillip expressed. “It’s just about bringing all those different styles together and being productive on the field.”
Soon, that team chemistry will be showcased on the pitch as Goodrum looks forward to resuming the season.
“All the hard work we put in that people don’t see, transitioning into a successful season,” Goodrum predicts. “That will be the most rewarding part, but we still have a long road ahead of us.”
Once the season picks back up, Goodrum is ready to explore more of Atlanta with his new teammates. For now, his favorite part of the city is the BeltLine.
“I rode the scooters up and down the BeltLine and had dinner there,” Goodrum reminisced. “I still have lots of stuff to do, but so far that’s the best.”
Another of his favorite things about Atlanta is how welcoming the fans have been.
“When I first signed my contract with Atlanta 2, I had so many people reach out on social media,” Goodrum remembers fondly. “I knew it was a big fanbase here, but I had no idea how big until then. It’s really special for sure.”
Atlanta has welcomed Phillip with open arms, and he hopes his collegiate success will carry over to his professional career. For the fans that have been so supportive and for his teammates that have bonded so well.