It was confirmed over the weekend that Mark Lavery will go on trial next week with Veikkausliiga club KuPS, with the goal to take a starting center back role in Marko Rajamaki’s lineup.
The 25-year old former Oglethorpe University alum and Atlanta Silverback reserve has attended four SoccerViza combines in the past to move on to the next stage of his career. Moving from Atlanta in 2014, Mark went on to captain Hamar in the Icelandic fourth division, before moving to Costa Rica to play with second division side Juventud Escazucena in 2015.
“Honestly, I was surprised,” Mark told SoccerViza about the news.
“I was preparing for a different move, and getting all of my coaching and life responsibilities out of the way in order to go. I wasn’t planning on leaving [Georgia] until February for my next opportunity, but when I found out that KuPS had invited me in, that changed everything. It’s one of those things where, if a team like that is interested, you drop everything and go.”
Mark had previously played in front of Rajamaki at SoccerViza’s Florida combine in March, 2015. There was interest at the time, but nothing came of it, leading Mark to take his opportunity in Costa Rica. It could be coming to fruition 10 months later, as the KuPS boss has need for a center back again, and Mark was available after terminating his contract in Costa Rica.
“It’s funny, my wife was the one pushing me the most to go to this most recent combine in San Diego. I had been thinking about it, but decided that it might be too short notice after getting back from Costa Rica. But she really wanted me to go, and then for whatever reason, Joe [Funicello] sent me a text and told me there was an open spot at the combine if I could swing it. I decided to do it, and knew it wouldn’t hurt to be in front of scouts again.”
For Mark, it’ll be his fourth year in a row with a chance to play overseas, starting in 2013 with his first tria