Remember this name. Chase McQueen. He is the latest American goalkeeper plying his trade in the English football leagues. He follows a tradition of excellence, from Brad Friedel to Tim Howard to Kasey Keller to young Cody Cropper at Southampton. It’s quite a legacy and a lot to live up to, but McQueen certainly knows a bit about that. And he is ready to prove himself.
His soccer story starts in the most unorthodox of places: Malibu, California. Born literally into a Hollywood family, Chase chose a different path for his life. He blazed a new trail, one that was entirely his own. His grandfather Steve is one of the most treasured of American film icons. His father Chad is among the Hollywood elite as an actor and producer, and brother Steven R. is a well-known actor in his own right.
But Chase wanted something different, something that he could call his own.
“I wanted to write my own story,” Chase remarked. “I wanted to make my own path. Acting and trying to live up to my grandfather’s legacy wouldn’t be fair to me. Nobody could ever live up to what he has done with his life.”
An early love of soccer saw him start as a youth player in AYSO before turning to basketball. The tall and lanky McQueen could have turned his attention to the court, but soon found himself fighting to get on the pitch for Malibu High School’s soccer team.
That is where he first met Edi Mujic, a former professional player in Germany. Mujic is a star in the world of coaching, someone who knows how to develop players. His own daughter Frankie recently became the youngest player in WPSL history at the young age of 14.
“Chase’s development in the past three years has been equivalent to any other double in time,” Mujic commented. “His potential is deeper as well. His passion is tremendous and his work ethic is absolutely remarkable.”
Thanks to a lot of hard work and Mujic’s expert tutelage, McQueen grew from a 6’4″ 130 pound former basketball player into a 6’6″ 185 goalkeeper with tons of physical tools and technical ability. A fast mover, the young McQueen found himself moving up the soccer ladder, joining the ranks of Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb Academy, the Hollywood All-Stars, and eventually the London Tigers.
All of this came before his current stop at Cheshunt FC where the 19-year-old is learning again from the best, former Arsenal and West Ham forward Omer Riza.
Yes, playing for a team in the Ryman League North is a long way from the English Premier League, but McQueen is very young and just starting to show his true potential.
“I’m always open to looking at players as it doesn’t hurt and you never know what can be unearthed, maybe a diamond in the rough,” Riza added. “He worked hard throughout preseason and has given a good account of himself both as a player and an individual.”
“I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting his family in brief and they thanked me for looking after chase. My reply was ‘he has looked after himself and is a credit to you guys.’ This is very true, a young guy who has it all and didn’t need to come to the UK and try and make something of himself.”
A loan deal is in the works so that McQueen could head to another side where he could gain some valuable experience and get some first time minutes.
“As it stands Chase is still working hard and and who knows where it can take him. I hope his performance continues to improve.”
McQueen doesn’t shy away from the challenge. He knows it will take a lot of hard work and a little luck to reach his dream.
“I want to be playing in the Premier League in five years. That’s the goal.”
It’s certainly a goal held by many like McQueen, who admits he follows the English Premier League “like his bible.”
Is it ambitious? Certainly. Is it achievable? Why not? Dreaming and working hard has already got him this far, in just the short span of three years. And he did it entirely on his own. He has shied away from the Hollywood label and built his own reputation, one that has him another step closer to the dream.
Chase was quick to point out the role others have played in helping his dream come to fruition.
“I have to mention my parents,” Chase concluded. “None of this would be possible without them. I have the best support system and want to thank them for allowing me to chase my dream.”
The sky is truly the limit for the young Chase McQueen from Malibu, California. Three years ago Chase was just learning the intricacies of the beautiful game and three years from now he may be among the pros in the world’s top league. Anything’s possible when you are chasing your dreams.