10 things you (probably) didn't know about Luke Mulholland
10 things you (probably) didn't know about Luke Mulholland
As told to Sam Stejskal
- I grew up in Preston, England. Obviously football is just so popular there, so I started as soon as I can remember with a ball at my feet. Played with my primary school team, my high school team, but my whole time in England I never got picked up by a professional team’s academy. So I went and played for my local college team, Preston College Football Academy. Before going there I knew that they went on a yearly trip to America and the ultimate goal for that trip was for players to get scholarships to university. University football in England is not the same as it is in America, it’s a lot better in America because university sports aren’t a big deal in England. So, I had two options, either to stay in England, work and play in like the fifth tier and try and work my way up, or try and come out to America. I had my heart set on that, and got a scholarship offer from Wingate University in North Carolina after my English team played at a President’s Day tournament in Phoenix.
- Wingate was definitely a lot different than what I was used to. I didn’t even know where the college was located before I started, I didn’t really know what I was in for, so once I got there it was a lot different. One of the good things that helped me was that we had a big freshmen class and a lot of them were from England and Ireland, so we had a good core group of close friends so I didn’t feel too far away from home.
- In college I picked up the nickname “Dutch.” I guess Mulholland was just too long of a name for everyone to keep calling me in training, so one of my friends just started calling me “Dutch” because of the “Holland” in my name. It just stuck. The majority of my college friends would still refer as Dutch.
- My first year as a pro with [Wilmington Hammerheads] in USL in 2011 I was making peanuts money, so I asked for a second job. The head coach there put me in touch with the woman who owned the postgame pub where everyone would go to and also owned a law firm across the street. So I started working at the pub as a waiter and a bartender, and then one of the secretaries over at the law firm quit, so she asked me if I could be a secretary. I said sure and I was a lawyer’s secretary/bartender/soccer player for a couple of months, so that was interesting.
- It would’ve been nice to after my first year at Wilmington if I could’ve made the jump to MLS. It was a bit unfortunate actually, because after I got done with Wilmington I was going to go to Philadelphia Union for a Reserve League game. My PDL coach was an assistant coach there at the time so he was keen on getting me in and the head coach was too, but then they had a bad hurricane that weekend so the game got cancelled and I didn’t end up going. The next week Minnesota signed me for the rest of the NASL season and I ended up going there.
- Something similar ended up happening when I got done with Minnesota. My agent told me that New England wanted me to come in and practice with them for a few days. They hadn’t made the playoffs but were still training, and I had just got done in Minnesota, just won the championship and thought three days won’t hurt. I went in, but days before I got there the head coach got fired. So when I went in it was only the assistant coach. It wasn’t really anything too strenuous, but I was hoping I’d done enough to get an invite back for preseason. But after that was all said and done, they hired the new head coach and he got rid of all the backroom staff so it was like I’d never really been there. That was disappointing, but at the same time from that loan spell at Minnesota I attracted Tampa’s interest and they signed me on a one-year deal with a club option for a second season. I had a good first year there and they were keen on keeping me, so I stayed at Tampa for another year.
- I kept in touch with Jeff Attinella last year after he and I played together in Tampa in 2012. I’d check in just to see how he was doing, and he would always tell me to keep doing what I’m doing in the league. He told me that RSL was interested and then before the end of the season my agent told me that there was a discovery rights claim on me from RSL. So I knew they were interested, and I was obviously delighted with that. Over the offseason we were able to come to an agreement on a contract and I came in for preseason in January and felt right at home ever since.
- I’ve definitely been delighted with my start to the season. To get in the first game at LA, coming off the bench as the first sub and getting a taste for it, and obviously 10 minutes into the game scoring a goal, it would’ve been a dream start, but it is what it is now. It’s still baffling in regards to how that goal got disallowed, but I was just over the moon from the support from the fans that got into it and welcomed me to the club. That we got the win as well on the road, it was a great feeling to start the season off. Then getting the goal last week felt like a just reward after the first week.
- I don’t know that there was any inspiration behind my celebration after scoring. Obviously I enjoy playing my football and the best part about playing football is scoring goals, so I enjoy them when I do score. That was just a little dance that I’ve been doing recently in my celebrations so I thought I’d bust it out. And obviously we have [Joao] Plata and [Olmes] Garcia and they always like to dance so I feel comfortable around them, just showing them what my moves are or whatever, so it was all fun.
- I was very surprised with the big ovation I got at the fan event at Scheels this week. Completely delighted, very glad that the fans there were very welcoming to me. It means a lot you know, especially as a new player on the team. Coming from Tampa we had big huge support there, and it was sad to leave, but at the same time it was very exciting to move on up. The fact that the fans have been so great and warmed to me already has made it even better, and I’m really looking forward to getting out in front of them this Saturday.