August 2020 For all of you soccer fans out there, I caught up with Carmel resident and former Major League Soccer (MLS) veteran and All-American collegiate goalkeeper Jon Busch to talk about his 21-year career as a pro and why he and his wife, Nicole, decided to settle down in Carmel after his retirement from professional soccer. Busch was an MLS All-Star and also named as the 2008 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. Busch has grown his businesses here in the city and coaches both youth and adult goalkeepers. It\u2019s worth noting that Busch recently was inducted into the University of North Carolina at the Charlotte 49ers inaugural athletics Hall of Fame class, which commemorated the school\u2019s 50th anniversary as a Division I program. Busch was the program\u2019s second player to earn All-American recognition and led the 49ers to the NCAA soccer finals in 1996 before embarking on his minor and major league career. Realizing His Passion Early On in Life Busch was born in Queens, New York. His family moved to Virginia when Busch was about 10, and he began to realize his passion for soccer. \u201cI have an older brother, Mathew, who was striker , and we built a goal in our backyard and he put me in it and started taking shots at me,\u201d Busch shared. \u201cFor some crazy reason, I enjoyed it. There really weren\u2019t goalie coaches like there are today, so the little bit of coaching I would get was from my brother\u2019s buddy, Joey, who was a goalie for the high school team. He would come to my practices now and again and would teach me a little bit about goalkeeping.\u201d Busch continued, \u201cI played in the field and as goalkeeper until about age 14 to 15, and then I realized two things right about then: One, I was halfway decent at this goalkeeping thing and wanted to focus more on that, and two, I learned that I really don\u2019t like running. I figured the ball\u2019s eventually coming to the goalie so I\u2019m the smarter person. Now, whether or not I could save it is a whole different story.\u201d Busch\u2019s family moved to Pennsylvania during his middle school years and then back to New York to Albany where he finished high school. \u201cWhen I was in high school, I played for youth national teams,\u201d Busch said. \u201cI was very fortunate that I played for two straight years with the U-17 national team. We went to the FIFA U-17 World Championship in 1993 in Japan. That was pretty cool. From there, I went to the U-20 national team.\u201d After high school, Busch went to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) on a full-ride scholarship. Pursuing a Dream to Go Pro Busch worked with UNCC goalkeeper coach Eric Vaughter\u2014an icon in the nation\u2019s soccer world. \u201cI was very fortunate to work with \u2018E.V.\u2019 ,\u201d Busch expressed. \u201cHe is like my second father, and we still talk pretty much every day. A lot of pros would come down to UNCC to train with him. I remember after my freshman season, there were like seven professional goalkeepers that started showing up and training with us.\u201d Busch\u2019s relationship with Vaughter and his commitment to improving his game eventually led him to his dream job\u2014goalkeeper on an MLS team. \u201cI played close to 150 professional minor league games before I got drafted by the Columbus Crew in 2002,\u201d Busch said. \u201cI was there for five years total before I got traded to Chicago Fire. What was cool about Columbus was they had the first soccer-specific stadium in the MLS. And even though I was disappointed at first to be traded, I had three fantastic years in Chicago, and we had a fantastic team at that point.\u201d Busch played a total of 21 years of professional soccer\u201414 of them in the MLS. By the end of his career as a top-performing keeper, Busch had played for the Columbus Crew, Chicago Fire, San Jose Earthquakes and the Indy Eleven. \u201cMy last two years I played here for the Indy Eleven,\u201d Busch stated. \u201cI knew coming towards the end of my career that I wanted to start learning the coaching and administrative side of the game. The Indy Eleven coach at the time asked if I\u2019d be interested in coming over as a player\/assistant coach. I jumped at the chance and played for two years while learning the responsibilities as goalie coach and second assistant coach.\u201d Setting Down Roots in Carmel At this point in Busch\u2019s career, he and his wife had decided it was time to set down some roots and call Carmel their home. \u201cMy wife and I love the Midwest,\u201d Busch emphasized. \u201cShe had been building her personal stylist\/branding specialist business here, and we think that Carmel is very affordable and comfortable. The pace of life is great here.\u201d Knowing that he\u2019d always wanted to be a goalkeeper coach, Busch has been focused on developing goalkeepers at both the youth and adult levels. \u201cWhen I first moved here, I did a little part-time work for the Indy Fire club,\u201d Busch explained. \u201cI want to give back everything that was given to me from different goalkeeper coaches. It is my turn to give back.\u201d Jon Busch Busch serves as goalkeeper coach for the Indiana Fire professional team and the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis men\u2019s and women\u2019s programs. He also established High Performance Goalkeeping, which makes goalkeeper gloves that Busch designs and sells to youth and adult goalkeepers at an affordable price. His company offers discounts to the local area youth clubs to help parents with the cost of the gloves. Busch also established his High Performance Goalkeeping with Jon Busch\u2014a coaching academy where he offers private lessons and group sessions. For more information about HPG, visit hpgoalkeeping.com or visit jonbuschgoalkeeping.com for more information on Busch\u2019s coaching services.