By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA – Former USF soccer star Brenton Griffiths has been a busy man since playing his final game with the Bulls.
The defender was selected by the Colorado Rapids in the second round of the MLS supplemental draft in January and spent more than two months trying out for the team before signing his first pro contract.
“That two-month period was one of the hardest periods I had to go through soccer-wise,” Griffiths said. “It was really challenging trying to stay positive but with the help of people around me I got through it.”
Griffiths, now playing for the Rapids’ reserve team, said he was well prepared for the daily soccer grind because he’s been doing it for quite a while already. The Spanish Towne, Jamaica native left home to play two years at Tyler Junior College in Texas before spending two seasons with the Bulls.
“After Texas moving around wasn’t really a problem for me. I’m here to get the job done and that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” he said.
During the evaluation period, Griffiths started in Arizona before getting adjusted to the altitude in Colorado. He even got to make a visit to a place he’d been dreaming about since he was young.
“Going to L.A. for the first time was really cool,” he said. “Growing up we saw all of that on TV and now I get to see it in person for myself as a pro, which makes it even better. It was a good experience for me.”
Griffiths said finally signing the pro contract was like “a big boulder” taken of his shoulders and breaking the news to his family initially seemed like an uphill battle. Griffiths signed on the dotted line on April Fools' Day and family members first thought the whole thing was a prank.
“When I messaged them I was like, ‘You need to call me right now.’ I really wasn’t telling them anything,” he said.
The two parties went back and forth for a bit before Griffiths’ family finally believed him.
“After I explained myself it was pure joy from that moment,” said Griffiths, whose sister was screaming throughout the house in Jamaica during the call. “I have that story that I can tell now.”
Griffiths knows inking a pro deal is only the beginning of journey, however, and he’s determined to earn a spot on Colorado’s main squad in the future.
“I know signing that contract is going to come with more pressure. I just have to stick with it and know it doesn’t stop there,” he said.