Former Royal playing pro soccer

Luke Kropp

Sports Co-Editor

Photo courtesy of Scranton Athletics

TIM DIBISCEGLIE of The University’s men’s soccer team is a professional soccer player, as he signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Atoms of the American Soccer League on March 19.

Tim DiBisceglie praised his coaches and teammates at The University for helping him reach this point.

The senior soccer player signed a professional contract with the Philadelphia Atoms of the American Soccer League, the team announced March 19. The deal is for one year with incentives.

“It feels really good,” DiBisceglie said. “It’s nice to be playing and get a contract here close to home. I had an opportunity to play over in the Czech Republic this summer, which I passed up on because I wanted to be close to home.”

DiBisceglie scored 27 points in 73 career games at The University. The midfielder could have been a professional already had he signed the two-year deal with MFK Vitkovice in the Czech Republic last summer, but he chose to finish his career as a Royal.

DiBisceglie’s return to The University paid off as he helped the Royals win their second Landmark Conference championship in a row and also earn a Division III NCAA Tournament victory.

“We couldn’t have done with any other group of guys, any other group of seniors,” DiBisceglie said. “Our coaching staff was excellent these past two years, and it was a great feeling winning and being able to go the NCAA Tournament two years in a row and get some wins there.”

The senior played for the semi-professional soccer club Electric City Shock of the National Premier Soccer League for two years. The Shock’s home turf is Fitzpatrick Field, where The University’s soccer team also plays its home games.

“The coaching staff there, I wouldn’t be able to be where I am right now without them,” DiBisceglie said. “They helped me out with a lot the last two summers with getting a lot of training in, playing against great competition and the training sessions that the coaches provide were awesome.

“Playing in that league was definitely a good first step to get me to the stage I’m at right now, getting me used to the mentality of playing in that semi pro league and seeing what professional leagues could possibly look like.”

Electric City is part of the fourth tier of soccer leagues, or three steps down from Major League Soccer. Now he is taking a step up the ladder as he joins the Atoms.

After 40 years of being defunct, the Philadelphia Atoms made a comeback. The Atoms are an expansion team in the ASL for the 2017 season, but they previously competed in the North American Soccer League from 1973-1976.

Although he is moving on to bigger things, DiBisceglie gave credit to his former teams, University men’s soccer coaches Matt Pivirotto and others, and his parents for helping him become a professional.

“Without them I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now, and I’m just very appreciative and thankful for the opportunity that I’ve been given,” DiBisceglie said.

The Atoms’ kicked off their 20-game season at home with a 2-1 loss against Massachusetts United FC at Arcadia University on Saturday.

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