Trinity's Lawson Signs with San Antonio Scorpions

Trinity's Lawson Signs with San Antonio Scorpions

(Story courtesy of Trinity University Sports Information)
SAN ANTONIO, Texas- Another former Trinity men's soccer standout has signed a contract to play professional soccer. Forward Johnny Lawson has signed to play with the San Antonio Scorpions of the North American Soccer League.

"When I signed my contract it was a huge relief. To know all my hard work paid off and that I was able to make it to the pro level was extremely gratifying," Lawson said.

Lawson went on trial with the Scorpions this February, but was cut from the squad. Since then, he has been practicing with the club every weekday, and was finally able to sign a professional contract with his hometown team this week.

"It really is a dream come true to sign for my hometown club. It gives me extra motivation to go out every day and get better," Lawson said. "It means a lot to me to be able to go out and play in front of the people I love in the city I love!"

He is now the second Trinity soccer graduate to sign with the Scorpions. Former teammate and goalkeeper Matt Cardone signed with the team earlier this year, and has made two starts already in his rookie season.

"I am very pleased to be on a team with Matt again," Lawson said. " Matt is an extremely talented goalie with a great work ethic to go along with it. It is a comforting feeling knowing he is between those two posts, almost nothing gets by him."

Cardone and Lawson have played together since the two were in middle school. They both competed for the Classics Elite Soccer Club, and were a part of the original U16/18 USSF Development Academy in San Antonio.

In 2014, Lawson was instrumental in helping lead the Tigers to their second straight appearance in the quarterfinals round of the Division III NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament. He paced the team with 18 goals, and was second on the team with eight assists during the season. His 41 career goals in maroon and white are good enough to earn him sixth place in career goals scored for Trinity.

"At Trinity I was able to play with some of the most talented players in the country," Lawson said. "Playing with people like Victor (Araujo), Yuri (Ribeiro), Darren (McAfee), and Matt, I was able to see what level I needed to be at."

Lawson was also named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year for the 2014 season, as well as being named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-West Region First Team this season. It is his second time being honored by the NSCAA; in 2013 he earned a spot on the Second Team. He was also named the SCAC Tournament Offensive MVP in 2014 and 2012, and earned two All-SCAC First Team selections during his three years as a Tiger.

Trinity was not Lawson's first choice for playing collegiate soccer though. For his freshman season in 2011 he played for former Trinity men's soccer player and coach Chris Garcia-Prats ('02) and the Luther College Norsemen, of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. As a forward he played in 22 games for the Norsemen, and netted five goals and one assist, including two goals in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

"Truth be told I didn't have many offers coming out of high school even though I was a City Player of the Year. The head coach at Luther college is actually a Trinity alum," Lawson said. "Chris Garcia-Prats was an assistant coach to Paul McGinlay for many years, and my club coach when I was young. We had and still have a great relationship, and that is why I chose Luther."

"I chose to come back because it was freezing five months out of the year, and it wasn't something I enjoyed," Lawson said of his decision to transfer to Trinity after his freshman season. "When Trinity became an option I jumped at the chance to play for such a winning program."

Prior to attending Luther and Trinity, Lawson was a four year starter for local Clark High School in San Antonio. He also lead the district in goals scored during his junior and senior seasons, which earned him two All-City Super Team selections. He was named the 5A Player of the Year his junior season and All-City Player of the Year as a senior.

He joins a San Antonio Scorpions squad that won the NASL Championship title for the first time in franchise history during the 2014 season, and currently sits ninth in the combined league standings.