Not one to be shy about his #Grind, it’s second-year midfielder Brandt Bronico’s mind that will soon see him earn another addition to a growing list of personal milestones in 2018.
In a few weeks time, he’ll receive an MBA degree after completing his postgraduate studies via Southern New Hampshire and their partnership with Major League Soccer.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to have,” Bronico said. “I want to play soccer for as long as I can, but you’ve got to think about life after soccer.”
When he graduates in early October, Bronico will become one of nearly 200 MLS players, retired players, and staff to have completed their graduate or postgraduate degree online through SNHU. An accounting major at UNC-Charlotte prior to being selected in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, Bronico’s MBA has come with a concentration in finance.
“If you just decide to do it and you do the work and you’re responsible about it, then it’s a lot easier than people might think.”
The league’s partnership with SNHU dates back to 2015, and is designed to allow all MLS players and staff to pursue a degree while managing what can be an arduous training and travel schedule.
“I just thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity,” Bronico said. “We get a good deal on the classes. I’m still young and was in that school mode. I transitioned straight when I was done with college into (the program).”
On the field, the 23-year-old has seen his stock rise from appearing four times as a rookie to becoming a regular in head coach Veljko Paunovic’s midfield rotation this season. He scored his first professional goal back on July 15 against FC Dallas and has chipped in an additional four assists in 17 appearances (11 starts).
“The biggest thing is I’m fully focused on soccer and that’s the only plan for me,” Bronico said. “You want to play as long as you can. This isn’t a Plan B, it’s more preparing for life after soccer.”
While Bronico is no stranger to putting in hard work, there’s no doubt that completing his degree comes with a sense of relief.
“I’m super excited,” Bronico said. “I’ve written so many papers, and I do not want to write anymore papers (laughs). It felt long, but at the same time I felt it was necessary.”
Bronico and the Fire resume their MLS campaign Sunday (Sept. 16), with a visit from Orlando City SC (4 p.m. CT, FS1).