There wasn’t another player on last season’s IU men’s soccer team that received more praise from the coaching staff than Frankie Moore — and it wasn’t because of his skills on the pitch.
Moore was selected 23rd overall in the third round of the MLS SuperDraft by the Portland Timbers, and Portland is getting one of the most dominant holding midfielders in college soccer.
The Highland Park, Illinois native has the technical ability to be a dominant box-to-box midfielder within the right system. IU Coach Todd Yeagley used him well during his time at Indiana, and the more he played, the more confident he grew.
— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) January 14, 2019
The Indiana captain was named First Team All-Big Ten in his final two seasons as a Hoosier and was a team captain in both of them as well. Inferior opponents were bullied by Indiana’s midfield, and Moore was the anchor. Without him in the lineup, IU was a totally different team. It showed in the Elite Eight matchup this past season against Notre Dame. Moore was held out of the starting 11 with a leg injury, but once he was brought on in the second half, IU began to dominate and ended up winning the match.
Fast forward a week later, and Moore’s injury was still lingering. It showed once the College Cup began as Maryland defeated the Hoosiers 2-0. Moore started the match but was eventually taken off because of his injury. The Hoosiers weren’t the same without him at full health.
A player’s true value is shown when they aren’t on the field at all. You can see when their team is forced to adapt without them. Indiana didn’t adapt very well when Moore wasn’t in the heart of its formation.
He did all the little things that people don’t normally see in order to be successful. When things didn’t go the Hoosiers’ way, Moore was one of the first ones to speak up and get his team into check. Many of his teammates, including Trevor Swartz, praised Moore’s ability to be a great teammate on and off the pitch.
"He does all the little things. The preparation, the work rate, the work ethic."
How Frankie Moore's soccer mentality could also translate to the real world for the @KelleySchool student. @michrami_ writes. #iums https://t.co/GkXRoVHOO8
— The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) November 2, 2018
Simply put, he’s a natural leader who doesn’t need to say or do much to get people to follow his lead.
With all that being said, Moore’s talent and ability weren’t the characteristics that made him a great college soccer player. It was his ability to out-work and out-hustle the man in front of him. Throughout his senior season, the coaching staff praised his work ethic and his ability to work hard on the training pitch and in games.
“His position as a holding midfielder is the definition of Frankie Moore — he does all the dirty work that a lot of time doesn’t gets noticed,” Ohio State Head Coach Brian Maisonneuve said. “He just does it to help his team, and in the end, it helps the team win.”
Maisonneuve was an assistant coach at Indiana during Moore’s first three years in Bloomington, and as time passed, Maisonneuve said Moore only got better. Once he was named a team captain, Moore began to lead by example for younger players — a characteristic that coaches love from an upperclassman.
There are a few new faces for #IUMS this year. Assistant coach Danny O'Rourke is one of them.
Frankie Moore talked with us about his relationship with the former MAC Hermann award winner.
Full conversation: https://t.co/pVRFOFbDyI pic.twitter.com/JSYTUe4gLo
— The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) September 20, 2018
“He had the heart, and he had the brain,” Frankie’s dad, Francesco Moore said last November. “He didn’t have the technique, but he worked hard. He was always a solid player and he improved from year-to-year.”
Growing up, Moore wasn’t the most talented player on the pitch, but as he got older and more skilled, he began to compete at a high level. Once his talent caught up with his work ethic and drive, Moore began to flourish, and it caught the eye of the Indiana coaching staff.
Indiana had one of the most talented rosters in the nation this past season, and if it weren’t for Moore’s injury in such a crucial time in the season, who knows? Maybe the Hoosiers would’ve been able to grab its ninth national championship.
Even with other teammates getting drafted higher in MLS and another going abroad, there weren’t many other players in the nation who were so crucial to the team’s success than Frankie Moore.