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‘We feel like we hit a gold mine’: Simon Waever is making the most out of his transfer to Indiana men's soccer

He got lost in the pile in 2016.

Simon Waever, a senior transfer from Evansville, had a list of 10-15 teams he was interested in when he came to the United States from his home country of Denmark. Indiana University was on the list, but after sending an email to the coaching staff expressing his interest, he never heard back.

Four years later, IU assistant coach Kevin Robson reached out to Waever the day after his name was put into the NCAA transfer portal.

“When we saw him come across the transfer portal, we were very interested having already played against him,” IU head coach Todd Yeagley said. “He was one of their most dynamic players, and immediately we made contact. When we had him on a visit, we were pleasantly surprised on how he would fit in.”

It couldn’t have been a better time for Waever to transfer to IU. The Hoosiers saw 10 of their 11 2018 starters depart during the offseason following their College Cup defeat to Maryland in December. Indiana is looking to replace both its talent and leadership, characteristics Waever possesses.

“To be honest, I was pretty overwhelmed,” Waever said. “I was sitting in class, and I kind of checked my phone real quick because I knew messages had been ticking in. I saw the message from Indiana and I was just really happy. It was hard for me to focus for the rest of class.”

Primarily playing as a defender, Waever is beginning to feel more comfortable with the rest of the group and Indiana’s back line as well. He’s roommates with senior goalkeeper Sean Caulfield, and the two have developed a strong bond since Waever’s arrival in Bloomington.

Caulfield admitted Waever is still adjusting to life away from both of his former homes. Waever is thousands of miles away from his family in Holte, Denmark, and he’s two hours away from his girlfriend in Evansville.

“I’m trying to be someone he can lean on,” Caulfield said. “He’s a guy that does a lot of homework, studies a lot, so I think that takes up most of his time. But, whenever he needs something, I try to be as good of a roommate as I can for him.”

Even though he’s detached from the people he loves, many of his teammates at Indiana have opened their homes during breaks. One of his friends that he made in Bloomington invited Waever to his farm over Thanksgiving break. During this trip, Waever shot a gun for the first time and it was his first time being on a real farm.

Simon Waever tries to outrun AJ Palazzolo during team training in Mexico City. (Josh Eastern/HN)

Waever said the biggest cultural difference in America is the hospitality that’s been given to him. He said everyone has welcomed him with open arms. He knows the standard that IU holds each of its players to.

“I think they’ve done a very good job,” Waever said. “A lot of the upperclassmen have been good at communicating what the standards are. Other than that, it’s really easy to see what the expectations are like from the coaches and others during practice.”

Indiana is currently on a spring trip in Mexico City, playing two games against Cruz Azul and UNAM Pumas youth teams. The trip is beneficial for a team with a relatively big roster overhaul, but it may not be more crucial to anyone than Waever. The trip provides extra opportunities for he and the rest of the team to continue to gel together as they get accustomed to each other.

With many young players having to step up to fill the voids left by last season’s starters, they need leaders and veterans to lean on. Caulfield said the young guys are trying to soak up anything they can from Waever, who is one of the most experienced players on the team. He couldn’t have joined the squad at a better time.

“We feel like we hit a gold mine,” Yeagley said.

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