The only thing Frankie Moore remembers is how much fun he was having.
Using various pieces of furniture in the living room to create the goals, Moore and his five other siblings made a mess of things while playing soccer in the house. His father, Francesco, would sit back and watch while his children played the sport they loved.
“We used to let them beat the crap out of the room,” Francesco said.
Francesco was born in Ireland, so soccer was a heavy favorite for all of his children when it was time for them to play sports. When Frankie turned four years old, Francesco put him on his first soccer team.
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
Frankie played other sports growing up, but soccer was the one he always gravitated back to. Francesco was Frankie’s soccer coach in the early years of his development, and he said Frankie always had the drive to get better every single day. He wasn’t the most skilled player on the pitch, but his effort and heart exceeded everyone else's.
“He had the heart, and he had the brain,” Francesco said. “He didn’t have the technique, but he worked hard. He was always a solid player and he improved from year-to-year.”
By the time he reached high school, Frankie was the captain of his Chicago Magic Academy team. Milwaukee and Northwestern offered Frankie a scholarship to play college soccer, but he only had Indiana on his radar. Francesco didn’t understand why Frankie wanted to go to IU, but they took a visit to campus and had a meeting with IU coach Todd Yeagley.
For any of his other children, Francesco would’ve denied that request. But with Frankie, he knew he could work hard and continue to improve on IU’s roster.
He had the heart, and he had the brain
“Frankie was always a pleaser,” Francesco said. “He always had the mentality to be the hardest worker in whatever he did.”
Fast forward a few years later, and he’s now one of three captains and a starting midfielder for the Indiana Hoosiers.
But for many, soccer isn’t forever.
According to NCAA statistics as of March 2018, just two percent of student-athletes reach the professional level. For 492,000 current athletes in the NCAA, that’s a small percentage.
Frankie Moore has to worry about the percentage of soccer players moving from NCAA to Major League Soccer — that’s just over one percent.
In the MLS SuperDraft, there are four rounds with a total of 92 players taken off the board. Last season, Mason Toye was the only Hoosier to enter the draft, and he ended up being selected seventh overall to Minnesota United FC.
Moore isn’t banking on making it to MLS — he’s been preparing to put himself in the best possible position if his soccer career ends at Indiana. He’s not counting himself out of making it to the next level, though. He’s just making sure he has a back-up plan if it doesn’t work out — and it all begins at the Kelley School of Business.
Pursuing a degree in Marketing and Professional Sales, Moore has taken the necessary steps to secure internships and apply for interviews with less than a year until he graduates. In the summer of 2016, he was an intern with the Indiana University Athletics Marketing Department where he assisted in preparing and executing marketing and sales plans for all 24 IU varsity sports.
In the past few months, Moore has held interviews with various companies across the country, and he credits the business school for helping him prepare for those moments.
“They prepare us pretty well,” Moore said. “I have a good idea after going through internships and classes — talking with my teachers about what the expectations are going to be like. I have a pretty good understanding of what my life would be like outside of soccer, so whatever decision I’ll make, I’ll be comfortable with it.”
I think sports translates perfectly to whatever you want to do in life.
Many players face the harsh reality of getting cut from MLS rosters. The Indiana coaching staff makes sure that all players get involved in clubs off the field in whatever degree they pursue in order to help them have a back-up plan in case things go awry.
Moore has been a member of the Indiana University American Marketing Association for the past three years, and he said playing on a competitive team for the majority of his life has helped him prepare even more for what's to come after graduation.
“No matter where you go, you’re working with a team,” Moore said. “No one does everything alone, and everyone needs some help along the way. I think sports translates perfectly to whatever you want to do in life.”
Yeagley said Moore’s skills on the pitch will translate off of it because of the defensive role he has on the team. He doesn’t score a lot of goals, but his effort and competitiveness in the middle of the field are what makes Moore so special. Those characteristics are also what Yeagley would be looking for if he was hiring.
“I would hire him in a heartbeat,” Yeagley said.
Indiana has a total of eight seniors on its roster, and all of them have started at some point in 2018. Moore is a player who has one of the more solidified spots on the team. He’s the anchor to IU’s midfield and plays box-to-box.
He’s brings a defensive presence to the pitch for the Hoosiers, and alongside fellow seniors Jeremiah Gutjahr and Trevor Swartz, the trio has been one of the best midfields in college soccer this season.
His skill isn’t what stands out to others, though. It’s his drive and determination.
That’s why Ohio State Head Coach, and former IU assistant coach, Brian Maisonneuve thinks Moore will be successful in whatever he does after his college days are over.
“He does all the little things,” Maisonneuve said. “The preparation, the work rate, the work ethic. He’ll do all of that to be successful in the business world, too. That’s why Frankie, no matter what his job is, he’ll find a way to be successful because of the skills he learned on the field.”
Maisonneuve watched Moore grow up right in front of him while both were at Indiana at the same time. Maisonneuve was an assistant coach at IU until the end of last season. He said when Moore first came to Indiana, his competitiveness sometimes got the best of him. As Moore matured, he got better at honing his fire and turning it into positivity on the pitch.
Those times are what helped Moore get to where he is today. He isn’t the most talented player on IU’s roster, but he’s turned into one of the most important. Starting in the center of the field, Moore has to do all the gritty work in order for his teammates to succeed. From connecting separate passes and turning them into one sequence, to making a game-saving block in front of the 16-yard box, Moore does it all.
He does all the little things
“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,” Maisonneuve said. “He just does it to help his team, and in the end, it helps the team win."
Moore’s time is almost up in Bloomington. It’s the end of the regular season, and the Hoosiers only have the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments left on the tab. That means any one of the NCAA Tournament games can be his last. At this point, he’s just trying to take everything in while he can.
“I’m just trying to enjoy every single moment — just taking every game at a time and being grateful for the opportunities,” Moore said. “Not everyone can play for a program like this or in big games like the ones we always play in.”
When Moore and the rest of the senior class departs, they will have at least one trophy and many accolades to look back on. The Hoosiers won the Big Ten Regular Season Title for the first time since 2010, and in 2017, they broke the record for the longest shutout streak in program history.
“Looking back on it, it’s been a hell of a journey,” Moore said.