The University of Tampa men’s soccer team is ranked second in the nation in this week’s National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division II poll as they hold a 10-0-1 record.
Their midfielder, Lister Warren, has a lot to do with their success this season as he posts crucial numbers putting the Spartans to the top.
The 6’1” junior is in his second season with UT as he made a huge impact since transferring from Cincinnati State Community College in 2008.
Through ten games this season the Jamaican native has four goals and 25 shots, including a game winner against North Georgia College and State University.
Last season Warren played in all 23 games totaling 11 goals, three of which were game winners, and 48 shots. His 11 goals were tied with Pascal Milien for the team best.
Nevertheless, he feels great and almost shocked scoring the game winning goals. He looks back and asks himself, “Woo, was that me?”
He attended CSCC for two years before joining the UT squad. He only played one season at CSCC, because a broken leg forced him to redshirt.
Warren said that having to sit out his first year was one of the hardest things he has ever had to do. It was tough watching his team lose knowing he would have made adifference. During his only season at CSCC he scored 14 goals and was the nation’s assist leader with 26.
These statistics earned him honors ranging from NSCAA All-America, First-team all-Ohio Community College Athletic Conference, NSCAA/adidas all-North first team and the ICCAC Best Forward Award.
Growing up in Spanish Town, Jamaica, where soccer is the main sport, Warren first began playing at the age of five. At Spanish Town High School he holds the record for most assists in a year and also tallied 17 goals.
Warren’s role model is his mother, Marjorie, who raised him and his six brothers and sisters.
This is the major reason why he became so athletic early in his childhood; there was always someone to kick the ball around with.
Similar to Tampa, it rarely gets cold in Jamaica, so he was able to play year round. Jamaican soccer is much different than it is in America. “You need to be super fit,”Warren said. “It is a less technical game there, requiring more moves and skill.”
Warren is not the only Jamaican born player on the UT soccer team and he says that is a plus.
The Tampa squad is made up of a diverse group of guys. “We have great chemistry,” he said. The team is always learning more and more about each other and where they are from. CSCC was not like this, as Warren was one of the only foreign born players on the team.
He sometimes felt like an outcast.Warren is one of those types of guys who likes to be with his friends, whether it is going out to the club or watching one of his favorite soccer teams, Arsenal and Barcelona.
It is not all about soccer with Warren though, as he likes to expand his talents to the hardwood, shooting hoops everyone once in a while. He also enjoys relaxing and listening to music, usually its reggae, but dance hall is also on the top of his list. The soccer star once met Jamaican track phenom Usain Bolt one night at a club in Spanish Town.
The junior is a management major here at UT and says he hopes to one day own his own business. That is assuming he does not play professional soccer. The future is becoming clearer for Warren with every game, as his knack for scoring timely goals and setting up his teammates is flawless.