Mischa Spasic’s football journey takes him from Sweden to Norwell High
NORWELL – When Mischa Spasic ventured to the United States from Sweden at the age of 10, he didn’t speak a word of English.
But for Spasic, football was a language he already knew well.
The 5-foot-11 senior central midfielder and captain of the Norwell High boys’ soccer team grew up playing the sport in his homeland, learning the intricacies of the game and making it a part of his identity. Football has helped with the transition of life in a new country, giving Spasic the opportunity to make new friends and learn a language that is no longer foreign to him.
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It also allowed Spasic to showcase his dazzling array of skills he first cultivated overseas, which have now been fully on display throughout a sensational career with the Clippers.
âBecause I started playing at such a young age, I got used to the way the ball touches in different ways,â said Spasic. âI’ve always been around it, so it’s always been so natural and that’s all I think about all day. I feel like growing up in a culture where everyone plays football, it comes naturally.
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Spasic’s early childhood took place in the countryside in Sweden before moving to Massachusetts due to his father’s job. Back in Europe, where football is treated more as a religion than just a sport, this is where Spasic’s immense passion for the game was formed.
He rarely missed an opportunity to get out and play, even if it involved kicking the ball off a hard surface that wasn’t exactly an ideal football pitch.
âWe had a long recess, like an hour, and everyone was playing football,â Spasic said. âWe didn’t have any grass. It was like a sidewalk. After recess, we come home with bruises and stuff and scratches on our knees and legs.
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As Spasic grew older, his ability caught the attention of Norwell coach Jack Browne. Browne hoped that Spasic, along with some of his classmates, wouldn’t go the private school route. Much to Browne’s delight, Spasic joined the Clippers and started as a freshman for Norwell, a noble feat for a prestigious program fresh out of a Division 3 final appearance.
Spasic quickly gave the Clippers a stable midfield presence with his complete talent as he won South Shore All-Star honors in his first season in high school.
This was just the start for Spasic, whose skillful play, stellar decision-making and scoring prowess elevated him to the state’s elite by the time he was in his sophomore year. .
He led Norwell to an unbeaten regular season that year while also registering eight goals and seven well-rounded assists. For his efforts, he won honors from the Eastern Mass. Soccer Coaches Association All-State.
âThere can be opportunities. He can create opportunities for others. It doesn’t matter who he creates this opportunity for, âBrowne said. âHe’s very altruistic, which is pretty rare. When you’re this good, they tend to grab onto the ball and try to do too much. But no, he makes the right pass at the right time.
Spasic ran a similar campaign last year as a junior, albeit in a season cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Spasic once again earned recognition from the EMSCA All-State and was named SSL Sullivan’s MVP.
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These awards, along with his gifted game, make him a well-marked man now by opposing defenses. Despite the extra attention, it hasn’t been a hindrance for Spasic or Norwell. The Clippers are enjoying an unbeaten start to the season 7-0-1 this season, edging their opponents by a wide margin of 36-2.
âYou feel proud because I have worked so hard, I spent hours working several times a day after school and I feel like it all pays off in the end,â Spasic told About success. âSo that keeps me motivated and keeps working hard. “
Spasic’s work ethic is something Browne never questions. During the offseason, Spasic works tenaciously on his craft spending the whole summer in Europe, either playing for an academy team in Sweden, which includes two players from the Swedish national team, or at a training camp in Sweden. Serbia.
Spasic, who has not trained abroad since 2019 due to the pandemic, said he had “improved considerably” by playing against older and stronger competition in Europe. Browne agrees, finding it almost impossible to find flaws in Spasic’s game.
âThe engagement amazes me,â said Browne. âHe plays all year round. â¦ There is no weakness in his game. He is just a real student of the game. Just love the game. You never get tired of playing.
With Norwell’s offense running through Spasic in the middle, he steadily breaks opposing defenders with his astute footwork while possessing formidable vision to find open teammates advancing into the third striker.
He does all of this with a certain Swedish flair, but for him that style is manifested more in the controlled and thoughtful way he attacks the opposition instead of relying on brute force.
“The football aspect in Sweden is a bit more tactical,” said Spasic. âYou think about the game a lot and you watch a lot of footage and you try to really understand the game in your head and with your feet and get really technical. So I think when I got here it really got me. helped because here most people are very strong physically. They are strong, they are fast but don’t think so much about the game. So I think that helped me. Even though I’m not the fastest or the strongest , I always have a head start because I can read certain situations.
For Spasic, whose younger sisters Smilla and Olga play for the Norwell girls’ college football team, he hasn’t forgotten where his football roots are. And since he wears the Clippers uniform, he sees it as a chance to honor his Swedish nationality as well.
âIt’s a lot of pride,â Spasic said. âYou are proud of your country. Obviously I like it here but I’m from Sweden at the end. Before each game, I listen to Swedish music. It’s kind of my tradition. If I listen to this before the game, I know I’m going to have a good game.
Spasic’s growth in the game during his time at Norwell didn’t just come from his skills on the pitch. After being a less vocal underclass, Spasic has grown into a valued and respected leader, as evidenced by his position as captain.
âHe was a little quiet his early years, as I understand it,â Browne said. âNow he’s been coaching his teammates more recently. Much more vocal. Tell them where to go, when to do that run, don’t do that. Always in a positive way. I don’t know anyone who does it like him.
Spasic is unsure of his next destination in a football trip that has taken him across the world. He has garnered some interest from colleges in the United States, but decides whether going to school in Europe and playing semi-professional or professional football would be a better option for him.
Spasic still has time to make a decision as he focuses on returning Norwell to a State Final, which would only cement an already well-established legacy.
âHe’s by far probably the best fielder we’ve ever had in the program,â said Browne. “He’s so complete.”