Memphis sophomore forward Mark Sherrod of Knoxville gained “legendary” status among friends and peers after he scored a goal against Bradley earlier this year after losing one of his trademark purple shoes on the pitch — the video of the goal even went virile on Youtube. But it is what he did the entire season that is garnering him even bigger praise.
Sherrod was named C-USA Player of the Year after finishing the regular season tied for second in the nation in goals scored with 19, a mark that also set a school record. He was named College Soccer News National Player of the Week Oct. 31.
“For a big man, he can do multiple things,” says head coach Richie Grant. “He can score goals in a variety of ways. He scores with the right foot, the left foot, the head. He wears his opponents down because of his physical size. He is diverse in the way he can get at defenders.”
“It feels amazing,” the 6-foot-3-inch, 185-pounder says of his award. “I have never had an accolade like that.”
Sherrod’s Tiger team finished 11-6-1 and barely missed an NCAA tournament at-large berth.
The purple shoe? Sherrod, a civil engineering major, has a variety of wild colors. “I get made fun of sometimes on how girly my cleats are,” he says. “I went with purple after 'Tiger blue' was gone.”
Search for “Legend of Shoeless Sherrod” on Youtube for more on Sherrod’s famous goal. — by Greg Russell