Garrison resident plans for soccer beyond Binghamton
Devin Heanue has admired some of soccer’s biggest names, including England’s David Beckham and Brazil’s Denio.
But the 21-year-old Garrison resident said the biggest influence on his own game has been closer to home: his older brother, Macdara.
“He’s the one who got me into the game, and we still train a lot,” said Heanue, who is preparing for his final season playing Division I soccer at Binghamton University (State University of New York at Binghamton).
The game, he says, “is almost therapeutic. When I step on a field to play a 90-minute game or even for practice, everything else goes silent. It can be a love-hate relationship at times, but always something I love.”
“When I was younger, I played a bit of everything, some basketball and a little hockey,” he said. “But I never committed as much time as I did for soccer.”
Heanue began team play at age 7 at the Joe Palumbo Soccer Academy in Putnam Valley. At 10 he joined the Mahopac Tomahawks in the Westchester Youth Soccer League, then played for FC Westchester in the U.S. Development Academy League until 2019. He also played for the Garrison Middle School team and for one season, as a junior, at Haldane High School. In 2019 he enrolled at Binghamton to study environmental science.
Whenever he’s home from college, he plays for the Hudson Valley Hammers, in a developmental league sponsored by United Soccer Leagues in the United States and Canada, or USL. It has 18 divisions in four conferences.
The NCAA suspended play during Heanue’s sophomore year of college because of the pandemic shutdown, so he gained an extra year of athletic eligibility. Now a senior at Binghamton, he’ll play again in the fall while pursuing a master’s degree.
Binghamton competes in the nine-member America East Conference, which also includes the University at Albany, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, UMass Lowell, Bryant and UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County).
“There are never guaranteed, winnable games,” Heanue said. “Every team in the conference is talented and competitive.”
Last season, the Binghamton men’s team reached the conference semifinal after posting a 3-2-2 record in regular season league play.
The fall schedule is grueling. Along with academics, Heanue spends 20 hours per week on soccer, including two or three games, up to five practices and two or three weight-training sessions.
Heanue primarily plays left fullback. “The No. 1 priority of that position is keeping a clean sheet, making sure that opponents don’t score,” he explained. “For me, it’s a balance between times I go forward on offense or stay back and help the defense.”
Like most players in most sports, Heanue likes going on offense, an inclination that goes back to his early days at the Palumbo Academy. “I’d play a bit higher in the midfield,” he recalled. “I love getting forward. I love shooting.” He scored twice for the Bears in 2022.
“I’d like to play at the next level, whether in the U.S. or overseas,” he said. Stateside that could mean the USL; in Europe, Heanue has his eye on Ireland’s Premier Division.