Andrew Akindele burst on the scene as a freshman for the Wisconsin Badgers back in 2018. He scored four goals and added four assists, playing in 18 matches. His performance that season earned him a place on the 2018 All-Big Ten Freshman Team and in Top Drawer Soccer‘s Top 100 Freshman list, where he came in at #44.
Unfortunately, his sophomore season didn’t go as smoothly as he tallied just one assist and only played in 14 matches. “So after freshman year, sophomore year was pretty tough with a couple of ankle injuries,” Akindele told BGN. “But, it motivated me to improve a lot of the structure of my body. So I’ve just been focusing on my body a lot, which is showing improvement in the game and off the field as well.”
“The mental aspect was pretty frustrating, but I’m just honestly grateful to be back on the field, which is the biggest thing.”
Now, as a junior, Akindele has scored three of Wisconsin’s five total goals this season. With the lack of consistent goalscoring, the Badgers have struggled for results with a 1-7-1 record. Akindele and his teammates will close out the regular season with a home match on Sunday vs. Michigan.
— Wisconsin Soccer (@BadgerMSoccer) March 16, 2021
Before he arrived on campus in Madison, Andrew established himself as a star in the Chicago Fire Academy. He said, “At the Academy, that’s honestly where I learned to play soccer. They just gave me my initial football education and I’m just grateful that I was able to get that.”
What would it mean to represent the first team for his hometown club in the future? “Going forward, I would love to represent the first team and represent my city,” Akindele answered. “I even grew up like five minutes from Soldier Field, so honestly to be able to play there would just be a blessing.”
Outside of getting pepperoni pizza from Giordano’s when he’s back in the Windy City, Andrew has volunteered some of his time, including with the Red Cross. “I do some decent charity work, especially with my family back home in Chicago,” he said. “It’s always important to give back, especially when I’m as blessed to do what I do and be a collegiate athlete.”