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UNC Alum Alec Smir wins “Goalie Wars” at MLS All-Star Skills Challenge

As a longtime Premier League follower, I don’t quite know what my eyes have seen.

COLLEGE SOCCER: SEP 16 Duke at North Carolina Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Major League Soccer’s all-star week in Minneapolis was host to a variety of skills competitions. One of the more... unique competitions was the “Goalie War” where two goalies stood face-to-face in front of their nets, mere dozens of yards apart, and peppered each other with throws and free kicks.

For the “football” purists out there, this is a bizarre (perverse even!) manner in demonstrating goalkeeping skill. There has never been an example during live play of a goalkeeper throwing the ball on-target to an opposing goal. These types of throws are usually outlet passes to a teammate after the goalkeeper makes a save from an opposition shot on target.

No matter. The winner of this curiosity was none other than UNC alum and current Minnesota United FC 2 (Minnesota’s “MLS Next Pro” affiliate, a minor league partner equivalent) goalkeeper Alec Smir!

Tar Heel fans may best remember Smir for his stellar senior season, when he finished as a First-Team All-ACC selection with ten clean sheets and a 1.028 goals against average. Smir was drafted by FC Dallas with the 62nd pick in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, before ending up in Minnesota United FC’s reserve squad.

While the “Goalie Wars” are chaotic nonsense...

...winning does come with some sweet perks. Smir was got to hang out with some All Elite Wrestling stars, including Orange Cassidy and current “Ring of Honor” world champion Claudio Castagnoli.

Hopefully this win will catapult Alec Smir to further success on the pitch and into Minnesota United FC’s first-team MLS squad soon!