'Papa Joe' isn't showing his age

  • Article by: DAVID LA VAQUE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 14, 2010 - 11:21 PM

The oldest player on the Minnesota Stars is making big saves and giving younger players confidence.

hide

Minnesota Stars goalie Joe Warren

Joe Warren looms large in local professional soccer circles as a 6-4, 225-pound goalkeeper you can count on and a teammate you can have a little fun with.

Warren ended a two-year retirement and joined the upstart NSC Minnesota Stars this season. Known as "Papa Joe," the 35-year-old Warren got a good laugh watching a video of younger, smaller teammates dropping one-liners inspired by the cyber-tweaking of action movie star Chuck Norris.

"Superman wears Joe Warren underwear," Andres Arango said. "Joe Warren does his crossword puzzles in pen," Kyle Altman said.

And from South Africa native Two-Boys Gumede: "I am Two-Boys. Joe Warren is Two Men."

But seriously, folks, Warren's exploits this season are no joke. He became the team's starter when Louis Crayton suffered a season-ending injury in the first game. He stopped penalty kicks in three consecutive games. And he hopes to be in goal throughout the upcoming slate of four games in six days.

The grueling stretch starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday as the Kansas City Athletics come to the National Sports Center in Blaine for the first round of the U.S. Open Cup.

When Warren left the game in 2007, he did so as the longest tenured player in the history of the now-defunct Minnesota Thunder. Now, he is the oldest player on the NSC Stars (3-7-1) roster but determined not to show his age.

"I want to play every minute of every game, and I know I can," Warren said. "In my position it's a little bit different than the guys working their butts off running up and down the field. It's actually more mental fatigue than physical."

Of course, Warren is no longer the young man who enjoyed multi-sport stardom at Trinity High in Bloomington and the University of St. Thomas. He listens to his body and sometimes trades practice repetitions for rest.

"I hate to sound like the old guy but I've got an ankle issue and other things I have to be a little bit cautious with," Warren said.

Though the Stars have allowed a league-high 19 goals this season, Warren enjoyed a rare string of success by stopping penalty kicks in three consecutive games.

"That's a feat I've never really seen at any level," coach Manny Lagos said.

Even Warren struggled to explain the latest addition to his legend. He could not recall even diving the right way three times in a season.

"It definitely helps the confidence," Warren said. "I still feel -- it's getting less and less -- but I still feel like I've got something to prove to those guys who are all relatively young compared to me."

Warren said watching the team video made him feel good about his bond with the team. Part of the motivation for coming back was to better enjoy his playing experience, something he could not say about his final years with the Thunder. And he gets to make memories for Veronica, his 3-year-old daughter, who was an infant when Warren retired in 2007.

Defender Chris Clements, who came up with the video concept, said Warren, all kidding aside, has proven himself to teammates.

"He's just a huge guy back there," Clements said. "The keeper is the No. 1 guy you want to be sure of and he gets us going with big saves that give us a lot of confidence."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: D. Holland 4
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 2
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 4 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Samardzija 8
San Francisco - WP: S. Casilla 5 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: E. Stults 1
Chicago 27 FINAL
NY Jets 19
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Dallas 4
Anaheim 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 5
Arizona 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Time left for great deals

Bid thru Sept. 29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which struggling team is in the worst shape?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close