If you google "Josh Wicks," its not terribly flattering. Wicks' Wikipedia entry, at the moment, highlights some of the things that led United supporters to turn on him. Then you have to sift through more results -- many exceedingly negative -- before you run across this terrific article by Craig Stouffer including Wicks' candid assessment of his shortcomings and his personal demons.
But perhaps that will change.
Last Saturday, IFK Mariehamn traveled to Helsinki and frustrated HJK for 80 minutes. The team dropped points after Wicks botched a punch trying to clear a corner kick that was put into the netting to secure a 1-0 win for the homeside.
The result was disappointing, but IFK's play this season has once again exceeded expectations and Wicks is being called one of the best players in the Veikkausliiga this season.
The dramatic change in Josh's fortunes has led him to be the subject of another terrific article by Brian Sciaretta over at Yanks Abroad which highlights just how far Josh has come. Gone, but likely not forgotten, are the days of just trying to get someone to give him a chance.
Now, instead, what is articulated is fulsome ambitions: (1) contribute to IFK finishing in the top four (or, better yet, three) of the league; (2) play at even higher levels in Europe; and (3) catch the eye of U.S. Soccer officials to earn a national team cap.
No doubt some will call Wicks delusional, but it would be a mistake to -- once again -- underestimate what he can achieve.