Three days a week after practice, Martin strolls to the Stadium-Armory Metro station and hops the Blue or Orange Line for the 11-stop, 18-minute, $2.05 ride to Foggy Bottom.
“It’s a long day,” the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School graduate said, “but I like to keep my mind active.”
On Mondays and Wednesdays, he attends an American history class late in the afternoon and astronomy early in the evening. Tuesdays are for a history discussion seminar.
Afterward, he climbs back onto the subway and rides to Friendship Heights, near his family’s home in Chevy Chase. When the weather cooperates, he rides his bike to and from the station. Otherwise, his mother Roberta provides transportation. (He avoids driving and parking in the city.)
It’s a different life than the one he left behind at Wake Forest.
“I was on campus all the time, living in the dorms, taking five classes,” he said. “Now, I feel like I don’t have much to relate with the other kids. I am trying to meet people and build relationships, but I’m not around much.”
The midfielder is not the only United player in school. Rookie forward Michael Seaton, 17, works with a tutor toward a GED after withdrawing from Central High in Prince George’s County last winter. Conor Shanosky, a 21-year-old defender who turned pro after graduating from Potomac Falls High, takes classes through Northern Virginia Community College.
Rookie defender Taylor Kemp is close to finishing his business degree at Maryland after serving four years for the Terrapins. Veteran defender Daniel Woolard is enrolled in two online courses toward completing an applied arts and sciences degree at Midwestern State, the Texas school where he played.
But Martin’s uniqueness stems from his family’s academic credentials and the crossroads he has encountered.
His father, Gerard, is a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s National Medical Center and professor at GW medical school. His mother is a pastoral counselor. Sister Erin is becoming an obstetrical anesthesiologist. Sister Bethany is a foundation officer at her father’s hospital. Brother Trevor teaches and coaches. (Another brother, Tyler, is a B-CC junior.)
On Collin taking an alternative path, Gerard Martin said: “Collin has always been presented with different opportunities, all of them amazing. They made us think in non-traditional ways. He looked at it this way: ‘I will still be smart when I am 20.’ Soccer is the dream, and in the end, he will get a degree.”