Free Kick: Heinemann works on and off the field

Crew forward understands the importance of giving back

Crew forward Tommy Heinemann is in his first season in Columbus and he has immediately has made an impact on and off the field. On the pitch, he had appeared in 18 of the club’s first 23 matches and scored two goals at press time. Off the field, he embraces the importance of giving back to the community and enjoys performing  a singer-songwriter when the opportunity arises.

Often compared to former Crew forward Steven Lenhart for his ‘mop-top’ and his flair on the field, Heinemann also shares Lenhart’s passion for community work. He understands the importance of being in the public eye and providing positive role models.

“Being a public figure, it is important to do community work,” He said. “We have a platform to be able to express ourselves. Kids look up to us so to be able to direct other people in a positive way and to be able to be a good example, and a good leader is very important for our society.”

A devout Christian, Heinemann, cites God as the primary reason he is so active in the community.

“The number one reason why I do things is to glorify God,” Heinemann continued. “He’s the one who put me in this position. He’s the one who has brought me to this point in my career, so the least I can do is to give back for Him. It’s very important for me to let Him use me in any way He wants, whether it’s going to hospitals to visit sick children or doing camps for underprivileged youth, playing my guitar at an event or helping out the Crew Soccer Foundation. They are all great ways to have a positive impact and to be able to express myself in His glory.”

Heinemann is not only active around Crew community events, but will jump at any opportunity to be out there lending a helping hand.

“Jim Schmidtke, our team chaplain, is a great resource for events in the community. Just the other night we went to see some kids at a little league game. I really enjoy doing different things like that. I plan on helping out at a soup kitchen soon as well. As I said before, God put me in this position and the least I can do is give back.”

“Tommy is amazing on our outreaches,” Schmidtke said of Heinemann’s community involvement. “He is great with kids and the children love him. He relates to them. He knows how to handle them and keep them quiet when needed. He knows how to get their attention. He’ll get down on one knee and talk them at their level, He’s very patient and he’s an expert clinician. He’s a true positive role model, people love him and he sets a great example caring for people.”

Another way Heinemann likes to express himself and give back is through his music. While in college, at Rockhurst University (Mo.), he formed a band called Stones Cry Out and recorded a CD.

“I was an RA in college and in my second year of being an RA my drummer, bassist and guitarist all moved in on the same floor with me so we could together and started playing,” he said about how the band was formed. “I had already recorded the CD, they listened to it and liked it. We played a battle of the bands at the school and ended up doing a mini tour of the Midwest during the soccer offseason.  I played a couple of times here and there when I was in Charleston after college.”

Heinemann’s faith is also credited for how he approached music and songwriting.
 
“I started playing guitar after a mission trip to Mexico when I was 16 years old,” Heinemann said. “Everyone in Mexico plays a guitar and it inspired me so when I got back I went to a garage sale and bought a cheap guitar and learned to play. I really like writing music; it’s a really cool way of expressing myself and another outlet to divert my energy and focus. Some of my songs are about life experience; there are some that, obviously, involve my relationship with God. I wrote a lot of songs around the time my wife and I started dating so there are a lot about the relationship.”

Crew fans who are eager to hear Heinemann’s music can visit iTunes to search for Stones Cry Out’s CD ‘A Cable to Perfection.’