North Park Soccer Celebrates One of its Brightest Stars

Isaac Lee

“Isaac Lee has given us a lot of credibility in the soccer community.”

CHICAGO, IL (May 18, 2009) – When Isaac Lee returns to South Korea to play professional soccer this summer, he will leave North Park University as one of the most accomplished athletes in the school’s history, says Coach John Born.

Lee has distinguished himself on and off the field. A four-year letter winner and All-American, he was a 2006 CCIW champion and the 2009 North Park Male Athlete of the Year. He also played on the development team for the Chicago Fire in the Major Soccer League, and just missed making the cut for the South Korean Olympic team. (Read more about Lee’s accomplishments in our Athletics section.)

Lee came to the United States when he was 15 so that he could play soccer and receive a strong education. He attended high school at Marmion Academy in Aurora, Ill., and was courted by Division I schools such as Indiana and Ohio State universities. But it was the relationship Lee built with a North Park coach that made the difference.

“A lot of coaches say, ‘I’ll help you,’ but Coach John—I felt like I could trust him,” Lee says. It also helped that Born was serious about his Christian faith and that his wife is Korean.
Lee came to North Park in 2003 and played one season for the Vikings before moving to Germany to play European soccer. He quickly advanced up the amateur ranks and was scouted by large professional clubs, but ultimately decided that he needed to finish his college degree and returned to North Park. He will complete his final two classes this summer, and then plans to return to Korea to be closer to family.

While he looks forward to the next chapter of his life, Lee says, “I have really had a great experience at North Park.” Born, too, is grateful to have had Lee be a part of the North Park team. “It’s been a big privilege to have him,” he says. “He has given us a lot of credibility in the soccer community.”