Eugenio was a key member of the Rattlers’ class of 2018 as goalkeeper and team captain. He earned First Team All State and All District while playing for Reagan. He took these skills to the prestigious University Degrees Abroad (UDA) Soccer Academy at The University of Chester in England. We had the opportunity to hear more about his first year…
Q: What’s your major at the University of Chester? How do you balance the demands of the Soccer Academy with school?
A: My major at the University of Chester is Business Management.
Q: What was most challenging about going overseas for the program?
A: The most challenging part was definitely leaving everyone and everything I knew behind. I had an important goal that I needed to accomplish for myself so that was enough to push me to face anything and go overseas to play the sport that I love!
Q: What has been the difference in the training and level of play compared to HS soccer?
A: A main difference is everyone’s eagerness to help the team complete it’s goal of winning the U23 league. The intensity and roughness during practice in England is unlike anything players here have yet to see, there’s absolutely no playing around and you have to want to get better and better every single day you are there or else you’ll fall behind.
Q: What has been your most memorable soccer moment at UDA?
A: My most memorable moment was making it onto the U23 team as a freshman goalkeeper and on one of my first games I was able to prove my worthiness by saving a powerful penalty kick to keep us ahead of the team that was top of the table at the time.
Q. Did you have the opportunity to attend any pro games in Europe before Covid-19? What was your experience?
A: Yes absolutely, I was blessed to be able to attend a Manchester United game at Old Trafford as my academy was nice enough to take the whole squad to experience it together! It was absolutely breathtaking watching the game as I was unaware that a stadium could start shaking because of the celebrating that happened after Manchester scored!
Q: How did Covid-19 affect your season?
A: Unfortunately, we had our year-round season cut short in late March but I was extremely blessed to have been a part of the team’s journey this past year. We surprised many important people as we were actually real good against professional teams over there in the UK.
Q: What have you done during the summers?
A: I have gotten into the business end with my father and I am currently helping his business grow as it was deeply affected by Covid-19. Work has been time filling but I am able to still find times throughout the week to kick the ball around and train.
Q What do you miss most about Reagan soccer?
A: I miss the atmosphere Reagan was able to create at the soccer games with our fans. It was truly amazing getting to perform along side your best friends as well as against your best friends. I will forever remember when I was fortunate enough to go to the state championship with my amazing team at the time and how important it was to push each other every day to get better! Big shoutout to Coach Villareal who helped me be where I am today!
Q: Which Reagan tradition meant the most to you?
A: No doubt the bus ride back to school after a big win. We would all sing along to what we called Bubbles as it was most definitely our team anthem! It was very exciting to be a part of and will always remember our other made up, triumphant songs as well.
Q: What advice do you have for Rattlers who want to compete at the next level?
A: Everyone has that big dream and aspiration in the back of our heads, keep focus and have the energy and attitude every single day to chase after it no matter how hard. From the bottom of my heart, anything is possible if you put your mind to it!
Thank you Eugenio for sharing your journey. We wish you the very best on your return to the Soccer Academy at the University of Chester!