By Liliana Marquez
Danny Suarez started to play soccer when he was only four years old. He never imagined that one day he would choose it as a professional career.
Suarez, 20, is currently part of the East Los Angeles College men’s soccer team and his contribution has been a key factor in all the games he has participated in. This has earned him the title of top scorer for the seven non-conference matches that the Huskies have played. Born and raised in Nuevo Leon Mexico, his love for soccer began at a very young age when he started to watch the Brazilian National Soccer Team.
For Suarez, soccer is one of the most important things in life. “My family is my first priority, and then it’s soccer.”
Smiling with enthusiasm, Suarez tells why his passion for soccer is so big.“What I love the most about soccer is to see how 11 people work together as a team for one person in order to win a championship,” said Suarez.
When Suarez steps into the field, he feels happy and complete. For him, soccer is a way of forgetting about the world and its problems.
Suarez admits that playing soccer at a professional level requires a lot of hard work and sacrifices, but he has the support of his family.“They tell me that if playing as a professional is what I really want, I need to work hard and (not)stop until I achieve my goal.”
From the beginning, Suarez loved the game, but he did not believe he had the potential to play as a professional until a soccer institution in Mexico told him otherwise.
He started playing as a professional for third division team Troyanos de la Universidad de Monterrey where a talent scout from first division team Tigres de la Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon went to watch him play and encouraged Suarez to tryout for the team. He made the cut. He played for the Tigres in pre-season and was about to make his debut with the team but a problem with his contract prompted him to come to the U.S. to look for better opportunities to become a professional player.
“I decided to come to the U.S. because I believe that in this country student athletes receive a lot of support, like scholarships, and I wanted to take advantage of that.”
After arriving in the U.S.. Suarez had a hard time trying to adapt to this country because he did not know anyone. He had to learn to do things by himself and become an independent person. Before attending ELAC, Suarez played a season at Los Angeles Harbor College, but he decided to leave.
“They didn’t give me a lot of minutes and I wanted to play more, so I decided to come to ELAC. Here I receive a lot of support both as a person and as a soccer player,” said Suarez.
Suarez enjoys playing for the Huskies. “We work as a team, but more than a team, we are a family.” He always keeps this in mind when playing.“Your work as an individual makes you win matches, but the work as a team makes you win championships.”
For this reason, Suarez always tries his best when the Huskies play. For him, being the top scorer is not a priority. What is most important is that the team wins, and he will try to score the goals that are necessary for the team to get good results.
Suarez, like any other player who wants to become professional, has a role model. Former Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo is his inspiration because he showed his abilities on the field and did not need to cause controversies to show what he was capable of. Also he has won basically everything.
Teammate, Dean Ramos believes that he is a very good player. “Danny is a very talented player. The team wouldn’t be the same without him,” said Ramos.
Salvador Medrano, his friend and teammate thinks that Suarez has the potential to become a professional soccer player because of his great talent.
“He is a hard worker who helps motivate the team and he is a good individual player. Danny is very intelligent and precise in what he does,” said Medrano.
One thing that can hold Suarez back is his temper. According to Medrano and Ramos, Suarez’s temper can affect his play and he sometimes blows up at the referees.
It is very important to Suarez that people take the time to recognize his work.“To see that they like the way I play is something amazing, because I make a lot of sacrifices and it just feels good.”
He also likes when people criticize his work because he believes that it will help him in the future, in order to avoid making the same kind of mistakes and to grow both as a person and as a soccer player. Suarez also has advice for other players who want to become professional. The only obstacles we encounter are the ones we place before ourselves. Work hard on your weaknesses so that they become your strengths.”
In 10 years, Suarez sees himself as a professional player representing Mexico on the National Team and playing for FC Barcelona. He wants to show the world that he has the potential to become a great player that will become part of the history of professional soccer.