Sockers defender Felipe Gonzalez has some solid advice for young soccer players who dream of being a professional like him: be fully committed.
“There will be times where you might want to go out with friends, but you will have to put it aside to get what you want.”
He says there will also be times when aspiring players will feel disheartened. When that happens, he encourages them to use disappointment to fuel their drive.
“In life, you might have a coach tell you that you can’t play or you may not make the team, but don’t feel discouraged. Keep pushing because eventually a coach will come around and love what you do.”
His steely determination began as a kid growing up in San Jose, California. He set a goal of going pro after watching his father play soccer. He also found inspiration as an avid fan of the local professional soccer team, the San Jose Earthquakes.
“I just enjoyed the atmosphere so much. I always wanted to play in front of big crowds and be a person who kids can look up to.”
Today, he’s living that dream in San Diego, playing for the Sockers. He’s enjoying all that San Diego has to offer and especially loves the team’s supportive fans.
“Sockers fans are all so great. I love the loyalty that these fans have for the team and the organization. They are part of the reason we do this. We love to put smiles on their faces. Watching all the kids be so excited is what drives us even more. We wouldn’t be here without them. So thank you Sockers fans!”
His family is also a big area of support for Gonzalez. In fact, having his family in the stands has been one of the most rewarding parts of his career.
“To have the support they give me is out of this world. It brings a smile to my face every time I know they can make a game.”
Winning the 2015 Indoor World Cup with team USA is another rewarding moment in his career. He thanks the Sockers head coach, Phil Salvagio, for giving him that opportunity.
Off the field, Gonzalez is a busy guy. He enjoys hiking, going to sporting events, and hanging with family and friends. He especially enjoys being an uncle and spending time with his niece. When he finally retires from soccer, he hopes to have kids of his own one day.
“I see myself maybe passing on what I have learned over the years, and building a beautiful family!”