For junior business major Nathanael Torres, soccer is the best sport in the world. “It’s the most played in the world, the most watched in the world—I just think it’s an amazing sport.”
Torres is excited because Union will be launching a varsity soccer team this fall. “We haven’t had a varsity soccer team since 2001,” said Ric Spaulding, Union’s athletic director. “In recent years we’ve, had more and more students interested in playing, so we’re launching a men’s team for next school year.”
Torres, who grew up surrounded by soccer in France and Equador, believes the game is about more than just competing and staying fit. He remembered a mission trip to Myanmar where he played a soccer game with a group of monks. “I didn’t know their language, but through soccer we became good friends. Even though we come from different religions, soccer brought us together.”
A new coach
Harold Alomia, lead pastor of College View Seventh-day Adventist Church, will be the head coach. Born in the United States, he grew up an enthusiastic Chicago Cubs baseball fan. At age 7, he moved back to Peru where soccer is a beloved sport and found himself falling in love with it. “We didn’t have a TV at the time,” recounted Alomia. “So my dad and I would go to his friend’s house and watch the Spanish League and talk soccer. That was the end of baseball and beginning of my love for soccer. It sparked a love for the game that never went away.”
Alomia loves the strategy that goes behind the plays and seeing game plans come to life on the field. He has previously coached both the men’s and women’s teams at Campion Academy in Colorado.
He plans to teach his team that soccer is not just about winning. “Teamwork. No one can accomplish anything by himself of herself,” he said. “I’d also like to teach our players to be classy in a win or loss. At the end of the day, we don’t just represent ourselves but Union College and our church. Let’s have some fun, win some games, and be classy. All in all, I’m excited for this season.”
“I’m excited to have Pastor Alomia as a coach,” said Torres. “I believe he will not only teach us to strengthen our soccer game, but also our spiritual life.”
A fall season
Union’s soccer season will run in tandem with the women’s volleyball varsity schedule from August through October, and home games will be played at Speedway Sporting Village. Like Union’s other varsity teams, the soccer team will play other independent Christian colleges throughout the Midwest. They will share a similar schedule to the volleyball team and will often travel together.
Tryouts for both soccer and volleyball will take place the week before school starts—August 12-17. Soccer players will be required to maintain a 2.5 GPA and live by the Union College Warrior code of conduct. “We’re not training them to be professional athletes, we want them to be better people,” explained Spaulding.
If you want to learn more about how to try out for Union’s new team, contact Spaulding at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Yvonne Kanye, student writer