By Eduardo Castaeeda
All college students choose a school that suits their needs. For second-year business student Sergi Monso, traveling from Spain to Cal Poly Pomona was worth the costs.
Monso transferred from Brevard College in North Carolina this fall to join the CPP men’s soccer team. He said he wanted a new environment along with a good education.
“I’m really enjoying it here because it reminds me of Barcelona,” says Monso. “There are a lot of Spanish people here; I feel very comfortable.”
Even though Monso is fitting in well at CPP, his transition from Spain to the U.S in August 2014 was difficult.
“It was really tough for the first few months because I came to a new country,” says Monso. “It’s a completely new lifestyle. I was lucky that my teammates received me so well. They know it’s a huge change for foreigners because there is no country like the U.S.”
Now that Monso has been in the U.S. for over a year, he is focused on adapting to the number of soccer games at CPP and his new position as midfielder.
Monso explained that there are many differences and minor similarities between Spain’s style of soccer and the Broncos’ style. Some differences between the two include the number of games, the technique and rehabilitation.
College soccer teams in Spain play one game per week over the span of one academic year. Monso says that he wastes more energy playing soccer at CPP, as it plays three games per week.
Monso believes that soccer in Spain emphasizes technique rather than physical aspects like the Broncos do. He says that the team has less time to recover and train, as its games are one or two days apart.
While student athletes are expected to balance academics, a social life and their sports, Monso says he feels like he does not have time to do everything he wants to. He says he likes to spend his time off the field playing video games, swimming and visiting the beach.
Head Coach Yossi Raz encourages the student athlete because he tells his athletes to always try their best academically and athletically.
Raz said that he and the team members were excited to have Monso in the program, as they encourage diversity in their team.
“We are a happy and healthy melting pot that represents the dynamics of universities,” said Raz. “We all coexist happily under the same roof, and [Monso] fit in perfectly.”
Raz believes that Monso is playing well and actively participating with his goals and assiswts. Raz believes that Monso has not displayed his full potential for the amount of talent he possesses.
“I think that his bright future [has] yet to show because we didn’t get the chance to give him a nice long learning experience,” said Raz. “He came in and had to perform right away. With time, I think he will show that he’s a super talented human being both on and off the field.”
Raz said Monso will have more time in the winter and spring to train with his teammates like he should have initially.
Fellow teammate Fernando Quevedo, a fourth-year engineering technology student and goalkeeper for the Broncos, said Monso is a great support to the team.
“He’s playing at a very high level,” said Quevedo. “I think he’s doing a great job, especially since it’s his first year here. We all try to take care of him because he’s been having some problems with injuries. He’s a very important piece of our team.”
Although Monso has only been at CPP for one quarter, Quevedo believes that Monso is more than someone to play soccer with because he feels like they are brothers.
“He’s charismatic; he’s not shy when we travel,” said Quevedo. “He represents himself all the time, and he always says what he thinks.”
Monso has his mind set on moving forward to the California Collegiate Athletic Association playoffs and possibly the NCAA Division II Tournament.
“If we do well, we’ll go to the national tournament,” said Monso. “We just have to keep fighting.”
Courtesy of Bronco Athletics
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