SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (Wednesday, June 28, 2017) – Eric Gonzalez is a man of multiple talents. Besides of captaining the Southern California Sports Club on its second-ever National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) campaign for the second straight year and leading the team in goals, the midfielder also experienced a special moment outside the fields in 2017 as the graduated from college.
After four and a half years, the 22-year-old midfielder earned his bachelor’s degree in Media and Culture Studies from the University of California – Riverside. His graduation was on June 18th, right after SoCal SC’s game against Orange County FC.
During part of his time with UC Riverside, Gonzalez had to conciliate his academic duties with soccer training sessions, as he was part of their the college’s team from 2012, when he was recruited by head coach Junior Gonzalez and assistant coach Tim Cupello, to 2015, before he joined SoCal SC.
“Overall, it was a great privilege in being a former student-athlete at UC Riverside”, said Gonzalez. “I loved having been able to represent my family and friends, as well as UCR in the sport I love most. I am really thankful for my former coaches, faculty staff, and my teammates/friends on helping along the way. I’ve made many amazing relationships that I hope to continue for as long as possible”.
Gonzalez was a distinguished player for UCR, amassing 57 stars during his four years of collegiate soccer. He is tied as the third highest assists player in the program history, with 11. But with so many responsibilities, his routine was not easy.
“It was tough at first to balance school and soccer”, Gonzalez recalled. “We would train early in the mornings and either have weight training or speed training right after our soccer trainings. Then we would have the rest of the day to go to our classes and do homework which usually we’d be tired after our sessions in the morning”.