Zavaleta goes pro, Bruin called up

1 comment by   |   Monday, January 7, 2013 - 1:55 am EDT

Like many other Indiana University students, Eriq Zavaleta returned to Bloomington this week. Only he isn’t staying.

The standout sophomore forward leaves Thursday for the Major League Soccer (MLS) Combine, which begins Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as a result of signing a Generation Adidas contract this weekend to enter the MLS Draft and forgo his final two years of college eligibility.

“Ever since I can remember, all I wanted to do is play soccer for a living,” Zavaleta said Sunday afternoon.

Part of that is the result of having a father and an uncle who did likewise. Carlos Zavaleta, a native of El Salvador, played collegiately at UCLA, then enjoyed a professional career on the West Coast, while uncle Greg Vanney was also a UCLA standout before going on to play for the United States national team and the MLS’ Los Angeles Galaxy.

“It’s been a dream of mine since my dad played professionally and my uncle played professionally,” the Westfield native said. “It was something expected of me and something I wanted to do.”

Now he has the chance to see that dream come true in his backyard, with the MLS Draft set to take place on Jan. 17 in Indianapolis. It will be the capper on a whirlwind six weeks for Zavaleta, who is just a month removed from helping Indiana win the national title.

“This last month has been an absolute dream to me, almost every dream I’ve ever wanted in the soccer world has been reached,” Zavaleta said. “It’s been a lot of hard work, and it’s such a grateful feeling to know what you can accomplish. I’ve accomplished a lot in the past month, and there is so much more to be accomplished.”

Zavaleta was named a third team All-American and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year en route to posting 18 goals and four assists in his second and final season with the Hoosiers. But he said he didn’t really think much about his future until the season was over.

“Rumors were thrown around throughout the season, but it was something I tried to push aside and stay focused,” Zavaleta said. “Ultimately, winning a national championship was a goal that I had. I came to indiana initially to win a national championship, and once that was in sight, it’s all I could focus on. The fact we were able to accomplish that goal really made this decision to leave school a little easier.”

Even if it meant walking away from more individual honors next season.

“Ultimately, are there individual accolades i would’ve liked to win? Yes, but I came not to win accolades but to win a national championship,” he said.

There are still a lot of questions to be answered. Not just where Zavaleta will wind up, but what position he will play once there. Long projected to be a defender at the professional level, Zavaleta’s offensive success at IU could result in a team giving him a look up top. But he’s ready for any challenge.

“I’m ready to go to the combine and show I can play both positions,” Zavaleta said. “Some teams want me as a defender, some might want me as a forward, and some just want to bring me in to camp and see what I can do. It’s a good problem to have. A lot of teams need both positions. I’m just excited to go somewhere.”

Just not back to school.

Bruin called up
One former Hoosier who walked in Zavaleta’s shoes just two years ago, took another step forward on Sunday. Will Bruin was one of 25 players called into January camp by U.S. Men’s National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

The team will train together in Carson, Calif., until Jan. 27 before departing for Houston, where Bruin plays for the MLS’ Dynamo, to prepare for a Jan. 29 match against Canada.

“We are very proud and excited for Will,” Indiana coach Todd Yeagley said in a release. “He continues to demonstrate through his play in Major League Soccer that he is one of our premier young players in the U.S. It’s a wonderful honor for Will.”

Share the Scoop!

Related content: Read more in Men's Soccer
 
Hoosiers instrumental in Indy Eleven opener
Indiana men's soccer exhibition at Indy Eleven
IU men's soccer 2012 national champions to be honored at White House
IU soccer announces 2014 recruiting class
Corrado, Kotlov taken in MLS SuperDraft
One comment:
#1 Monday, January 7, 2013 - 12:36 PM EDT

Congratulations to Eriq. He fulfilled anything we fans could’ve asked of him here at Indiana. Whatever team drafts him is getting an athlete and a winner.

And that’s fantastic for Will Bruin. It’s been great to see Bruin succeed in the MLS after torching the collegiate ranks, and it’ll be interesting to see how he adapts to the international level.

 


RSS feed

Comments

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Today @ HoosiersHQ.com

Recent comments on The Scoop



  • Track. Hoosiers Travel to Penn Relays - Indiana track & field will compete in the 120th running of the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, an event that routinely draws over 100,000
  • M. Tennis. Hoosiers Set for Big Ten Tournament - Indiana men's tennis will battle Minnesota in first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday at 2:00
  • Report: Hollowell to transfer to Georgia State - Sophomore forward Jeremy Hollowell, who announced his intent to transfer from IU on March 24, has committed play his final two seasons of college basketball at Georgia State, CBS
  • Jeremiah April commits to IU - Jeremiah April, a 7-foot, 230-pound center from Westwind Preparatory Academy in Glendale, Ariz., committed to IU Friday evening. Verbal Commits ranks his as a two-star prospect. I
  • Impact of Johnson's departure - Kenny Johnson is gone to Louisville. A relative unknown when he was hired just two years ago,
  • Waller close to major offers - Travis Waller has been hearing from some major programs in recent weeks and another big one came in from the
  • Jeremy Hollowell transferring to Georgia State -

    Former Indiana forward Jeremy Hollowell will finish his collegiate career at Georgia State. The news was first reported by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports and a source close to

  • Video: Robert Johnson Derby Festival Basketball Classic, NBPA Top 100 Camp highlights -

    Via CityLeagueHoops on YouTube:

    The post Read more...  

  • VIDEO: Highlights of Robert Johnson - Here is a video full of highlights of Robert Johnson during his senior
  • Hollowell transferring to Georgia State - Indiana transfer Jeremy Hollowell is headed to Georgia State because of some Indiana
  • Et Tu, KJ?
  • What Does It Take to Win a Baseball Title?