After winning a state championship with Mt. SAC, being nominated All-American Team Junior College, and 1st Team South Coast Conference. Gabriel sat down with us to tell us a bit more about himself.
BYS: Hello, Gabriel, thank you for having us today. We really appreciate your time. How are you?
G.S: I am really good, thank you for asking. And thank you for your interest about my story. It means a lot.
BYS: Can you tell us about yourself?
G.S: Well I am a soccer player for Mt. SAC, I just played my last season with them in which we won the state tittle. I will be transferring this semester. I play as a defender, I played my whole life as a center back, but in the last two years I started playing as an outside back.
BYS: Nice, Congratulations on the state title. Now that you're transferring out of Mt. SAC, what are your goals?
G.S: Thank you. My goal is still the same, which is to go pro. Probably get drafted in the next two years. Also, I plan on getting my degree in kinesiology or psychology. I think it is really important to have a backup plan, in case soccer does not work out.
BYS: We agree. We wish you the absolute best and we are very confident things will work out. Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood?
G.S: I was born and raised in Brazil, and since I was a kid my dream was to become a professional soccer player. I think when you're born in a country like Brazil, it is just too hard to not love that sport. Soccer and my family are everything for me. I started playing soccer when I was 6, I played futsal for 5 years until I went to playing on grass. My family was not the type that loves sports, but they enjoyed soccer. They have always supported me, but I think they never thought that soccer would play a huge role in my life. My childhood was basically study, eat, play soccer, sleep, and play soccer some more.
BYS: At what age did you leave Brazil and for what reason?
G.S: Well, I moved here to California at the age 17 from Brazil. I was scouted by a club called Olimpica F.C. to play here and got to spent two months playing in Europe. It was a really good opportunity, because I think I would've stopped playing soccer in Brazil if I would've stayed there.
BYS: That's impressive that you left your native country at such a young age and came here for an opportunity on what you love. How do you like California?
G.S: Yeah, I thought I would never be able to leave my country that young and I really like it. I remember the first time I got here I was in love. Everything was exactly how I would see in movies and with time everything got normal. California reminds me a lot of home and I think that is why I like it here. Also the people here are really nice, which is a good factor. But I think the fact that I stay in California and would like to continue to build a life here if possible, answers this question.
BYS: We are sure California will be your home for plenty of more years. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
G.S: I have big expectations for myself. The first one is, I see myself working and maybe starting school for my masters. Hopefully have a solid relationship already and just be living life. That is how I see myself if soccer does not work out. Although, if soccer works out, I see myself playing pro in the MLS, where I do not know. If everything works out in my 2nd to 3rd year in the MLS, I would love to see an opportunity from Europe or even Mexico come up, so I can improve my soccer even more.
BYS: We would love to see you in Europe one day Gabriel. Before we finish, any advice for the kids that have similar dreams to yours that will be reading this?
G.S: Thank you for the support. I would say that you should never give up on your dreams, no matter what it is, how hard it is, what people say about it, and what obstacles life puts you through. Always work hard, no matter what, because the ones that achieve their goals are the ones who are willing to give everything to make them true. There is something that one of my coaches always tell me and that got stuck on my mind, "the worst feeling to feel, is the feeling of regret".
BYS: Thank you for your time Gabriel.
G.S: Thank you for the interest on interviewing me.
Hometown: Brasilia- Brazil
Favorite team: Botafogo -RJ
Favorite player: Thiago Silva
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite food: Pamonha
Favorite artist: Drake
Favorite show: Futurama
Favorite thing about Brazil: Food and Music
Favorite thing about California: Beach and Mexican Food
Favorite video game : Old school Pokemon