Sacred Heart University (SHU) sophomore David Garcia Gallego kicked off the men’s soccer team to a great start. With three goals and two assists in just nine games, Garcia Gallego is making recognizable improvements since his previous season.
At this time last year, Garcia Gallego had zero points. He experienced this difficulty not only because it was his first year playing soccer on a Division I team, but also because it was his first year playing soccer in the United States. Garcia Gallego grew up in Leon, Spain.
“It was at the playground of my school. In our free time we took a ball and played soccer with my classmates,” said Garcia Gallego.
Soccer is a popular sport in Spain.
“I think every kid played soccer when they were young,” said Garcia Gallego.
Upon arriving at the university, Garcia Gallego said his first year playing soccer in the United States was not easy.
“In Spain, we perfect the technique more, but here it is more physical,” said Garcia Gallego.
After discovering his passion, the rest of his youth was spent playing for Puente Castro FC until college recruiters discovered his incredible talent.
Head coach Anthony Anzevui first became aware of Garcia Gallego through one of their contacts in Spain. He watched videos of Garcia Gallego’s play and was highly impressed by his skill, but it was his work ethic and attitude that stood out to Anzevui.
The team was so blown away with Garcia Gallego’s abilities that assistant coach, Oscar Curras, flew out to Madrid to watch him play in person.
This was the start of a great relationship between Curras and Garcia Gallego that ultimately persuaded him to come and play soccer at SHU.
Garcia Gallego used his freshman year to adjust to the different aspects of the sport he was not familiar with. Now more accustomed to the play, Garcia Gallego started his sophomore season out strong.
He scored the lone goal in their game against Siena on Aug. 29 to secure the Pioneer’s first win. He did this once again on Sept. 9 against Columbia.
“I don’t know why, but this season it has been easier to score goals,” said Garcia Gallego.
Anzevui described Garcia Gallego as a natural leader. He credited him for his team-first attitude, positive communication, and incredible work ethic.
With the hope of a successful season ahead of him, Garcia Gallego reflected on why soccer is such an important part of his life.
“The 90 minutes on the field is what I most enjoy,” said Garcia Gallego.
The men’s soccer team will travel to New Jersey on Oct. 8 to face off against the Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights.
Sacred Heart Athletics contributed to this article.