International athletes adjust to Statesboro living

Emma Collins

The men’s soccer team has three international players on this year’s roster. One common thing all of them are trying to get adjusted to? The brutal Statesboro heat.

Interview with Head Coach Kevin Kennedy:

What do international athletes bring to GS Soccer?

“Obviously, we’re always looking for good players. We have two from Europe and one from Central America. They bring a completely different perspective to the team–not just on how the game is played but from their cultural upbringing. It helps our American players grow, too.”

What challenges do you see international athletes facing?

“A big part for them–particularly the Europeans–is that their universities don’t have athletic teams like ours, so this is a unique educational system for them. Learning how to be a student athlete can really be a challenge.”

Name: David Vargas, Senior

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Postion: Forward

Place of birth: Cartago, Costa Rica

Biggest Challenge Faced in the U.S: “The language barrier, obviously. The culture of America isn’t that different from that of Costa Rica. The weather is pretty hot, too. And of course, sometimes you miss your family.”

Name: Pierre Andreoli, Freshman

Major: Business

Position: Forward

Place of birth: Paris, France

Biggest Challenge Faced in the U.S.: “I lived in San Francisco for a little while, but the heat here is so much worse.This heat is just so hard to adjust to. I also feel like in America, people are much more focused on the physical aspect–being big–and not the technical aspect as much.”

Name: Thor Sveinbjornsson, Freshman

Major: Business

Position: Midfield

Place of birth: Hafnarfjordur, Iceland

Biggest Challenge Faced in the U.S.: “Training in the heat has been hard. I’ve been to Spain, but this is much hotter. The language, too–it’s hard to find the right words sometimes. The food is different, too. It’s hard to eat healthy here.”