Posted: Thursday, December 23, 2010 11:01 am
San Diego Pro Soccer News: San Diego Sockers' Chiky Luna Interview
San Diego Sockers are back from the road from back to back games and Chiky Luna was unable to travel with his team due to his injury.
Chiky Luna, who has scored 4 goals and five assists so far this season, was painfully injured when the team played Revolucion Tijuana at Estadio Furati in Mexico. Luna was fouled 25 seconds into overtime (OT) with the score tied 5-5 and suffered a sprained ankle. The penalty shot, as a result of the foul, won the game for the San Diego Sockers. Luna was able to hobble off the soccer arena but "had to be carried across the border" according to Craig Elsten, the PR Director of the San Diego Sockers. Luna was still on crutches last week and could be sidelined through San Diego’s December 29th game in Stockton. Luna is being treated for his sprain and hopefully will return sooner than later.
SN chats with San Diego Sockers’ midfielder Chiky Luna.
What is it like to be a pro soccer player?
LUNA “It is a dream come true.”
Did you always want to be a pro soccer player?
LUNA “I grew up watching all the great legends play. I would be in awe when I would hear Juli Veee’s name, and even now, when Veee sees me at practice and says hi, it is really cool that he knows who I am. I grew up watch Veee play for the Sockers and now I am wearing the uniform.
I can tell you are still a big fan of Juli Veee’s. What is it like to now have fans of your own?
LUNA “Fans come up and ask for a picture and I never mind stopping for a few minutes to take pictures. I hope that I can inspire a young player. I worked hard to become a professional soccer player, nothing was given to me, and a memory of spending time with a pro hopefully can inspire a player to try hard.”
Where did you first start playing soccer?
LUNA “I was born in Los Angeles and grew up in San Diego. I played youth soccer for Vista Storm first and then joined the Nomads U14 team. I was with the San Diego Nomads until U19. Then I went off to college at University of Portland and would come back and play for the Nomads U19 in the summer.”
Where did you grow up in San Diego?
LUNA “I grew up in Vista, playing for Vista Storm; a smaller local club. When it came time, when I got older and needed more professional coaching and more opportunity to play soccer, I joined the Nomads Soccer Club.”
What was it like being a Nomads’ player?
LUNA “When I was growing up it in San Diego and playing soccer, the Nomads was THE club; everyone wanted to go there to play soccer.”
“I remember the first national championship we won. We had an unreal U16 team. We were all great friends and played soccer together. This was part of our success. These are the guys I grew up playing with; I am lifelong friends with them. A group of about ten of us still see each other on a regular basis. We had a really good forward, Shane Walton, who ended up going to the NFL. Walton had a Fulbright scholarship to Notre Dame and in the off-season trained with the football team. He got his scholarship transferred and went on to be an All American and was drafted by the St Louis Rams in 2003.”
Did anyone else on your original team become a professional soccer player?
LUNA “No. None of them went on to make careers out of soccer.”
Your bio on the San Diego Sockers’ website says you won three (3) National youth soccer titles. What was it like winning the Championships?
LUNA “It was great, but nothing was a sweet as winning the first one.”
How did it feel to win?
LUNA “It was the greatest feeling I ever felt on the field. It is a feeling that comes over you, and makes you want to hug everyone. Our soccer team had worked so hard that year; training 4 days a week. Winning the soccer Championship was amazing, it was one of those special moments that we had just worked so hard to reach -- when you try to put this accomplishment into words, you just really can't – It is just something inside you that makes you jump up and feel like a little kids, it is just happiness!”
How long had the team been together?
LUNA “We had built that team for two years. We won back to back, as U16s and as U17s. We had two great coaches who really taught us the game, and helped us grow from being one of the best boys team to really playing soccer as men. We all were proud to play for the Nomads soccer club. We really dominated other teams.”
“As U17s, Dave Armstrong coached us and I can remember him saying that we were not going to score for the next 15 minutes, that we were just going to pass the ball and not let the other team score. It was impressive what we were able to do.”
Why didn't more of the team go pro?
LUNA “We definitely had a lot of talented soccer players. We didn’t have a lot of individual super stars on the team who wanted to make a name for themselves. We were all very team oriented, everyone had the mentality of team first; personal goals second were to the team. Actually personal goals came third; club and coaches came second. When our team walked into tournaments, people would watch and say oh, that is the special team. Individual success came because our team was so successful.”
When did you win your third championship?
LUNA “As U19s we won our 3rd Championship. After loosing when the team was U18s, we all came back from college for the summer and got together to train with a vengeance. We knew it would be our last chance to be together, and sometimes we trained every day. We were really enjoying each other's company...enjoying that moment, it was special, we knew it was the last summer we were going to ever do something like this – and we were very determined. I can still remember when we won the National Championship in Florida.”
Do you still see these guys?
LUNA “Oh yes! And the guys who live here come out to the Sockers’ games and give me a hard time. We sound like little kids when we get together! I am living the Dream.. and am very fortunate.”
What was it like when you started to play youth soccer with the Nomads?
“I learned a lot. It taught me that anything is possible. Both my parents worked very hard to support me and my two younger brothers. I really wanted to play soccer and when I would get out of high school, I would jump on a bus to a transfer station and then take another bus to the Carlsbad mall and then a third bus to finally get off near practice and wait on the side of the road for a teammate’s parent to pick me up and give me a lift to the field.
Most kids complain practice is hard, you had to work hard just to get to soccer practice.
LUNA “I didn’t have of these little luxuries of having a mom take me to practice after school. My parents would come and watch me play soccer on the weekends, but they couldn't get out of work during the week to drive me to practice. I was disciplined enough to get myself there. I always believe you should do stuff without complaining, and that there are always ways around obstacles.
What do you want to share with your fans and our SN readers?
LUNA “If you really want to do something, you will find a way to do it.”
“I know people make their own luck. At the end of the day, if you work hard enough things will come aroud your way. Look at me.”
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