Alonso sees soccer opportunities in different part of world

Many people played multiple sports growing up, but once you reach the collegiate level, they tend to focus on one sport. 

Sophomore finance major Ramiro Alonso played soccer and tennis until he left for college, and where he decided to focus on one sport, a sport he takes a lot of pride in playing: soccer.

“I chose soccer over tennis because I love having teammates picking me up when I am down,” Alonso said. “Playing tennis gets lonely sometimes and you have no one to help you out but yourself.”

Alonso said he stopped playing tennis when he was 16 years old.  He decided it wasn’t for him, even though he could have had a chance at having a professional career.

“I wanted to focus on soccer more,” Alonso said. “I was training with a tennis player that was ranked third in the world at the time. I didn’t know this until I turned 20 years old, but I was recruited by a tennis scout when I was in high school to go professional. But my parents wanted me to finish up high school and get my diploma.”

Alonso is from Venado Tuerto, which is a province of Santa Fe, Argentina; a city that feels much like Cedar Rapids to Alonso. He decided to come to Mount Mercy after playing in a showcase in Argentina with fellow teammate Ignacio Gonzalez.

“When I arrived to Cedar Rapids my freshmen year, the city wasn’t much different than my home town back in Argentina,” Alonso said. “There are some office buildings within the city, but when you get out of the city, you see the country side. But the culture, food, the language is so different out here. I think it was a good thing I came out to the United States so I can experience different things.”

One thing that Alonso misses the most is from Argentina is “asado,”which is Spanish for barbeque.

“The food is so different here. Back in Argentina, food is more organic,” Alonso. “There are a good amount of fast food places, but not many people eat out to places like that. Also, the seasoning is very different. Its hard to explain but the way the food taste is very different.”

Along with the culture being different, Alonso said he has trouble with his English at times.“

Some people think I am shy because I don’t talk. But really, if I try to talk to someone I think about what I am going to say. Then I overthink it and I think it doesn’t sound right, so I end up not saying anything.”

Alonso enjoys hanging out in his room and he listening to music with the lights off. He finds it relaxing and he feels he can get away from everything. His teammate Ignacio described him as a “batman” because he always hangs out in the dark.

When asked his most memorable moment at Mount Mercy, Alonso said winning the conference championship and going to the national championship tournament last year.

“It was an unbelievable experience last year since it was my first year being out of the my country to go to college. I never had teammates that want to win more,” he said. “After last year, I have made friends that I would never forget. They are almost like brothers to me.”

Alonso’s plan after finishing up school at Mount Mercy includes the hope of signing a professional soccer contract to keep playing the sports he loves.

This Student Profile was written by Jun Endo, Assistant Sport Editor, and was originally published in the Mount Mercy Times in the October 10, 2012, issue.