Ahead of the 2018 Major League Soccer (MLS) season we sat down with several MLS players and heard about their careers and the stories that led up to their MLS debut. Many credited their passion for the sport to their fathers. As we celebrated Dad’s Day in June, check out what the players had to say about their dads!
Albert Rusnak, Real Salt Lake, Midfielder: My father was a soccer player and he always had me in soccer from a young age. It kind of stuck and I’m grateful for that because I don’t know what I’d be doing if I wasn’t playing soccer.
Carlos Vela, LAFC, Forward: My parents gave me the greatest advice. They told me to enjoy what I do. If you like soccer, then you have to always try to be the best but always enjoy it.
Federico Higuain, Columbus Crew, Midfielder: When I was a kid, I had some facility to play this game and then I fell in love with the game. My father was a soccer player so we are a particular family of people who like the sport. Dad was a soccer player, and we wanted to do the same thing, so my brother and myself, we played soccer.
Diego Fagundez, New England Revolution, Midfielder: My dad was definitely one of my role models because he played professional soccer. I always looked up to him. He always says that I surpassed him by a lot but at the end of the day, he’s the one that led me to where I am now and always pushed me to be better. Even now when we go to the soccer field, he’s always trying to make me a better soccer player or a better person no matter what it is – whether it’s on the field or off the field.
Jonathan Dos Santos, LA Galaxy, Midfielder: I’ve been playing soccer since I was little. I also like tennis and basketball but soccer has been my devotion since I was a child. Thanks to my dad, we played on the street and when I was about five years old I started playing for a club in Mexico.
Josef Martinez, Atlanta United, Forward: My dad and my grandfather, and my whole family influenced me to play so I kind of just grew up to love it. I played with my father and my grandfather.
Luciano Acosta, DC United, Midfielder: My dad gave me the greatest piece of advice. He told me to never give up and to always follow my dreams.
Bradley Wright Phillips, New York Red Bulls, Forward: My dad gave me the greatest piece of advice. He told me that the role that I play on the field is that I have to score goals and he always told me don’t think about scoring. Just think about hitting the target and in my career it has seemed to work out. My dad was my hero when I was really young. He was doing what I wanted to do.
Roman Torres, Seattle Sounders, Defender: My dad always told me when I was younger that once I decided to pursue this professionally, that in order to reach success, to put a lot of work toward it. I started playing professionally when I was 15 years old and I just started playing soccer for fun when I was around seven years old. My dad was a big part of that.