Nathan Lopez aims to score high in soccer career


Alexandra Garcia, Staff Writer

From breaking ankles to breaking records, Nathan Lopez has been described as a prodigy, a GOAT (greatest of all time), and an overall phenomenal player on the field. In hopes of making it to the big leagues, Lopez is continuing his soccer career for the boy’s soccer team. 

Sophomore Nathan Ulysses Lopez, Nate, comes from a hispanic household, and is the second in the line up of his four siblings. 

His love of soccer began at age of four. From his days playing AYSO to the start of club soccer, Lopez has been on eight teams. While at Buena, he has already managed to break a record. Ending his sophomore soccer season with 25 goals, Lopez broke the record for boys single season goals. 

While playing on varsity soccer, Nathan was chosen as a captain, this role requires him to lead and direct his teammates on and off the field. 

“He is best at controlling the situations that we are in and controlling the mood of the way we play,” junior Diego Mendoza said. 

Lopez is described by his fellow peers as a dedicated soccer player, a friend, a family man, and an overall “Chad”, a pop culture male leader. 

Lopez’s main drive is his determination to play soccer professionally. 

He chooses to live knowing that “anything that seems out of reach is achievable.” Every goal or dream can be made a reality. Lopez spends his every day working towards the aforementioned “unachievable,” he hopes to make all that support him or encourage him, proud by achieving his dream of becoming a professional soccer player. 

“He is going to achieve it, no questions asked. I want to turn on the TV just to watch Nate play.” Junior Ryan Nunes said. 

Eat, sleep, dream soccer is a quote often used to describe someone’s love for a sport, for Lopez it described his lifestyle. On average he trains eight to 10 hours a week not including his usual weekend games. Lopez’s entire daily routine revolves around soccer. If he is not playing or practicing after school, he is checking soccer scores for other games or getting “locked in” for his upcoming game. 

In some cases he must go to great lengths to chase soccer opportunities. Even if it means flying across the world. Recently, Lopez was specifically chosen to be on a select team. He took a week-long trip to Madrid, Spain. 

In Spain, he got to play with professional soccer coaches and other players from across the northern and western hemisphere. He was able to put his skill to the test and compare his skill, speed, and game pace to other upcoming soccer stars. This trip allowed him to match up against tough competition but was able to hold his own.

Lopez gives credit to his first club coach, and former athletic director, Shawn Strople.Strople has impacted him the most in his soccer career. 

“He built that base for me, so I can continue building on [it],” Lopez said. Strople taught Lopez how to understand the game, instead of just the general concept of trying to score

Lopez considers his two parents, Ulises and Keren Lopez, his heroes. The amount of time, energy, and effort put towards Lopez’s success story is indescribable. 

“I come from a family of four boys so I know it is not easy.” Lopez said.

Growing up Lopez was fully supported by his two parents. 

“They made sure I had everything I needed to succeed,” Lopez said.

 From a young age Lopez was able to depend on his parents, in return he played every game like it was his last, leaving it all on the field. His mother, Keren Lopez, who is his biggest critic, holds him to high standards because she knows Lopez can excel beyond where he is now, to reach his full potential. 

“My parents have sacrificed a lot for me to go on all these trips and have these opportunities,” Lopez said.

Lopez chooses to surround himself with people who will help him achieve his goals or who will support him in doing so. The wisdom and teachings of others has given him a different perspective for the future. His journey through soccer has taught him to never give up.

“I have been in that situation when you are down three or four [to zero], you just have to keep pushing for that next goal, one at a time.” Lopez said

The end result of a game is not determined until the last whistle, you never know what could happen or how you can change the game. Lopez is characterized by his determination to never give up.

Chasing his dream of becoming a professional soccer player is the ideal future for him, but if he had to choose a backup plan, the secondary choice for his future would be to attend a college. Aiming high, Lopez hopes to attend Stanford University. As of now, Lopez is encouraged and supported by his fellow peers, teachers, and family members. Seeing Nathan Lopez on the big screen is a dream not only for him, but for others.