Student-athletes from across the world have chosen to play on the men’s soccer team at California Baptist University out of their love for the game.
Daniel Westholm, sophomore business administration major and striker, was born in Gothenburg, Sweden.
“I’ve played all my life. I mainly love the competition and it’s always been the sport for me,” Westholm said. “In Sweden it’s the one major sport. It was just natural.”
Westholm said it is uncommon in Sweden to play on a school’s team. Westholm, however, said he had a different dream. He said movies inspired him to search for a school in California to play soccer collegiately.
“(Westholm) understands the way the game is supposed to work and he understands how to make the game work,” said Gregg Schroeder, head coach of the men’s
Schroeder said he does not necessarily seek out international players. Rather, he often receives videos from students across the globe seeking to be recruited.
“It’s a passion. It’s a livelihood. It’s your life. You have a team that you support at home and that is your team,” Schroeder said.
Julien Clery, freshman business administration major and defender, was born in Lorient, France, and was added to the roster this year.
He had attended a university in France with Valentin Robert, junior business administration major and cross country runner, who later transferred to CBU. Inspired by Robert, Clery was put in contact with the men’s soccer coach.
Clery said he enjoys playing with his teammates.
“We share about the differences between French and U.S. soccer to make a better team,” Clery said.
Tyler Rideout, freshman criminal justice major, was born in Liverpool, England, and said he has grown up around soccer his entire life.
Rideout’s father, Paul Rideout, played professionally for more than 20 years on several clubs in England such as Everton, Aston Villa and Southampton as well as teams in Italy and China. His father later signed with the Kansas City Wizards, where Rideout followed him to the States.
“As much I love America, England will always be home,” Rideout said.