As the 2011 season draws closer, HoustonDynamo.com will introduce you to the newest members of the Dynamo roster. With 10 players who have yet to play a game for the Dynamo, the squad will feature a new look in 2011.
We start the series with the rookies and move on to midfielder Josue Soto. One of the first players ever signed to the Dynamo Academy, Soto is a Texas native who was raised in Monterrey, Mexico. He has strong ties to Houston, however, having lived with his brother while training with the Dynamo Academy numerous times since 2007.
Soto split his college soccer career between Campbell University in North Carolina and SMU in Dallas, leading the Mustangs to the NCAA quarterfinals in his senior year last fall. Having trained with the Dynamo first team during two separate summers, Soto then became the first player in league history to sign as a home-grown player after completing his collegiate eligibility.
Naturally left-footed, Soto can play in central midfield or on the left but missed the last two scrimmages after turning an ankle in training last week.
MEET JOSUE SOTO
HD.com: Give us a bit about your soccer background.
Josue: I grew up playing in Mexico, and I came to the Olympic Development Program in Texas and played for the regional team. Then I got offered a scholarship to go to Campbell University in North Carolina. I went there for two years and then transferred to SMU in Dallas and then I came here.
HD.com: What’s your earliest soccer memory?
Josue: My earliest soccer memory is playing a national tournament in Mexico when I was 8 years old.
HD.com: What is your most memorable soccer moment prior to
joining the Dynamo?
Josue: Probably last season with SMU. We had a great season and made it to the Elite 8, and that was very cool.
HD.com: What do you remember about being offered a contract
and putting pen to paper to become a professional?
Josue: It was exciting. It was something I had been waiting for for a long time, and it was good to come to the place where I wanted to be.
HD.com: What were your first impressions of the club when
you joined the Dynamo
Academy in 2007?
Josue: My first impression was of a great club and a great city. It was the first professional environment I’d ever been in, and when I first got here it was a new experience for me, and it’s been great.
HD.com: What’s your favorite thing about Houston as a city?
Josue: I’ve got family here, and I think that’s the best aspect of the city for me.
HD.com: What scouting report do you give other guys on the Houston weather?
Josue: It’s tough. It’s very hot and very humid, but I guess it’s good in a way. It plays in our favor when teams come here and they can’t play past the 70th minute.
HD.com: What soccer players did you look up to while growing
Josue: I’m a Real Madrid fan, and when I was 15 or 16 years old, Zinedine Zidane was the best player in the world, and he played for Real Madrid, so that’s someone I really liked. The best player for me has always been Maradona. Even though I never saw him play, I saw videos of him.
HD.com: What is the best part and worst part about being a
Josue: The best part is that everything’s new. It’s your first year as a pro. You have everything to learn, and I think that’s the best part. The worst part is it’s a struggle to get playing time coming in as a new player and trying to get some minutes, so I think that’s the toughest part.
HD.com: What’s been the biggest adjustment to pro soccer for
you so far?
Josue: Probably the speed of play. Even though I was here for two summers training with the team, it’s always different coming from school.
HD.com: What are some of your hopes and goals for the 2011
Josue: Hopefully to play. That’s what I want to do. I know it’s going to be tough, and hopefully the reserve league is going to help me get better, and I’ll get some more minutes.
HD.com: You picked number 18, which is a big number in
Dynamo history. What went into that thought process?
Josue: I’ve always liked it. It’s the number I wore in high school. It’s tough to wear that number after Pat Onstad, but it’s a huge responsibility and I’m glad I have number 18.