By ANA BRACCIALLI
After netting three goals and one assist just two games into the men’s soccer season, sophomore Fredinho Mompremier is proving he came to Florida with one thing on his mind, to shine. The Haiti native started playing soccer when he was five years old, and in 2013 came to the U.S. to continue to pursue his dream of becoming a professional soccer player.
He went to high school in Fort Lauderdale and played soccer at his school for two years.
After spending a year playing club soccer, UT head coach Adrian Bush recruited Mompremier to play for the soccer men’s team. In only one year, coach Bush could see that Mompremier was extremely competitive and passionate about the game.
“He has grown a lot over the last year as a person and he has a strong drive to win at anything he is doing,” said Bush. “I feel he is starting to develop a trust within his teammates. When I say ‘trust,’ I mean he comes from a program in high school and club soccer where he had to be the one man show and basically do everything on his own for his team to succeed. It was a situation where there was little trust for things to get done if he did not do them himself.”
Being surrounded by elite, talented players on the UT roster, Mompremier has started to make an adjustment. He now realizes he doesn’t have to do everything on his own anymore.
“I used to put this pressure on me that if I don’t score, I didn’t help the team, that I didn’t play well,” Mompremier said. “But, right now, I know that I’m not going to score every game, and that is ok! However, I need to help the team by assisting, passing the ball and playing smart.”
Coach Adrian Bush believes that this year, Mompremier has been showing much more trust in his teammates and starting to become a complete player, performing on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Mompremier and the team are working extremely hard to achieve their goal of winning the Sunshine Conference title and make a national title run. Bush admits that Mompremier started the season in a solid way and it needs to continue in order for team to win the SSC Championship.
“We finished second last season and he was a part of that group that came so close to winning a conference title,” Bush said. “I think it has been the drive with not just Fredinho but the entire team. If he continues the work on both sides of the ball there is no question he will be in the discussion for post season honors.”
Although Mompremier is proud of his hard work and personal achievements this season, he doesn’t take the credit away from his teammates. He says that he owes everything to his team because everyday they push each other to get better in practice.
“It does not matter if I score and it is not for the team. All of my teammates helped me, I don’t do everything alone,” Mompremier said.
With a positive mindset, Mompremier believes that if they improve on the little things throughout the season and continue to play smart, the team can do incredible things this season.
“We are working really hard to score goals and do our best,” Mompremier said. “We have a really good team this year.”
Although Mompremier is one of the younger guys on the team, he already has plans for his senior year. Mompremier says that he is working hard to someday sign a contract to play professional soccer.
Always staying positive and passionate, Mompremier says that the key to any success is to believe in yourself.
“Sometimes it’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be tough, but you have to trust in yourself and work really hard to reach what you desire,” Mompremier said. “There is no secret, doing this, the goals are going to be reached.”
Ana Braccialli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org