By JP Guzhnay - Special to the Chronicle Hofstra University is known for having international student athletes compete while providing them with the opportunity to earn an education. Pablo Casado is no exception. Born in Spain, Casado is a biomedical engineering major on a journey to America for a better life, a journey his parents were not able to make. Pablo is one of the new players on the Hofstra men’s soccer team.
New to the country, yet familiar with the obstacles of living away from home. At the age of 10, Casado went to school in Dublin, Ireland for three years. Those three years of school in Ireland were his introduction to the English language. Arriving in the country no more than three months ago, Casado has described his new life at Hofstra as a “dream.”
Casado said, “A friend of mine last year told me that his brother was studying in America with soccer and that he was going to the same so he gave me that idea and I went for it, so right now I am here.”
Casado also took time to reflect on the amazing opportunity, which allowed him to both study and play soccer, something he would not be able to do if he stayed in Spain. “The good thing about American universities is that they allow you to combine sports and studies. Back in Europe there is a moment that you have to choose whether soccer or studies so here they bring you the opportunities to handle both.”
Casado describes his future within the sport as challenging, but he can appreciate the opportunity of having a back up plan. “Its tough to go pro, here, like they bring you the opportunities to handle both and once you finish and you have your degree you can either choose study or soccer.”
When speaking about the differences of the educational system in Spain and the United States, Casado noted how much more rigorous the work is academically. “Back in Spain we don’t work that much but then we have a lot of tests so it’s a bit different,” he said.
Casado also took the time to thank his fellow teammates and coach Richard Nuttall from the men’s soccer team for his swift adaptation to the new setting. “The teammates were really nice since the first moment I came here,” Pablo said. “[Coach Richard Nuttall] helped me a lot, he is always taking care of people. He told me if i have any issues or feel bad in any moment, because that’s common for people, especially for international players, to let him know.”
Casado is a great addition to the men’s soccer team. Casado played in the Division de Honor League in Spain in 2013-14, scoring seven goals with six assists in the country’s highest
U-19 league, statistics were provided from the athletic department.
With only one game so far, he has yet to score for the Pride. Casado is not used to starting on the bench but he is still adapting and getting used to the college system of soccer. “At first its a bit tough because back in Spain I used to be the captain of my team and I used to play everything but it costs me a bit to get used to this college system, right now am coming off the bench but I’m getting confidence and I’m doing better,” said Cassado.