Sergio, 22, was supposed to play on a Major League Soccer team. A sought-after player nationally thanks to his college career, his Dreamer status was his main obstacle to becoming a pro soccer player.
Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, Sergio came to the United States, settling in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at seven years old. That history is why he considers himself Mexican American.
“Mexico is not my home,” he said in an interview with the Bleacher Report. “It’s where I lived for a couple of years, but my home is America.” But as Sergio is neither an American citizen nor legal resident, he was not allowed to join an MLS team.
While the league could make an exception for Dreamers and allow those players to compete, it has so far declined to do so. So, instead, Sergio plays for Reno 1868 FC, a professional team in the United Soccer League Championship. And he remains motived to achieve his real dream and play in the Major League.
“I will get there,” Sergio said. “It’s difficult. Who’s going to take that shot on an international, Mexican American? Who’s going to take a shot at him?”
After all, it seemed a miracle that he had even gotten a full ride to play soccer at Seattle University; why not aim for the very top—despite the fact that he is visually impaired and, lacking healthcare, plays without prescription glasses or contacts.
He tells himself: “I’m not giving up. I’m still here.” And that pushes him to keep working hard despite the challenges.