Spotlight Profile: David Arvizu of FC Golden State Orange County
As a professional soccer player who achieved his dream of representing his country and playing in the MLS, David Arvizu faced one of the toughest decisions of his career after being out for a while with a knee injury.
Should he accept a contract from a Mexican first division club to make his return as a player or cement his future as a coach by staying with FC Golden State Orange County as the newly-established OC club’s Technical Director?
For David, prolonging his playing days was attractive but in the end the opportunity to share his experience with youth players and help them achieve their soccer dreams was too great to give up and he has never regretted his decision.
With the help of childhood friend and fellow former pro and UCLA standout Oscar Reyes, David is creating an inspirational environment for youngsters to learn the game using all the knowledge he has accumulated through his own path to the top.
Owner Bart Hess may have brought in young coaches to build FC Golden State Orange County, but they are certainly not lacking in experience and serve as role models to young players hoping to climb the ladder in the U.S. game.
Santa Ana-born David - who started playing the game at the age of 4 - took a more direct route to the pros than most Americans after playing with the Pateadores organization from U9 to U18. As a sophomore at Foothill High School, he was selected to play in the U.S. U17 National Team and moved across the country to join the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
In 2005, he started all 4 games in the U17 World Cup in Peru, where the U.S. team was knocked out by the Netherlands in the quarter final.
Shortly afterwards, David was drafted into the MLS as a Generation Adidas player by the then New York Red Bulls - and he played in the Big Apple before being transferred back to the West Coast with Chivas USA.
He was also called up for the U20 U.S. Men’s National Team. In which he played in various international friendlies and international tournaments.
After 1 1/2 years with Chivas, David signed with the LA Blues (now the OC Blues) in the USL before going to Mexico to play for Leon. He returned to California after suffering a bad knee injury and was working hard rehabbing to get fit for a match comeback when he met Bart and agreed to help build FC Golden State Orange County. He was also offered the head coaching position at Foothill High School for the boys soccer program.
It was about this time that the 27-year-old got the offer to return to Mexico to play for a top team…and the rest is history.
“I fell in love with coaching,” he said. “It was always a passion of mine to start coaching when my professional playing days were over. I wanted to be a mentor to help kids achieve their dreams in soccer. It was such a great opportunity for me when I met Bart - to take something that is so new and to make it into something that is so genuine, to be able to help kids get to the next level, whether that’s Division 1 or 2, community college or for those rare few the chance to play in the pros.
“We are very humble about where we have been blessed to play and we want to give the young players in out club the best opportunities. It is such a great atmosphere at the club.”
Here’s our Q&A with David to let you know a little more about him:
1. Can you sum up your soccer philosophy in one sentence?
Arvizu: We want to be a club that plays possession-based soccer and can play a very fun attractive type of build up game.
2. What are the most important attributes you look for in a young player?
Arvizu: I look for the way a player behaves both on and off the pitch. On the pitch I look to see players full of confidence who are skillful and fun to watch and more importantly can make smart decisions on the ball. I also want them to be disciplined, humble, respectful and show a lot of class in the way they behave on the field as in life.
3. Who is/was your favorite pro player and pro team?
Arvizu: My favorite player was Zinedine Zidane and favorite team is Manchester United.
4. In one sentence, sum up your own background in soccer?
Arvizu: I was blessed. I played under some great coaches and organizations, played in the MLS and Mexico, represented my country with the U17, U20 National team. Now I want to give back through coaching, mentoring and help mold young players on and off the field.
5. What’s the best advice you can offer to a youth player?
Arvizu: To always stay on track, focused and disciplined day in and day out to achieve your dreams.