Sophomore forward Jordan Rideout was born in England, but at age 10, his family moved to America. Since he was young, Rideout said he knew he would play soccer for the rest of his life.
Last year during spring break, he traveled back to England to practice for a week with the professional soccer team Southampton.
“I love it,” Rideout said. “Soccer is so massive there. Even the smallest town has a team.”
Rideout’s life pursuits are based around soccer. Proof of this are his plans for after graduation.
“I plan to hopefully go back to England and play for a team just like my dad,” he said.
Rideout’s father, Paul Rideout,, is a retired soccer player who is well-known in England. He played for teams such as Aston Villa, Southampton, Rangers, Bari and even the Kansas City Wizards. But it was with Everton where he achieved greatness, scoring the winning goal in the 1995 F.A. Cup (F.A. is the Football Association, the governing body of soccer in England).
Rideout acknowledges his father’s achievements and says he is inspired by his father.
“It is tough to fill those shoes, but I have my own shoes and that is why I do my best every time I go out to the pitch,” he said.
Despite a rough start for UMKC’s men’s soccer, Rideout is determined to improve his personal performance.
“If I don’t score or help score, we can not win,” he said.
He made it clear that soccer is a team sport and doesn’t exclusively rely on his individual performance.
“We’ve had a rough start from the first game, [but] we’ve come together a lot,” Rideout said.
Central defender Guerrero Pino was born in Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico, and said adapting to how soccer is played in America was hard, especially because of the emphasis on fitness and strength in the U.S.
“Soccer is soccer in any country, but American players are pretty big and strong,” Pino said.
According to Pino, soccer in Mexico is more about technique than strength. Chosen by Coach Rick Benben as the season’s team captain, he takes the position seriously.
“It is a big responsibility,” Pino said. “My job is to be a leader on the field and to encourage my teammates to give their best.”
The rough start to the season may have affected the team’s mentality, but Pino said it will change over time.
“It is a bad feeling. It does affect us [to lose] because all the work we do during the week wasn’t enough to get the win, but I know we are doing better every game,” he said.
Pino says there is a sense of camaraderie and friendship in the locker room, but on the field, the team has only one objective – winning.
After graduation, Pino has a similar goal as Rideout.
“After I graduate, I want to play for a team in the MLS [Major League Soccer] or even in another country,” he said. “It has always been my dream.”