Andres Ochoa / Pacific Soccer Star
Give us a little introduction about yourself and why you chose Pacific.
My name is Andres Ochoa, I was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. I moved to San Jose, California about ten years ago. I’m a sociology major, and I’m a senior this year. I was intrigued by Pacific and how Ryan Jordan, the Pacific Men’s Soccer Head Coach had the idea of starting a new program. He promised me that by the end of my third year we would have a really good soccer program and so far that's held to be true. He is a man of his word.
What was that transition like, moving to a different country at such a young age?
As you mentioned, I was really young at the time. So, all I really knew was that I was leaving all of my family, friends, and the relationships I had built up to that point behind. However, the idea of the American dream seemed appealing and the idea of my siblings and I having a better future made it seem worth it. So far it’s turned out pretty well.
Outside of Soccer where do your interests reside?
I like to play basketball, golf, and ping-pong. Outside of sports, I like to read, although I’m not exactly an "avid" reader, I do like to read. I recently read “Tuesday’s with Morrie”, and also Zlatan Ibrahimović’s autobiography.
Any rituals you have before a big game?
Not really, I’m not superstitious or anything like that. Our coach usually has a routine laid out for us usually a few hours before the game which consists of a team lunch. I usually like to take a few deep breathes before the referee is about to blow the whistle just to set my mind straight. Other than that, I just like to go with the flow.
Any pump songs to get the adrenaline going before you play?
Not really. The whole Migos and Trap Music culture is really big right now and my teammates are always listening to that on our sound system in the locker room. That’s not really me or my style of music but if my teammates are pumped then I’m pumped.
What position do play and what does that role consist of, for those who aren’t familiar with soccer?
I’m a center midfielder, positioned between the defense and the other line of midfield. The role is pretty pivotal but that goes for all other positions on the team. There isn’t one role that’s more important than the other.
So it seems you’re very familiar with your teammates at this point going into your senior year. Is there anything your teammates don’t know about you?
So I have this thing with my teammates where I’m really competitive towards them to the point where they tend to think that I’m being cocky. What they don’t know is that, I do this to push them to reach another level into bettering themselves. I hope that as I leave that’s something they’ll appreciate from me.
So you’re currently the captain of our soccer team, any advice for the succeeding captain once your time is up?
My advice to my successor would be for them to make it about everybody and try to be selfless because it’s really not about yourself, ever.
What’s the culture like with your teammates, inside and outside of campus?
During season we choose not to attend parties and go out as much, because we don’t deem it as the best idea. But when it’s off season, we obviously like to get involved with various school events, homecoming, and support fellow athletes.
What are some of your favorite things about Pacific, that makes it stand out from other schools?
From an athlete’s perspective, I really appreciate the resources I’ve been given to be able to attend Pacific. The whole athletics department is always lively and I'm always received with genuine good intentions.I think that’s because I try to give that same vibe off as well. As a student, everyone is super friendly, whether I go to the registrar office, they treat you really well and make it seem as if you're important. In addition, the academic resources we have available are second to none. I feel like I’ve been given every possible tool to succeed as opposed to bigger schools where things like that are rare . I also really like the DUC (Pacific's cafeteria) and the E.A.T truck where you basically have a chef at every station with new food everyday. Not only that but the campus is just beautiful, every time of year and it’s all well kept. I’m just extremely happy to be a Pacific student and really grateful I made the decision to become a Tiger. I certainly don’t take any of it for granted.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m currently on a student visa, so that’s one of the things I have to think about. Ideally, I would like to apply for a Master’s program somewhere so I can extend my time as a student or land an internship that can potentially turn into a job. I have many aspirations with what I study and I would like to become a motivational speaker for young kids. But my biggest dream of course is to play soccer professionally. Last summer I got the opportunity to play for the Portland Timbers U23, which is essentially a Major League Soccer extension team. That was really good for me because I got to play a lot and I felt that I got a lot of the right exposure. It’s just a matter time of whether someone at that next level sees the right things in me and sees me fitting in to their system. I don’t know where soccer will take me but I really hope I fulfill my dream of playing professionally. If given the option to choose, I would without a doubt play for the San Jose Earthquakes since I’d be close to home and friends. They'd able to come to watch me which would be the ultimate perfect situation. If that doesn’t happen, all I know is that I don’t want to leave the game. So even becoming a soccer coach would be a viable option.