School Ties with Soccer Star Alecko Eskandarian
Hovnanian School alumnus and retired Major League Soccer player Alecko Eskandarian is encouraging his youngest fans to pursue their dreams while retaining the history, language, and traditions of their Armenian culture.
In an interview with Armenian Weekly contributor Sarine Adishian earlier this year, the 1996 Hovnanian graduate shared the fondest memories of his childhood in New Milford, New Jersey.
“Being surrounded by Armenian teachers and classmates was a special experience that I’ll never forget,” he said. “Of course, I would be lying if I said I was the most well-behaved, so I’m sure I caused a few of my teachers some headaches.”
Eskandarian was born in July of 1982; he started attending Hovnanian Armenian School when he was three years old. His parents had emigrated to the United States so that his father could play professional soccer with the New York Cosmos—a sport that clearly runs in the family.
Eskandarian says his father was always his most influential role model. “I always dreamed of following in his footsteps to be a soccer player,” said Eskandarian, who said he’s been playing soccer since the day he was born. He said he even told his teachers at Hovnanian when he was 4 years old that his dream was to be a professional soccer player.
“I had a passion for the game that made me obsessed with becoming a better player.”
Eskandarian eventually went on to graduate from the University of Virginia—a moment he says was his greatest accomplishment off the pitch. “I left school early to play professional soccer, and it took a lot of discipline to work toward earning my degree while playing.”
The 36-year-old says the road to stardom was not easy. “It takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and mental strength to become a pro athlete,” said Eskandarian. “I had a passion for the game that made me obsessed with becoming a better player.”
Eskandarian played for DC United, Toronto FC, Real Salt Lake, and LA Galaxy. But now, he’s taken on a managerial role with the MLS.
Proud and humbled, Eskandarian says his early childhood education at Hovnanian School is what truly helped him develop his identity. “I hope my path and journey can inspire the next generation of Armenian athletes to find success that far surpasses my own.”
Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: School Ties with Soccer Star Alecko Eskandarian