‘Male Athlete of the Year’ named at Point Loma Nazarene
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 05/21/20 - 07:15 AM | 2227 views | 5 5 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
David Achaerandio
David Achaerandio
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Point Loma Nazarene University has selected its “Male Athlete of the Year”: David Achaerandio, a school soccer star with aspirations of playing professionally.

The 24-year-old Achaerandio, from Madrid, Spain, is currently studying for a master’s degree in business administration at PLNU.

Achaerandio’s soccer “resume” is already impressive.

Having played previously for Getafe in La Liga during academy years, and U-19, he has also racked up a 2017 NCAA Div. II national championship with the University of Charleston, W.Va., as well as having been a 2019 USL League Two national champion with the Flint City Bucks in Michigan.

“Soccer is very dynamic, a growing sport in the works in America, and the first sport played in the world,” said Achaerandio who said, of coming to America to play soccer, “It was a really good choice.” He added, “It also gave me an opportunity to combine an MBA with playing soccer, which is my passion.”

Of being both a scholar and a stand-out athlete, Achaerandio noted. “I can do both, which I’m doing right now.”

Phil Wolf, PLNU’s soccer coach for the past several years, believes his pupil has that “spark” to successfully pursue soccer at the next level.

“David has the talent to do it, he can definitely make it,” Wolf said. “He has the drive and athleticism. He’s strong, fast, and quick. He’s got a really strong competitive fire. He (already) behaves and acts like a professional. The way he plays … He’s really competitive.”

It also doesn’t hurt that Achaerandio is left-footed as well as fleet-footed.

‘That’s one of the things that stands out about him when he’s attacking the goal,” noted Wolf of his being a lefty. “He’s very physically gifted.”

Of Achaerandio’s performance on his soccer team this year, which earned him top athlete honors, Wolf said, “It’s a big deal. He was selected from among 80 to 100 male athletes in four sports – basketball, baseball, tennis, and soccer – to be considered the best male athlete of the year.” Wolf pointed out Achaerandio scored 15 goals in 18 games, which included a hat trick (three-goal game) and games in which he scored twice.

Though he believes soccer hitting the big time in popularity in the States might still be “a generation away,” coach Wolf concurred with Achaerandio that pursuing professional soccer in this country may well be a somewhat easier path to follow than in Europe, where soccer players, Achaerandio noted “have more choices.”

“Probably what’s holding him back the most right now is that soccer in the U.S. is limiting how many international (player) spots you can have,” said Wolf. “Everyone is very protective of those international spots.”

Of Achaerandio’s future path, Wolf feels he’s made the right choices so far. But he added it won’t be easy.

“How David breaks through at this point is going to be very difficult,” Wolf said. “Hopefully, he can sign a pro contract and get on with a team. I think he deserves an opportunity.”

Added Wolf, “Meanwhile, he has his masters-level studies as a backup.”

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