Lions star trades f#250;tbol for soccer, finds back of net

by Beacon Staff • September 23, 2009

Dabdoub, a junior, began his soccer career in Monterrey at the age of four, starting as a goalie.,Monterrey, Mexico is known to the world as "The City of Mountains," but for Emerson's men's soccer team, it's known as the home of returning All-GNAC player Eric Dabdoub.

Dabdoub, a junior, began his soccer career in Monterrey at the age of four, starting as a goalie. He has sported the number four on his jersey ever since, playing defense in middle school, and switching to midfield in high school.

After about fourteen years of play, Dabdoub was hit with a more challenging transition when he joined the Emerson Lions: going from the familiar Mexican brand of soccer to the alien American style of the game.

Dabdoub said American soccer is faster and more physical, while Mexican soccer is slower, with emphasis on touch.

"It took me a season and a half to get used to playing American," Dabdoub said. "It's harder to play American soccer but I like the challenge."

Despite this transition, Dabdoub's

background in Mexican soccer gives him an advantage. Dabdoub said the Mexican focus on finesse makes his touch better than most players; however, he is also not used to being so physical.

"It definitely took him time to adjust to the American style of play," said Head Coach Jared Scarpaci.

"But once he did, he brought the finer points of the Mexican style together with understanding the American style of play."

Dabdoub's non-traditional habits extend further than just his game: They reached his hair. While he appears to have a basic haircut from a distance, Dabdoub actually

sports a single small braid that reaches his shoulders. Dabdoub said his team teases him occasionally, but his coach is the one who mostly gives him "crap about his tail," he said.

His hairstyle is hardly the end of his unique attributes. Prior to moving to Boston, Dabdoub was part of a punk band called No Signs of Amy.

He began recording at age 15 but believes his talent in performing

does not extend beyond the amateur, steering him away from recording and towards his current major, music production and engineering.

Dabdoub said music is not only a part of his desired career path, but an intigral tool for his success in soccer.

"I listen to an album by Smoke or Fire before I play to get me in the zone," Dabdoub said. "I don't think about anything else."

Dabdoub aspires to earn the title of all conference player again, and even hopes to be recognized as an All-New England player.

Yet his ambitions for the year go far beyond just his individual goals; he hopes the team qualifies for the playoffs and wins the GNAC.

His intention to accomplish all of these goals is precisely what impresses the Emerson Associate Director of Athletics, Stanford Nance.

"I look forward to seeing the young man being captain next year," said Nance, "He's done a fabulous job, gained respect [from his teammates], and makes the travel from Berklee each day."

Scarpaci said he plans to name Dabdoub captain next year, if not later this season. However, Dabdoub

said he's more concerned about his play on the field than a potential C on his jersey.

"It's not up to me. I believe I work hard and if that merits what being a captain is than that's good enough. It's all about working for the team."

Dabdoub's dedication to working

for the team has made him a player to whom younger members of the team can look up.

"He's a special player with a good vision of the soccer field," said freshman teammate Lucas Parolin, a print and multimedia journalism major. "I am always honored to play by someone as talented as he is."