Daniel Mejia has dreamed of signing his letter of intent to play soccer in college for longer than he can remember. No longer a dream deferred, Mejia signed to play soccer at Truett-McConnell on Thursday afternoon.
“It’s exciting. It’s really exciting,” Mejia said. “This is something I have honestly looked forward to ever since I started playing soccer and got serious, playing competitively. Growing up I saw people having these days and everything, and i dreamed of having something like this. It’s nice to finally have it.”
“I’m just excited for him. He’s a great kid so it’s good to see him get a chance to go play at the next level,” Chris Edgar, Alcovy boys soccer head coach, added.
Along with Eastside’s Tyrik Francis, who is one of Daniel’s best friends and one of the reasons that he decided to sign with Truett-McConnell, Mejia was scouted at the All-Star game by Bears’ head coach Rob Miller.
“I went up there on a visit and I really liked how relaxed the campus was, especially the coach he’s really mellow,” Mejia said. “He’s really concerned about his players, not only about the team, but just the player specifically so that really attracted me to the team and the campus as well.”
Miller liked the leadership abilities he saw in Mejia, who was an active leader and captain in the back for Alcovy this past season. Edgar says that Daniel is a tremendous player, who really anchored the defense.
“There are some people that are quiet leaders, but he is a very vocal leader and everybody on the field gives him the respect that he is due,” Edgar said. “He knows the game and when he gives a command the team responded. It’s almost like having an assistant coach on the field while the game’s going on.”
Initially Mejia started the season playing up top, but as the team struggled in the back, Edgar called on Mejia to help out and he graciously accepted the role. Edgar says that Mejia could play anywhere and that he’s very good in set pieces and a killer on crosses from the corner. He also added that Daniel is a very good student, and a genuinely nice person.
Humbly, Daniel realizes that he might not be able to lead immediately like he did in high school, but he relishes the opportunity.
“I know making the transition is gonna be different. I know I’m not gonna go on there and be that same vocal leader when I was here. Automatically on the field I know I’m not gonna be that captain or whatever, but I’m willing to work to be there,” Mejia said passionately.
“I think that is one of my goals is to get to that point to where I was here so I know I’m gonna be a freshmen and coming in I’m gonna be a little guy or whatever, but my goal is to not just be seen as a little guy. I wanna be known on the field,” he added.
Miller told Mejia, whose natural position is center back, that he needed a left back. Mejia knows that he can play anywhere and he’s willing to play anywhere to get on the field, but he wants to earn the starting position at center back, and he might just do it.