Tyler Tarango: Work Hard, Play Hard
Tyler Tarango has been anchoring the defense of Sockers FC for the past four seasons. However, his talent wasn’t a gift. Tyler is one of the hardest working players both on and off the pitch. I was able to get past his stiff defense and score some time learning about the man behind the wall.
Q: How do you feel about your performance this year?
A: It’s been decent. I definitely still have a lot to prove. I’m going to England in August, so I really need to get better for that. I’ve been constant, not good, not bad, just in the middle. I haven’t stood out or anything.
Q: You mentioned you were going to England in August. Where do see yourself in five years, as a soccer player?
A: Hopefully getting a contract [with a professional team]. That is the number one goal. So, hopefully, I can be signed somewhere and be playing.
Q: How does West Texas affect you as a soccer player?
A: I don’t like it; don’t like the dryness, because it really gets to you and makes your mouth all dry. We practiced last night, and it was 103-104 degrees- just too hot for me. I’m from Houston; I like the humidity, all the sweat, that is what I like.
Q: How do you benefit the most from Sockers FC?
A: Just making me a better player. Getting to play with with a bunch of kids like Kal, James, and Mark. That’s probably the best part and why I picked this team. A lot of teams are so one-cultured, but we’ve got people from everywhere, England, America, Mexico, Australia, Africa, France. I get to see a lot of different styles of play.
Q: How well does the squad connect outside of soccer?
A: Amazingly. We got the apartments and we bond so well. We stay up late playing poker, or just joking around and watching TV or playing video games. I think that is the number one thing is to bond with your teammates. That’s why it helps to live together. There are those times when we don’t see eye to eye, but at the end of the day it is helping become closer as one.
Q: Who is the goofiest guy on the team?
A: It’s gotta be Kal. That guy will play jokes and pranks on anybody.
Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
A: I have to take a shower; you have to look fresh. I always, put the left cleat on then the right cleat. And I have to listen to that song “Kobe Bryant” by Lil’ Wayne.
Q: If I did look in your iPod right now, what would I find?
A: A lot of rap, like Lil’ Wayne, Drake & J Cole. A few inspirational songs, just anything that will pump me up.
Q: Who is your favorite professional team?
A: Arsenal. They are an amazing team in the EPL [English Premier League] from London. They play possession, not very well, we haven’t won a trophy in a while, but I just like the way they play.
Q: Who is your favorite player?
A: I play center back, so my favorite center back is Arsenal’s Koscielny. There is Hummels; he plays amazing in the air and out of the back. They play freely and they attack really well out of the back.
Q: Who was your childhood idol?
A: It has to be my parents. Just seeing how happy they are all the time. Even if I can’t play soccer, I understand that that happens, and I just want to be happy like they are. They are always happy and joking; they are free. They’ve had the luxury, and God has blessed them with a lot. I’ve always wanted to get the contract for them, as well. That way, they can relax and do whatever they want to do.
Q: If you didn’t play soccer, and you had to pick another sport to play, which would you pick?
A: Basketball. LeBron James is my favorite player. I love basketball. That didn’t change until high school. I had to pick between basketball and soccer, and I chose soccer. I don’t know if that was a very good choice, but it is definitely basketball.
Q: Lastly, how has soccer affected you as a person?
A: It made me grow up a lot faster than I expected to. It made me become more of an adult. In soccer, you don’t always get everything you want. You have to work day and night for it, and, in life, that’s how I think it is as well. Look at the CEO of CitiBank. You have to start from the bottom, put the hours in, and work for it. Nothing is given to you, and that is what I like about soccer. Another thing I like is that there is a winner and a loser. You’re not going to always win; you’re not going to always lose, so strive to be a better player. Working hard, on and off the field, makes me a better person.
The Sockers FC workhorse is once again putting the team on his back. He has logged the team’s fourth-highest total minutes this season with 629. He has started every game this season. We hope the best for Tyler as he gets a shot in England. Until then, we will be watching him happily shut down opposing offenses.
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