Jorge Gomez Sanchez could have been playing professionally in Spain right now, but he made a decision a couple years ago that not many in his situation would have.
Sanchez, one of the players at this year's adidas MLS Combine, was a bright prospect on the Under-18 team of La Liga side Osasuna in his native land not long ago. But he yearned to both play soccer and get an education, and the talented attacker could not do both at the same time in Spain, where many youngsters pass up on studies to seek a professional playing career. So he packed up his things and traveled to the United States to enroll in school at Temple University. There, he could learn in the classroom and on the field.
"Temple made me an offer and after speaking with representatives from the university and the coach, I felt so comfortable that I did not second-guess coming," Sanchez, 21, told FutbolMLS.com. "It all happened quickly, but it was a great decision."
While he worked on his degree, the Spaniard showcased his strong attacking skills with the ball. He racked up 27 goals and eight assists in his two seasons at Temple to become one of the brightest players in the collegiate game.
Now, Sanchez is poised to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional soccer player at this week's MLS SuperDraft. Sure, the road to sign his first contract might have taken a little bit longer than it could have, but this is what he wanted.
"I took advantage of the opportunity to go to the United States to study while not closing the door on becoming a professional soccer player," said Sanchez. "I knew that MLS pays close attention to NCAA players and that it was up to play well to generate interest in me."