Less than six months ago, Ben Zemanski was just a college student. His biggest concerns were math homework and dining hall food.
But now, all that has changed. Now, he’s a professional soccer player.
After an impressive run in preseason, Zemanski has been offered a contract with Chivas USA for the 2010 season. He joins the Red-and-White on its Supplemental Roster.
“It feels great,” Zemanski recently told MLSsoccer.com. “I feel very grateful for them to give me this opportunity. I’m just looking forward to the season and helping this team out in any way I can.”
Zemanski was drafted 47th overall in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Akron, where he played 86 games. He served as captain for the team on several occasions and helped lead the team to a place in the NCAA final in 2009.
“We’re very happy to have Ben,” Chivas USA head coach Martín Vásquez said. “We knew he had done well with Akron over the four years he played. He was one of the pleasant surprises in preseason. He’s ready to help us.”
That help will come in the midfield, which lost Jesse Marsch, Paulo Nagamura and Sasha Victorine during the off-season. Zemanski’s quick, no-nonsense style makes him well suited for the holding midfielder role.
“I work hard, I keep the ball moving, and defensively I’m solid in the midfield,” Zemanski said. “I can help guys out in front of me and behind me.”
Now that he has earned his spot on the team, Zemanski has set his sights on winning a place on the gameday roster.
“I want to make the roster every game,” he said. “I want to get some minutes, and then some more minutes, and keep adding time.”
Off the field, the 21-year-old Ohio native has begun to look for an apartment to share with teammate and fellow Akron alum Blair Gavin, all part of adjusting to life in sunny Los Angeles.
“I’m starting to get used to the city,” Zemanski said. “The weather is unbelievable every day. It’s nice to finally feel settled in.”