Victor Ulloa - Inter Miami - Kicking ball
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Inter Miami CF midfielder Victor Ulloa ramping up schoolwork in pursuit of degree

Victor Ulloa has a 15-month old son that's keeping him plenty busy while he's social distancing, but when he's not dealing with fatherhood duties, the Inter Miami CF midfielder is diving into his academics.

Ulloa has been working towards a degree in sports management taking online classes through a partnership program between MLS and Southern New Hampshire University that allows players to pursue degrees while they're playing. Due to his soccer obligations, Ulloa has previously had to keep his school schedule relatively light, but during the league's season suspension, he said on a Tuesday conference call with reporters that he's ramping up his workload.

The program with SNHU is available for current players, but can also be used by retired players and staff members.

"I've been doing it for a couple of years when the partnership started, but now I have more time so [I thought] maybe I could try and take another class, I usually just take one [at a time]," Ulloa said. "You get a week of work, you have deadlines, we have discussion on Thursday, assignment's due by Sunday at midnight and they're weekly. So, I'm trying to stay on top of that now more that I have time, especially when my baby boy is down. It's something I've always dreamed of, to get my degree, hopefully in sports management, so after I'm done playing I have something to fall back on."

Making sure his son, Luca, is asleep or otherwise occupied makes honing in on his schoolwork a challenge, but Ulloa said he's found ways to manage the balance.

"He keeps me on my toes all day," Ulloa said. "I'm trying to find creative ways to keep him not cranky, not crying and distracted because he gets a little stir-crazy inside the house, so I try to find ways to play with him, with his toys, try and teach him some new words in Spanish."

Ulloa also said he's been in regular contact with his teammates through apps like Zoom and FaceTime and they've been inspired by seeing some of the actions players from other teams throughout the world have taken to give back during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ulloa said there are ongoing discussions among players on the team on measures they're hoping to take in the near future.

"We have a group chat within the players," he said. "We've talked about the situation that's going on and we've talked about teams in Europe that are doing like Barcelona and Juventus, players helping out as much as they can. It's definitely something we've talked about. How can we help, how can we give back to the community? We don't have solutions just yet, we're still brainstorming ideas in creative ways to help others in need, for sure."

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