Photo by Gabriel Garcia
Soccer, or football as the rest of the world refers to it, is the most watched sport on the planet. Many people can pick up a soccer ball and kick it. Easy to learn, hard to master. For Sophomore forward Matt Guthrie, it’s a little more than just that. He’s been working on his game and is ready to show it off to the world.
The second-year Olympian has been playing soccer since he was 4 years old. “My favorite thing about soccer is scoring goals, and winning as a team,” said Guthrie. His soccer genes didn’t start with him, as his mother played soccer as well. Guthrie noted, “My mom played soccer most of her life, so she got me into it and I’ve been in love ever since.”
Since joining the Mesa Olympians roster, Guthrie has been playing really solid. For the 2019-2020 season, he started in 19 out of 20 games, with eight goals being scored, as well as two game-winning scores (gosdmesa.com). “Last year was a bit rough with selfishness taking over, but this year will be much better in my opinion,” added Guthrie.
Guthrie prides himself on getting teammates involved. “A good way to get my teammates involved is always being upbeat and positive. Once you get negative, it affects your confidence and doesn’t help with team chemistry,” said Guthrie.
Speaking of teammates, Guthrie has a lot of good guys that he’s proud to rely on. Sophomore goalkeeper Angel Noriega is ready to begin his second year playing with Guthrie. “Matt is an amazing player, his involvement is crucial, mainly because of the serious energy he brings out in every one of us. He’s a committed player who is always ready for action,” said Noriega. Guthrie’s presence on the field invigorates his teammates, as any leader should. Noriega noted, “As keeper, I know that if I see an opening where I can send him the ball I will definitely take my chances due to how confident I am that he will execute accordingly.”
The next step is always the ‘goal’ for everyone, and that includes Guthrie. “As of now, I do not have any division one scholarship offer but I hope to play at the best level, whether that is division one, or two. Ideally, I would like to transfer to a four-year university and continue my career, and possibly go professional,” added Guthrie. His teammates also believe this is possible. Noriega continued, “Matt is definitely able to reach division one if he continues to work hard and dedicate himself to this line of work. There is no doubt in my mind that he would not be able to make it, he’s such a key player!”
Sophomore forward Alejandro Benavidez echoed, “He (Guthrie) definitely has a future on a division one team. He is friendly and easy going, He’s very approachable and has a great work ethic. He usually has side practices and many others stay with him.” Benavidez reminisced on good times. “A good memory I have with Matt would be his first goal with the team. I took the ball down the sideline and flew through a couple of defenders. I crossed the ball near the goal endline and Matt controlled it with little space and scored a banger on a tight angle,” said Benavidez.
Guthrie has worked hard over the course of his career. As Benavidez said, “His speed and strength are his best attributes.” Whatever happens next, the Mesa Olympians will be glad to see him become successful in whatever he decides to do.