Student doesn’t allow injuries stand in way of soccer dreams

Photo credit: Malek Al-Marayati, Contributing Reporter

As an undecided freshman at CSUN, Kian Chachi is a sports enthusiast who just loves to play soccer.

“I’ve been playing the game since I was three years old,” Chachi said.

Since middle school, Kian, 17, has been playing on Premier and Gold teams of the Coast Soccer League.

“I generally play center mid, but back then I played at forward for club teams,” Chachi said.

During his sophomore year of high school, Chachi began as a younger player in an association known as Academy, which is a recent nationwide developmental soccer league that is very competitive in Los Angeles.

The following year, he decided to play high school soccer at St. Francis High School in La Canada Flintridge, and started at the center mid position for the team.

“We were fourth in our division for CIF that year, and we were the 2009 regional champions,” Chachi said.

Once the 2009 season was over, Chachi decided to play again for the Academy team. Along with his teammates, Kian was offered an opportunity to travel to England where they trained with the Chelsea football club Academy team.

“It was amazing to be a part of that program,” he said. “ I gained so much from that experience.”

Once he returned from England, he decided to quit the Academy team and play his final year of high school at St. Francis.

However, he suffered a severe ankle injury early that December. He tore several ligaments in his left ankle, and was out for almost three months, but back on the field in late February.

Two days later he tore two other ligaments in his right ankle and was out for an additional month and a half. Things were not going so well for Chachi, and he injured his ankle once again a month after he had healed from his previous injury, he said. He was out for the remainder of the summer.

“It was as if someone was trying to stop me from playing soccer,” Chachi said, disheartened by the consequences of his injuries.

He was not able to participate in the 2010 try outs for the Academy team or for the CSUN men’ s soccer team due to his injured ankle, he said.

As he returned from his final injury in August, out of shape and with a newfound 10 pounds in his stomach, Kian decided to hit the ground running, he said.

Despite his six month absence from the game, and being too late for the try outs for the CSUN men’s team, his aspiration overcame his grief, he said.

He proceeded to join the CSUN club team along with the Fusion Youth Club team in the Coast Soccer League, starting as forward. He also joined a separate team in Glendale in an international Armenian league.

Training with each team, he was able to drop the 10 pounds and get back into shape to resume his athletic path, he said.

He now plays for the three teams, and is planning to try out for CSUN’s men’s team in March 2011.

He said the Armenian team he plays for, travels each summer to Armenia to join other teams in an international tournament. Even though he is the youngest player on the team by almost 10 years, his youthfulness has not been an impediment as he is more determined than ever to pursue his dream of playing soccer competitively, Chachi said.

As he continues to work hard and as his passion thrives, there is nothing that will drag him down, he said.

“I’ ve been getting a lot better over the past couple of months, and I’m training hard for the try outs coming up in March,” Chachi said.