Jose Martinez is a senior at the University of Dallas and a member of the men’s soccer team. However, there is more to his story than initially meets the eye. At first glance, he looks like the average student athlete at UD, hanging out with his teammates, going to class, and studying around campus.
However, Jose was originally born in the capital city of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. He lived in Honduras his whole life until college. He attended the American School of Tegucigalpa where he learned English.
Jose has played soccer practically since he could walk. His drive and passion for the sport has taken him far in his soccer career. He used to play against semi-pro teams until his journey brought him to UD to play for the Crusaders.
He talked of the struggles to get his name circulating in the U.S. college recruitment offices. Jose said: “It was harder for me as an international student. There wasn’t a lot of footage [referring to game footage or highlight reels], so there was a lot of effort made by my dad [to capture the footage]. I would send one hundred videos a day to coaches.”
Eventually, the UD men’s soccer coach, Coach Hoffman, reached out to Jose. Jose and his father came up to Dallas to tour the campus and showcase Jose’s skills in person. Jose ultimately picked the bustling city of Dallas because his uncle lives nearby and he has friends who attend nearby colleges.
Though Jose has fans at UD, his number one fans are his family who supported him through his journey to UD. “He [his father] continued to pressure me to play soccer when I wanted to get out at ages 8, 9 or 10 to play basketball or baseball, but he pressured me to continue with soccer ‘cause he knew I had talent.”
Jose described his relationship with his father saying, “He’s my partner in everything. When I go back home we play golf every Wednesday and Saturday and sometimes Sunday. We are very competitive with each other. That’s like our hobby between father and son, and we travel a lot.”
Jose has been to most of the countries in Central America. He’s traveled to all the major Texas cities and several of the major cities on the east coast due to a soccer tour he took with his dad during his senior year of high school. Additionally, he has travelled to England, France, Portugal and Spain.
Jose always makes time for his family. He flies back to Honduras for every holiday. Thankfully, when the pandemic hit and countries began closing their borders, he was already in Honduras. He remained in Honduras with his family while UD was closed.
After graduation, Jose plans on staying in the U.S. and working, but ultimately plans to move back to Honduras to be with his family
Jose will be graduating with a double major in Eco Finance and Business. His eventual dream is to manage the FIFA cup, signing on sponsors, planning and advertising the FIFA cup.
His favorite team of all time is Olimpia, the professional soccer club Jose played for in Honduras. However, he also favors Real Madrid. His favorite player is Lionel Messi, even though the soccer legend does not play for any of Jose’s favorite teams.
In my interview, Jose was both humble and eloquent. He has an optimistic, yet realistic view on life. He is grateful for the lessons life has taught him and the opportunities it has brought. He seems to have a bright future ahead and will soon be an alum that UD can certainly be proud of.