From MLS to the USL and back, Daniel Steres’ pro soccer career has taken him through a multitude of destinations and playing conditions, all of which has led to two successful campaigns with the LA Galaxy. Seven games into his third season in Los Angeles, we were able to catch up with Steres about growing up in LA, the hardships of USL life, and what it’s like training against Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
There is no such thing as a straight path to becoming a professional athlete. No matter how gifted and talented one may be, there will always be meandering curves of doubt, potholes filled with uncertainty, and of course, quick flashes of glory. Twenty-seven-year-old center back Daniel Steres has experienced most of these in his career, all leading up to emerging as a mainstay in the LA Galaxy lineup.
Following a successful collegiate career at San Diego State University and brief stints with Chivas USA and Seattle Sounders of MLS, Steres signed with the Wilmington Hammerheads of what was then the USL PRO in 2013. He excelled on the pitch, shifting from center back to center mid and scoring seven goals, but the team’s lacking facilities and infrastructure left him wanting more.
The hungry Steres made his return to LA the following year, signing with LA Galaxy II, where he played for two years before getting called up to the first team in 2016. With more life and playing experience under his belt, Steres didn’t squander his MLS opportunity the second time around, leading the Galaxy in minutes in 2016 and starting in all 21 games he appeared in 2017.
Now an established pro, Steres looks to make an even bigger impact in 2018, which has so far been highlighted by his assist on the already iconic MLS debut goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
We were able to sit down and speak with Steres to break down what was going through his mind prior to the goal, what it’s like to train against and play alongside the Swedish legend, and what the atmosphere was like at the electric match that served as the inaugural El Trafico.
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