Apr 4, 2013

Former Longwood Men's Soccer Star signs with Bolivian club The Strongest

FARMVILLE, Va. – Former Longwood University men’s soccer standout Adel Sarras/Santa Cruz, Bolivia was recently signed to a professional contract by The Strongest, a storied Bolivian club that plays in the country’s top division and the only squad to win three league championships in its history.

“Adel has experienced more in his short life than many do in a lifetime and it is these experiences that help shape a person’s future,” said head coach Jon Atkinson. “Right now, Adel is pursuing his dream and I know his Longwood family, and many more, are rooting for him every step of the way.”

Sarras, who logged 59 career appearances as a Lancer, including 15 starts, earned the chance to tryout for the team that is based in his native country and boasts several national team members, and took advantage of the opportunity.

“I learned about this opportunity through a lifelong friend, who contacted the head coach of The Strongest, and was able to give me a tryout,” Sarras said. “I was taking a huge risk, but thankfully it paid off.”

The 6-1 midfielder believes that his experience at Longwood was pivotal in preparing him for his chance at a professional career.

“Playing college soccer for a Division I program prepared me for the professional ranks in many ways, including the non-stop schedule, training and the highly competitive games,” explained Sarras. “At Longwood, watching film, lifting, running and creating a bond with my teammates helped me become the player that I am today.”

Sarras has encountered one challenge, though, that his time in Farmville could not prepare him for.  

“At first, it was really difficult for me to adjust to the altitude in La Paz, which is the highest capital city in the world,” commented Sarras. “The altitude affected my endurance and the ball movements were totally different.”

But, despite the altitude, the former Lancer has not let anything stop him from taking his game to new heights.

“I have gotten accustomed to it by learning how to pace myself a bit more, and knowing how and when to use my energy,” concluded Sarras.

“I am doing really well with the adjustments and am competing for a starting spot against some of the country´s best players.”