Luis Silva: A Great Example

Oct. 13, 2010


There are times in a person's life when challenges and obstacles can seem insurmountable.

UCSB men's soccer midfielder Luis Silva has been there. He's faced challenges and obstacles throughout his life and he's overcome them.

Silva grew up without a father. He struggled in high school and lacked motivation to continue his education. In fact - in a way - the Los Angeles native actually feared higher education.

But Silva's love for soccer helped changed his perspective and it has given him the desire to move forward as an athlete and student. He's played soccer since the age of four. He lives, breathes and bleeds the sport and the opportunity to play at an NCAA Division I school gave him the drive to do his best, both on the field and in the classroom. The sport that he loves has become his vehicle to overcoming the obstacles.

"Soccer is my life," said Silva. "All I want to do is play soccer. It's given me a reason to keep going on and moving forward with my education."

Hard work gave Silva his opportunity at UCSB and it has allowed him to show that he belongs. He arrived in Santa Barbara knowing that his talent would be put to good use immediately. In 2008, he played in more games than any Gaucho freshman. In 2009, despite battling knee and ankle injuries, he played 2,008 minutes, the seventh most in school history. Following his sophomore campaign, Silva was named First Team All-Big West and Third Team All-Far West Region.

Growing up without a father has also motivated Silva to be a great son and a good man. He appreciates the importance of family and the love for his family is the same love he gives his teammates, and that's another trait that makes him stand out.

"Luis is well respected on the team," said UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg. "He is our most versatile player, both offensively and defensively and he is the ultimate competitor. He makes everyone around him better and we just depend on him so much."

Whether it's been the obstacles he's overcome in his personal life or the injuries that he's overcome as a soccer player, Silva's resolve is strong. He is devoted to the goal of becoming a professional soccer player when his collegiate career is over.

"My passion for soccer keeps me going," he said of his goal to play professionally.

Before he gets the opportunity to play at the professional level, Silva has some unfinished business with the Gauchos.

"I hope to get to the Final Four and to win the NCAA Tournament," he declared.

And with his life history, Luis Silva can't be counted out, and if he should achieve his goal he won't have to go far from home to do it. UCSB will host the 2010 NCAA Men's College Cup on Dec. 10 and 12 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium.

1. What are you favorite things to do?
Play soccer, sleep and play video games.

2. What is your favorite class at UCSB?
Ed 191B drugs and alcohol.

3. Who is your favorite professor?
Spanish teacher, Esperanza Jefferson.

4. If MTV, VH1 or any television network were to ask you to have your own show, what would it be about? Who would be your cast?
It would be a training soccer session and celebrities who do not play soccer will be a part of it.

5. What is your favorite movie(s)?
All of the "Rush Hour" movies.

6. To you, what would be the perfect meal?
A sandwich, no mayo, and some chips.

7. Who are your role model(s)?
My mother and uncle.

8. What is one thing that people don't know about you...until now?
I like to sleep with a pillow between my legs.

9. Do you have plans for your future other than soccer?
To become a Spanish teacher.

10. If you met one of your all time favorite athletes, what would be the first words you would say to him/her?
It's an honor to meet you.

11. If you were a Greek God, what would you be? What would you give the world?
A weather God and good weather.

12. Which super power would you like to have? Why?
Teleportation, so I can be close to my family.

13. If you were given a chance to travel into the past, where you go? Why? Would you change anything?
Mexico, because of poverty and war. I would stop the war from happening.

14. If you were on a boat in the middle of the ocean and you had 20 minutes before the boat sinks completely, what tactics would you use to survive?
Rest for 20 minutes then swim to survival.

15. If for one game the coach said five members including yourself have to dress up as the casts of television's Spongebob Squarpants at the start of the game, whom would you pick to be Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs and Sandy Cheeks?
I would be Spongebob, (Eric) Reyes as Patrick, Peter (McGlynn) as Squidward, Machael David as Mr. Krabs and Rey (Ezra-Simbwa) as Sandy.

16. When did you first know that you should become a soccer player?
At four years old.

17. What is your favorite thing about UCSB?
Atmosphere and soccer.

18. What is you favorite quote?
"Never give up"

19. Do you have any pregame rituals?

20. If you were compared to any celebrity, whom would others say you resemble?
Cristiano Ronaldo.




To see previous Great Examples, please click here.


If you would like to nominate a student-athlete as a Great Example, please call 805.893.8603 or e-mail Lisa Skvarla at