Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Ph.D. candidate, soccer coach shares personal impact of Texas’ intramural soccer program

Courtesy of Soroosh Sadeh

Soroosh Sadeh, a kinesiology Ph.D. candidate, found an outlet for his passion for soccer in intramural sports at UT. 

Sadeh grew up playing soccer in Iran. Inspired by UT RecSports and his older brother Sepehr, after coming to UT, he formed his own club called “Soccer Kids,” now one of the most successful intramural clubs on campus. 

“Initially, I really wanted to become a professional soccer player. But the school system in Iran is very different from here, so you have to choose to go to school or … join a professional club, and they don’t really support you,” Sadeh said.  

While completing his master’s, his dream of becoming a professional soccer player didn’t go away; rather, it merged into another dream. The desire to prove to himself that he could play at a high level was met with one semester on the Texas Men’s Soccer Club team. He then instead focused on developing a team in Texas’ intramural soccer program.  

“At some point, it was just too much of a time commitment, and I realized by just playing intramurals, I’m satisfied. I can have a good time and that’s all I need,” Sadeh said.  

Two years before Sadeh moved to Texas, his older brother Sepehr had a soccer team, also named “Soccer Kids,” with 25 people from 17 different countries. That is what inspired Sadeh to form his own team, which he named after Sepehr’s original squad. 

“That was always stuck in my mind, the beautiful group of (diverse) people, that was the initial motivation to start my team with the same name,” Sadeh said.   

In the Spring of 2015, Sadeh formed an intramural team in Texas, which began playing indoor soccer. That team ultimately became “Soccer Kids.” Sadeh’s leadership and the quality of his team allowed them to come close to winning the championship in their debut season. 

“Since then, combining indoor soccer, 7v7, 4v4, 3v3 and soccer tennis, I’ve had 18 championships,” Sadeh said. “So, I’ve been competing a lot. And it’s been fun. It has actually been life-changing for me.”  

He has achieved considerable success in soccer over the years. In Spring 2022, he won the 4v4 Intramural Soccer Championship at Texas, and last year his team made it to the semifinals. His soccer coed team also won the Soccer Tennis Intramural Championship consecutively for five years, from 2017 to 2022, under his leadership. 

For Sepehr, it’s been a privilege to witness how the coed soccer team he established in 2014 has flourished so immensely under his brother’s leadership over the past decade. 

“Soroosh is a very kind gentleman, the best brother in the world, and an outstanding coach, captain, friend, and of course an exceptionally skilled soccer player. Soroosh is the one who has always been truly an inspiration to everyone around him including myself,” Sepehr said. “I am very proud of him, and it means the world to witness Soccer Kids’ fighting spirit and sportsmanship in action year after year as they spread our family’s message of equality and peace as shown on our logo.” 

Over the nine years at Austin, Sadeh recalls meeting over 200 people due to his soccer team and he has now recently transitioned his intramural team to the Austin Coed Soccer Association. Adhering to the foundation behind his team, he invited old friends who graduated from UT to come back and play for his team, forming a family of former and current Texas students through soccer.  

“I think (soccer) helps me to be in a healthy lifestyle and be mentally healthy. It has helped me a lot in that sense. And whenever I see international students, …  I always encourage them to be involved, especially in sports,” Sadeh said. “It’s a place where people don’t have any guards, you’re part of a team. I always encourage them to check out the intramurals website to join a team and play, it doesn’t matter which sport. It’s just being active and being in that environment.”

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