Athlete Stories
Around & About #10: University of the Pacific

Double trouble at the University of the Pacific. Why? Because not just one Dutchie played soccer as a Pacific Tiger, but two. Wouter Verstraaten and Bob Groenendijk, both Slamstox student-athletes, crossed the Atlantic Ocean to combine studies and Division 1 soccer in Sacramento, California.

Wouter and Bob knew each other from their time at PSV, one of the biggest Dutch soccer clubs, where they played together during their U18 soccer careers. After having studied at Dutch universities for a year, they found it too difficult to combine their sport with their degree. They didn’t want to give up on either one, however, and so they decided to go to the United States where they were able to receive scholarships to play soccer for the University of the Pacific. Who would have thought they would end up as roommates in sunny California, on the other side of the world!

But they didn’t just live with each other. They trained together, traveled together, studied together, had breakfast, lunch and dinner together and competed in the Major League Soccer try-outs together. They improved as soccer players, made a group of friends from all over the world and earned a university degree! In other words, they had an experience they would recommend to anyone. Want to know why? Just watch this video and you will see.