Coming from a Chinese-American background, my father Wai Eng is from Hong Kong and my mother Donna Eng is from South Carolina, I am accustomed to living with different cultures. Following the birth of my older brother Tyler Eng in Redondo Beach, California, my parents moved the family to Las Vegas, Nevada. I was born on the 25th. of January, 1996 and raised in the suburb of Summerlin near Las Vegas. When I was four years old, I used to watch my brother play soccer at the Desert Breeze Park. I wanted to be just like him so I decided to play too. From then on it was a whole new life for my entire family. We would eat, sleep, and breathe soccer.
However important soccer was to me, my school work always had to come first. Both of my parents did not have the opportunity to attend college and they wanted me to have a choice. Since 1st. grade, I have attended academically rigorous private schools. My talent for school and soccer foreshadowed a bright future of opportunities. In my second semester at Bishop Gorman HS, I moved away from home to become a part of Real Salt Lake – Arizona soccer academy family.
The opportunity to play for RSL-AZ came to me very abruptly and unexpectedly, but this was something I have been waiting for a long time. I decided to take the opportunity to play soccer for RSL-AZ. I had to give up many things the moment I moved to RSL- AZ. My parents, brother, friends, school classmates, and my home were all left behind in Nevada. Now that is it has been almost one year since my arrival at RSL-AZ, I have been lucky enough to call the people here my family and friends. It is not like I am all by myself here at all. My teammates are like my brothers, the coaches and staff are like my parents, and everyone here is a friend. So if a home is where you’re family and friends are, you could call this my home.
My favorite memories of the academy were when I first joined. Meeting new people that were just like me in their aspirations of soccer meant that we had very similar goals. Most of the bonding came through the ball, because we all shared a love for it and we could express ourselves through it. That is how most people got to know me at first, through the ball. Outside the training grounds we spent a lot of time together either at school, meals, or hanging out in our rooms. What fascinated me the most and still does is experiencing new cultures that my teammates bring with them, and how it translates on and off the field. Soccer to me is a sport of culture that brings people and also nations together to appreciate each other.
Through consistent work habits, I hope more opportunities will present themselves to me. I am ready to take them on. I am still doing very well in the classroom and plan to keep improving my academic skills. I want to ensure I have choices when it comes time to look at colleges. If we were talking about a professional career it would have to depend solely on what I do with my time here at RSL-AZ. I am in the beginning of the most important developmental process of my career and as my coach Freddy Juarez preaches it means doing “ the little things right”. I will not go into details on what those are, but I know there is still more to learn everyday. As long as I continue to learn I will progress in improving my skills both on and off the field. I believe with my continued progress, more opportunities will be presented to me. Writing this essay has made me realize, everyday is an opportunity. All I have to do is take it.