Lusardi acclimates to United States

Brazilian native Thiago Lusardi plays center forward for the Cerritos College men’s soccer team and is still going through the transition from Brazil to the United States.

Lusardi was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He came to the United States a year and a half ago with one goal in mind, to be a professional soccer player in Major League Soccer.

His soccer ambition was fueled by his grandfather, who played professional soccer himself in Brazil under the Flamengo Futbol Club.

Lusardi has tried out for the local professional club, Chivas USA, and has seen firsthand the North American talent displayed on the training grounds.

Although he gave it his best for four months, he was not able to sign a contract with the club.

Lusardi’s current goal after Cerritos is to transfer to a four year college and continue playing soccer or to take a second chance at Chivas USA and hopefully sign with the senior squad.

He said that he really enjoys the American lifestyle and the system the country runs on.

“I can see myself living here,” Lusardi said, “after college, starting (a) life here.”

Due to his Brazilian roots, Lusardi said that he has had a couple of stereotypes thrown his way.

“At first, the coaches and players thought every Brazilian can play like soccer legend Ronaldinho.

“It’s not like that; I still have to work hard to help the team,” he said.

“When you see him play, you definitely see him stand out,” Cerritos college midfielder Jesus Maciel said. “His way of playing is so Brazilian-like, he’s got that vision and knows where everyone is at.”

Maciel continued to say that, “He (gets) along with everybody really well.”

Cerritos College head coach Benny Artiaga said, “It is a huge transition for him from Brazillian soccer to American soccer. He’s a skilled player and (is) working very hard on his game and (with) his teammates. “

Lusardi’s main obstacle is his new language.

“When I got here, I had the basics. I struggled with that, I couldn’t express what I wanted to say. Language is (the) number one obstacle for me.”

His ambition will put to the test throughout this season and this Friday in the Cerritos men’s soccer game away at Golden West at 3 p.m.