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9 Don Tchilao

usa United States

Get To Know The Zest: Don Tchilao, Oregon State University

What got you into soccer?

“Watching my cousins and their friends playing is what peeked my interest in soccer”. Don was born in Benin, West Africa and is son to Beverly Bivens-Tchilao and Victor Tchilao. He has one brother and one sister.

Did you consider or were recruited by other places besides Oregon State?

“I was verbally committed to Denver University before decommitting and deciding that Oregon State was the right place for me”.

Who was/is your favorite soccer player?

“My favorite soccer player of all-time is Thierry Henry. The elegance with which he played the game drew my attention…he could do everything from scoring unbelievable goals, assisting his teammates and he was a great leader on the pitch”. Among Don’s other favorite athletes are Lebron James and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Are there any teams nationally or internationally that you follow?

“I watch as many Real Madrid, Chelsea and New York City FC  games as I can”.

Is soccer always what you wanted to do or did you consider any other sports?

“I’ve always been a one sport athlete and have never considered taking any other sport seriously”.

What is major in college?

“I’m a Speech Communication major because I want to be a sports broadcaster”.

What are your long term aspirations?

“After college soccer my next goal is to play in the MLS”.

Was do you expect this season playing with the SD Zest?

“This will be my first season with Zest. Being surrounded by so many talented teammates, I expect to improve technically and tactically so I hope for a very good first season with the Zest”.

What advice can you give a young/aspiring soccer player?

“One advice I would give to a young player is to be open-minded and coachable. This will give a young player the best chance to learn as much about the game as they can”. Don has also played as a winger in a 4-3-3 alignement and as a number nine in a 4-4-2.

What have been your biggest obstacles to overcome (physical, mental, etc)?

“At times I’ve struggled to believe in myself after bad games”. Don helped Chandler high school to a 2015 state championship (Arizona) and was one of three finalists for Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year. He currently holds the Arizona record for goals in a game with nine along with being named Division I Player of the Year in 2015 in high school.

How has your technique changed or improved?

“With getting older I think experience has made me better”.