Athlete Spotlight: Martin Esquivel


Martin Esquivel

Sedona Smith, Staff Writer 

Considering that the Governors State’s men’s soccer team was established just two seasons ago, their 31-player roster is very impressive, and 13 of these Jaguar athletes — almost half of the team — are from other countries.  

They represent three different continents and scores of cultures. They bring culture, diversity, and soccer skills to GSU. But where did they come from? And how did they get here? This is what I set out to discover, and I decided to do so by speaking one-on-one with these athletes.  

Martin Esquivel is the first soccer player I had the privilege of interviewing. He is a 20-year-old freshman at GSU. Although his major is still undeclared, he is considering pursuing a career in business, economics, or finance.  

Esquivel was born in Monterrey, Mexico,  a large city just three hours from the border with Texas. It is a hot, dry desert surrounded by mountains. He says that he often misses home, but that he has genuinely enjoyed living in the Chicago area. He mentioned that he especially loves the downtown area.  

Esquivel has played soccer since he was five years old. “In Mexico, when you start walking, you start kicking the ball,” he joked. The first kick was certainly fate, as the game of soccer has allowed Esquivel to travel extensively over the past few years. 

He has trained in the city of Telugu, which is about an hour and a half from Mexico City. Esquivel also spent significant time playing the game in his home city where he played third division for Banfield, an Argentinian team with a training academy in Monterrey. He later spent a few months in Houston playing for the United Premier Soccer League, which is a professional development league. And now, the game has brought him to Chicago as a member of GSU’s soccer team.  

Esquivel even spent six months in Montreal. However, that trip wasn’t in pursuit of a soccer opportunity. Instead, he went to learn and practice French. Now, he says, he practices his language skills with many of the African players on the soccer team.  

Martin chose Governors State because of the scholarship opportunity that was offered to him. He spoke highly of the team and the program, saying that “the main objective is to be successful in the conference.” He stressed that the more the team plays together, the more they will “build the chemistry” that is needed to achieve success. 

Esquivel hopes to stay in the United States after he graduates. After his four years at Governors State, he wants to possibly pursue a Masters of Business Administration or a professional soccer career.  

Both are ambitious and respectable goals, and I wish Martin the best in his final three seasons and six semesters at GSU.