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We were very fortunate to be invited back to Nelsen Middle School’s “Impact Day” for the 4th year in a row. This time around, former Seattle Sounders Marcus Hahnemann & Santa Maria Rivera had the privilege of including the newest member of the Redapt family and former Major League Soccer standout – Jhon Kennedy Hurtado – to the list of presenters.
The theme for this year was focused on a “Pathway to Success” and all three former Sounders had a particular way of delivering their unique story on their route to becoming a professional athlete.
Santa Maria laid the platform for the round of motivational speeches. He shared how one moment in his early teens was the spark for his goal setting abilities. During the 1998 World cup in France a young English footballer by the name of Michael Owen terrorized defenders with his blazing speed and fearless attacking determination. It was after witnessing this prodigious athlete that Santa made it his life’s mission that soccer would be his way out of the agricultural fields of Central Washington – Yakima – to college at Seattle University, culminating in a professional career with the Seattle Sounders.
Colombian footballer, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado aka “El Presidente” continued where Santa left off with his own take on following your dreams and proving your critics wrong. He shared how as a teenager he was told by one of his coaches that he didn’t have the tools to become a professional footballer, and that it would be in his best interest to pursue another career. Jhon used this as motivation to work harder and put in the extra time on the field, that a few years down the road that same coach approached him after a first division match. Accepting how wrong he was about Jhon and complementing him on being one of the best young defenders in the Colombian top flight.
Marcus, on the other hand, shared how being cut from the Washington State Team at an early age served as a catalyst to pursue soccer with a different intensity & purpose. When it came to choosing where to play college ball, he decided to attend Seattle Pacific University, the same college that Washington’s State Team starting goalkeeper had committed to. It was his personal mission to outduel him for a starting spot, and it was his competitive desire that made him into an English Premier League & World Cup caliber goalkeeper or the US Men’s National Team.
Even-though Marcus, Jhon & Santa Maria came from entirely different backgrounds & cultures. Their passion for the game and their desire to pursue what they loved payed off for all three of them. One of them achieving Premiership & World Cup Glory, while Jhon had a legendary MLS career defending the Seattle Sounders. Lastly, Santa Maria fulfilled his dreams of being the first in his family to graduate from college and play professional soccer.
Redapt is proud to have all three former Sounders as part of their growing family.