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Windermere Observer Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019 3 months ago

Roberto Ydrach ready to run with the Pack | Observer Preps

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The high-school soccer season may be over for the Olympia senior, but Yorach has his eyes set to dominate at NC State.
by: Troy Herring Sports Editor

After watching the clock tick away to end regulation time, nerves were high for Roberto Ydrach and his teammates on the Olympia soccer team.

It was the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs, and the Titans were knotted up at 1-1 with Hagerty, and heading to penalty kicks. Then, unfortunately, it was all over.

The loss, during which Hagerty outshot the Titans 5-4 in PKs, was a blow and an end to Ydrach’s short stint with the team.

Courtesy photo

“It’s kind of surreal,” Ydrach said. “I only played high school for one season, coming from New Jersey, so it was a great experience. But, it was obviously sad — emotions were running high, because we all wanted to win and when the final whistle blew and we lost, we were distraught.”

After picking up 15 goals and 10 assists through Olympia’s successful 15-3-3 season — during which the Titans won a district title over West Orange — the senior midfielder now has switched his focus to his studies while he plays for local teams in the Association of Christian Youth Sports and the Central Florida Soccer League.

Although he now plays for a couple of teams, Ydrach said he has a bit more free time; he only practices two to three times per week. But keeping himself active — while resting following a long high-school season — is much needed as he prepares for the next step of his career.

Starting in the fall, Ydrach will call Raleigh, North Carolina, home as he begins play as part of the NC State soccer team.

Picking the Wolfpack was a pretty simple option for Ydrach, who had some familiarity with some of the coaches.

“It was relatively easy, because at the (Red Bulls) Academy, you get looked at first by colleges, so if they really want you, they’ll contact you,” Ydrach said. “They were one of the first ones there. Some of the coaches on the coaching staff I had already known from before, because they were at Orlando City before they were at NC State. So they already knew who I was and knew I was a good player.”

Ydrach’s journey to this point has been one full of ups and downs. Although his selection was easy, the process leading up to it was anything but. A native of Orlando, Ydrach spent four years as a member of the Orlando City Academy — where he worked on his game, despite having issues with the merry-go-round nature of coaches coming and going.

“We were trying to look for something more stable, where I would be able to grow as a player and hopefully get opportunities to train with the first team at Orlando City, but that didn’t happen,” Ydrach said. “So we were like, ‘Might as well make a change and take a chance in New Jersey.’”

It was as simple as that, and Ydrach made the move up north to train at the Red Bulls Academy. The differences between here and there were startling.

“It’s kind of surreal. I only played high school for one season, coming from New Jersey, so it was a great experience. But, it was obviously sad — emotions were running high, because we all wanted to win and when the final whistle blew and we lost, we were distraught.”

— Roberto Ydrach

Right out of the gate the first, most notable, difference was the weather. He wasn’t in Florida anymore.

“When I got there the first day, my first practice, it was 18 degrees,” Ydrach said. “So I went from 80 degrees in February, to an 18-degree practice, and I was just wearing one long-sleeve shirt, because I wasn’t ready for it.”

Over the course of the next 10 months Ydrach adjusted to the cold and the new routine of extensive training, which coincided with his homeschooling.

It was in New Jersey where he also developed what he refers to as his “third lung” — a product of pushing himself harder than he had ever pushed himself before. By the time he got to Olympia, he was in the best shape of his life.

What followed was a strong senior season and the opportunity to make friends that he never will forget. But now, Ydrach has his college career just ahead of him, and he hopes it can eventually lead to a career.

“The fact that they (NC State) are in the ACC was a big thing for me, because that’s the best league there is for college soccer,” Ydrach said. “I’ve always liked a challenge, so playing these challenges now, in college, can prepare me for hopefully making my dream (come true), which is to become a professional soccer player.”

Troy Herring is the sports editor at the West Orange Times and Windermere Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Mount Olive (BS '12) and the University of Alabama (MA '16)....

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