Chima Ogueri started playing soccer at a young age, lettering twice in high school, and eventually coming to play for the University of Dallas. A junior business major, Ogueri has played two years with the UD men’s soccer team, ranking in the top five for UD in several categories, including scoring six goals, accumulating three assists and placing 25 shots on goal in his 2017 season.
“As a kid, I grew up watching Manchester United, which is a premier league team,” Ogueri said. “Ever since I was young my dad and I used to watch soccer together every Sunday morning. It was like our own ritual. My dad actually used to play soccer, so those two things combined really just got me started with soccer and gave me a love for the sport.”
In addition to soccer, Ogueri played football and ran track in high school, lettering twice in those sports as well. His time spent in high school playing football and track also helped him in various ways to prepare him for soccer at a collegiate level.
“With track, it really helped me to develop speed,” Ogueri said. “With football, the funny thing about it was that it made me tougher against opponents who tried to body me off the ball, or push me off the ball. It made me quicker with my turns. When I think about making those quicker turns in soccer, I can look back to my football days where we made quick turns, and it made things easier because I had to practice it.”
In 2017, Ogueri netted a pair of goals against the number four seed Trinity University, one of which was a game-winning goal. At the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference semifinal, he scored a goal and assist against Southwestern University. Practice is always a big part of his output.
“The biggest thing, when it comes to shooting drills, is focus,” Ogueri said. “That’s a big portion that I worked on last year, this year, and even during the summer. An example is when we did shooting drills, I would really focus on how to strike the ball, which part of my foot to hit it with, and how to place it a whole lot better. So when I was playing a game, I was a lot more relaxed with the practice I had done.”
David Hoffman, the head coach for the men’s soccer team, now in his 16th season, has been highly influential on Ogueri.
“At halftime, he tells us the defensive positions that we may take, or the attacking positions that we may take, that we have practiced on, and just reiterates it during the game,” Ogueri said. “Honestly, he just gets us excited. He tells us about our history with the opposing team and gets us really pumped up. He is always just getting us ready to play, to defeat any team.”
Ogueri is also looking to give back to the men’s soccer program before he graduates in various ways that could help the team in the future.
“The biggest goal, is of course, to win the SCAC tournament,” Ogueri said. “Last year we made it to the tournament, and then even the championship game, but didn’t play our best. I can see the potential that the men’s soccer team has gotten over the years, and I want to help the younger kids. Help them get out there and compete like I did.
“I want them to know that if you’re going to go this school, you’re going to win games. If I can help develop something like that before I graduate and win the SCAC tournament, I can say I was successful in my time here at UD.”