Edwin Acosta will be glued to his television set Saturday night when his native Honduras entertains the United States in an important World Cup qualifier.
“I can’t wait to see that,” said Acosta, who is a freshman striker for the Husson University soccer team.
Acosta has a few friends on the Honduran team and knows what it’s like to play for his country.
Acosta played Davis Cup tennis for Honduras and might still be doing so if he hadn’t injured his arm several years ago.
“I tore a tendon in my right arm. I didn’t stretch before a match,” said Acosta, who had reached a lofty status.
“I was ranked No. 1 in my age group in Honduras and I was 13th overall in Central America,” said Acosta, who didn’t start playing tennis until he was 10.
“I played my first tournament when I was 11 and finished second,” said Acosta.
He had a serve in excess of 100 miles per hour and could serve and volley or sit back and play from the baseline.
He recalled that he won singles matches against players from El Salvador and Guatemala but lost a doubles match to Bolivia. The Davis Cup was played in Bolivia.
Acosta said playing for his country involved “a lot of pressure.
“It’s fun but you feel nervous when you walk in there. The stands are filled. On one side of the stands, they’re cheering for you and on the other side they’re cheering against you,” he said.
His injury prompted him to give soccer a shot. Soccer and tennis are Honduras’ most popular sports, he said.
Acosta and his parents moved to Rome, Ga., and he began playing in men’s leagues. His high school didn’t have a soccer team.
He became friends with current Husson players Miguel Dominguez, Pablo Humberto-Garcia and Rob Cowart and followed them to the Bangor-based school.
He has scored three goals in 13 games for the Eagles and two of them have been game-winners.
“He’s still learning the game,” said Husson coach Seth Brown. “He’s learning to be on a soccer team and how to play in a system. He’s also learning the physical nature of college soccer. He’s on pace.
“His touch is fantastic. He has the best touch on our team. His first touch is very, very good,” added Brown.
“The difference we find is that in tennis, there’s a pause between the big points. In soccer, there aren’t any pauses. The pauses are at halftime and at the end of the game. We’re working with him on his confidence and on his maturing as a player. We’re putting a lot of responsibility on his shoulders,” said Brown.
“He’s doing pretty well and if he keeps working hard, he’s going to be very, very good,” said Eagles senior captain Billy Shannon. “He’s fitting in more and more.”
“Tennis is an individual sport so I’m trying to get used to playing as a team. It has taken me a while but I think things have gone pretty good so far,” said the 22-year-old Acosta. “In tennis, sometimes matches last three or four hours. It might be 100 and something degrees, you’re playing under the sun and there’s a lot of pressure. And you’re body has to be hydrated all the time. In soccer, the most you can go is 120 minutes.”
He misses tennis but said, “I’ll stick with soccer and see how it goes. I’m loving soccer right now. It’s pretty fun.”
How does he like being at Husson?
“It’s kind of boring if you don’t have a car. But school and soccer are going pretty good and this is a nice play to be.”