Former Stetson star Gonzalo De Mujica is set to start the 2013 season with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League (NASL). The Weston, Fla. native signed with the Strikers on Jan. 31 and has competed in all three preseason games thus far.
De Mujica earned a degree in International Business from Stetson University after starting for three seasons in the midfield for the Hatters, and leading the team to an Atlantic Sun Conference Championship in 2009. He was a two-time all-conference selection, and a Third Team NSCAA Scholar All-American as a senior.
"I definitely became better as a player," De Mujica said of his time at Stetson. "When I came in I was a little skinny kid and I realized early on how physical the college game is. Getting used to the physical nature of the game was definitely the biggest adjustment for me.
"Coach was always very positive and helpful with me," De Mujica went on to say about Stetson head coach T. Logan Fleck. "He definitely helped me become a better player by looking at the game with a different perspective. He taught me how to take control of the midfield."
Playing with Orlando City U-23, the FC JAX Destoryers, and Schulz Academy since leaving Stetson, De Mujica's goals for this season are to make the starting 11 while adapting to the new level of play and learning his role within the team.
"In college I was not under too much pressure," De Mujica continued. "I knew I was a starter and so I was comfortable. In the pros, you have to be 100% the whole time because there are always guys on your heels looking to take your spot. Being consistent is really important."
The spring season for the Strikers, who finished fifth out of eight teams last season, begins on April 6. De Mujica and Ft. Lauderdale squad host FC Edmonton at 7:30 p.m.