Alex and Oscar Greene found their way to the Lehigh men’s soccer team from Flower Mound, Texas, where they lived for three years.
Neither Alex nor Oscar had heard of Lehigh until the university’s soccer coaches reached out to them.
“The coaches reached out to both Alex and me through email showing their interest in us,” Oscar said. “They wanted us to come visit the campus, meet some of the players and meet the coaching staff as well.”
After making the trip, Alex said he felt as if he was already a part of the “Lehigh family.” He said the coaches weren’t just interested in his soccer skills but also who he is as a person.
After discussions with their parents and coaches after the visit, the brothers were eager to commit to Lehigh.
Neither Alex nor Oscar ever dreamed of playing soccer in college, but they both wanted to continue pursuing the sport.
“I love playing soccer, but I never thought that I had to play soccer in college to continue to love the game,” Alex said. “My favorite part of being on the soccer team is that I get to meet great people and play the sport that I love everyday.”
Originally, Oscar wanted to skip college and play professionally. While he did not pursue that dream, he said he thought going to college was the better option anyway, and both brothers are happy with their decision to play for Lehigh.
Similarly to the Greene brothers, sophomore defender Zarin Tuten hails from Texas. Before attending Lehigh, he lived near Austin for three years, where he was homeschooled and unable to play soccer for a traditional high school team.
Instead, Tuten joined an academy team that was part of the Lonestar Soccer Club. He drove close to two hours each day round trip to practice with his team.
“To be recognized and get attention from college coaches, you need to play at the academy level, which is a league of the 80 best teams from around the country,” Tuten said.
In December 2014, Tuten and his team went to a Florida showcase, which is where Lehigh coaches first noticed him. He then went to the Future 500 camp, a soccer camp for players who are trying to get recruited in Pennsylvania.
Tuten said this is where associate head coach Ryan Hess became interested in him and invited him to come to Lehigh for an unofficial visit.
Tuten got a really positive impression of the campus, and was especially impressed by the future plans that the coaches had for the team. He committed a week later.
Playing soccer in college had always been a dream of Tuten’s, but unlike many aspiring athletes, he has never been interested in playing professional soccer. His goal has always been to get an education, while playing the sport he loves, which is what Lehigh had to offer.
Despite their atypical journeys to Lehigh, competing in practice every day has helped the Greene brothers and Tuten grow their love for the sport and form relationships on the team.
“I really enjoy the brotherhood,” Tuten said. “Having 30 other guys there for you, no matter what, makes these four years much more enjoyable. We are creating memories and friendships with people that will last a lifetime.”