Nick DePuy started his soccer playing in Southern California, as a resident of Irvine.
This week, he’s back, paving the way to the first big professional step on his journey.
DePuy, who attended Mater Dei HS for one year before moving to Colorado, is one of participants in this week’s MLS Player Combine. The ultimate goal is to have his named called during Friday’s MLS SuperDraft.
He played four years at UC Santa Barbara.
“It was a great experience,” DePuy said of his time at UC Santa Barbara. “I worked really hard. Coming into my freshman year, I was a high recruit, but I wasn’t guaranteed any minutes.”
It also wasn’t any guarantee that DePuy would end up with the career that he eventually had for the Gauchos.
DePuy arrived at UCSB as a defender and it took a bit of being at the right place at the right time for him to move up the field.
“I ended up starting three games in,” he said. “My second year, I started out as a defender again, at center back, and then one of our strikers went down with an injury.
“My coach, halfway through the season, put me up top. I scored a bunch of goals my sophomore (10) year, had a really good junior year (15 goals).”
After his junior year, DePuy said he started receiving interest from professional teams, but decided to return for his senior year, where he scored just six goals and he added that his last year “was kind of disappointing.”
“We lost a lot of guys that I didn’t think we were going to lose,” he said. “My junior year, we went to the Sweet 16 and we only had three seniors that we knew we were losing. By the start of summer, we had five or six starters that were either injured of transferred. We had a bunch of new players and a lot young guys as well and I believe that the connection and chemistry wasn’t as good as it was the other years.
DePuy went on trial with clubs in Europe recently. He said that he learned a lot. Now, he’s trying to put everything to use to catch the eye of the MLS Scouts that will result in his name being called during Friday’s SuperDraft.
“It has always been a dream of mine to go professional,” he said. “This has always been a hobby for my, but once my sophomore and junior year hit, I was like this could really happen and my dream is really going to come true.”