MBA student and NCAA Men’s Soccer National Champ, Alvaro Unanua Dean is the perfect combination of competitive and humble...
Dedicated. Reliable. Humble. Competitive. Funny. These are the characteristics Alvaro Unanua Dean brings on and off the soccer field. Currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Business Administration, Alvaro and his teammates also recently won the NCAA Men’s Soccer Division II National Championship for the first time ever in program history this past December.
When asked about what he felt when he realized they won the Championship, Alvaro tells us, “There are not enough words to describe it, it is an amazing feeling. All the big effort during the season is rewarded and that is the best feeling.”
Originally from Spain, Alvaro grew up watching his father play professional soccer so it was inevitable that he, too, would have the “soccer gene.” He began playing at the age of eight years old.
Additionally, “I was always living in different places around Spain due to my father’s soccer schedule,” Alvaro tells us. He credits this experience for why he is so outgoing today. As an international student athlete, one of the things he loves most – about the sport and the CBE – is getting to meet so many different people from so many different walks of life.
Today, he has won and/or been selected as:
- NCAA DII Second Team All-American
- NCAA All-West Region First Team
- CCAA Goalkeeper of the Year
(Credit: Robert Huskey/Cal State LA)
Understanding that balancing the life of both a student and athlete is no cake walk, we asked Alvaro his secret to balancing the two.
“You need to be responsible and committed to being successful in both things, and sometimes it is not easy to balance both things. Moreover, coaches, professors, and teammates will always be there to help you out in case you need it.” In fact, he cites his coaches, professors, and teammates as his biggest influence and support system at the CBE; and Alvaro is a reflection of his tightknit CBE community – and a reminder of what greatness we can achieve together.
Two of his favorite athletes are “Andres Iniesta, because of his humility and achievements, and Rafael Nadal, because he is an example of effort and perseverance.”
When he is not practicing soccer or busy with schoolwork, he loves to practice other sports, hang with friends, play the guitar (fairly well may we add), read, and watch movies.
If he could be any fictional character, “I would be The Joker, I always love to make jokes.”
For students, athletes, student-athletes, and everyone in between, he bids us with the following advice: “Just be ready and excited about new challenges and enjoy every day because you will always remember your college stage in the future.”
Alvaro is scheduled to graduate in Spring of 2023. He hopes to pursue a professional career in soccer, and if not, he will search for a job that he really likes that is aligned with Business Administration.
Check out his sports write-up here: https://lagoldeneagles.com/sports/mens-soccer/roster/alvaro-unanua/3650