If you’ve been fortunate enough to cross paths with Oscar Jimenez on the soccer field there is probably only one thought running through your mind: Please let him be on my team. The 5’8’’ midfielder plays with finesse most can only dream of attaining, and his technical skill is second to none. Not only that, but Jimenez is fast, fit and does all of the running necessary to ensure his team is either in the right place to score, or to prevent the other team from scoring. All in all, Bellingham United FC feels extremely lucky to have such a great player like Oscar on their squad for indoor, but equally thankful he played for us last year in the EPLWA. We caught up with Oscar to see what the last year for him has been like, and what his future plans entail:
- Since last summer, what have you been up to in terms of soccer? Since last summer I have been playing for the Tulsa Roughnecks of the USL. I got offered a contract to play with them at a combine in San Diego in December. From there, I left to Tulsa Oklahoma in mid-January to start our preseason camp. It was quite a change for me, I had never been too far away from home for more than a couple of weeks. I was going to be in Tulsa from January till October, so mentally it was something I needed to come to terms with, which ended up being easier than I thought because I was doing what I love doing – everyday. I got to experience the professional footballer lifestyle, which is literally the best job in the world. I mean, I would wake up, eat breakfast, go train for about 3 hours or so, come back home and have the rest of the day to do whatever I wanted. What did we do with all that free time you may be wondering? Well, sometimes it was taking naps, laying out by the pool, getting some extra work in at the gym, playing some soccer tennis with the teammates, going out to lunch and watching Champions League or any soccer game, go explore the city – it was literally anything we could think of. The season overall went pretty well, I got to play in 20 games and was able to contribute to the team with a goal and an assist. I definitely enjoyed myself, learned a lot from my coaches and definitely learned a lot about myself as a person.
- What have you been up to in terms of everything else? Work, travel, etc. In terms of everything else, I’ve had enough free time to binge watch some pretty cool shows on Netflix, also have done a lot of reading. Picked up a little Portuguese while I was away, and I also learned how to two step a bit, and how to appreciate country music a little more. I got back to WA in mid-October and was able to go back to work at Mount Vernon High School as a Para-Educator. I had the full time position there before I left to go play soccer, they have been nothing but helpful and kind about the whole situation. Like I said, I was able to come back and get right back to work. It’s an enjoyable job because my focus is with bilingual kids who are still learning English or that haven’t really had schooling in the past. I do what I can to make it easier for them in the classroom, so they can follow along with what is going on, and so they can get some sort of benefit by being able to participate although their English language may not be there yet. I also tried this juicing diet, which I still get some stick from my BUFC teammates because I’ll show up with some juices in the locker room.
- How has it been playing with BUFC Indoor this past season? Playing with BUFC this season has been really fun, indoor is such a different game compared to outdoor but it is still a good time. I’ve played with the indoor team here in Bham almost from their very first season when they were the WSA Rapids. It’s fun to be around some of your old college buddies. You get to share some laughs and stories with guys you played with before, or people who are your close friends, which is cool. However, every year there are a few newcomers and they seem to add that extra spice that is needed. I think this year our team has had the most depth but has also been well balanced. You have guys who understand and know how to play the indoor game very well, and then you have the guys who are new to it but bring that outdoor flair to it- it’s fun. I also really enjoy how tight we all are with each other, we are all friends and it helps us understand what is needed from each other, we are willing to put in that extra work for that guy next to us. Another thing is the fans… they are great. They make the atmosphere and the overall experience of the game that more enjoyable. I’m glad we have the black and white army.
- What are you future plans for soccer? My future plans for soccer are to keep playing at a high level, whether it be USL, NASL, MLS. The goal for me has always been to get to the top but it’s not easy. It can sometimes be difficult to get that chance you are searching for, the opportunity you need to show them what you have to offer. Unfortunately for me, I did not get resigned with Tulsa so I’m currently on the hunt for a new club to play for. I have an agent who is doing everything he possibly can to get me in for preseason with some teams but things happen, plans fall through, some teams decide they don’t need certain positions anymore so its back to the drawing board. As of right now, I have an invite only combine in Florida next month for a club in the NASL.
- What has been your favorite memory of Bellingham United? (Either outdoor or indoor) My favorite memory of Bellingham United was when Behr scored from almost full field, not once, but twice! I’ve tried to do this many times but he just did it like it was nothing.