Athlete of the Week: Kevin Serrano-Maldonado


Fia Cooper

“My teammates are pushing me to become the best player I can be,” sophomore Kevin Serrano-Maldonado said. “I feel like that has always been the deal since last season.”

Will Ceballos, Staff Reporter

Sophomore Kevin Serrano-Maldonado has had a special bond with soccer since he was seven years old, and he doesn’t plan on letting that bond go anytime soon.

Serrano “just [loves] the game,” he said. “I don’t really know how to explain it but something about it just sends [me] into another world where I don’t have any worries or stress.”

This love for the game is inspired by his brother, cousin, and world-renowned Portuguese soccer player, Christiano Ronaldo.

“I know Ronaldo is always watching what he eats, sleeping eight hours a day, putting in the work, and resting, and I try to do the same,” Serrano said. “It’s a lifestyle, and it’s one that I admire. I feel like that’s why he’s the best.”

Although Ronaldo may have inspired Serrano’s lifestyle and game, he attributes his work ethic to his family.

“My cousin and brother have always pushed and are still pushing me to become the best,” he said. “I wouldn’t be the player I am without them.”

At La Salle, Serrano was quickly introduced to the competitive environment on the varsity boys soccer team last year as a freshman.  

“It was my first ever high school season and I didn’t really know what to expect,” he said. He credits team co-captain Aidan O’Brien for acting as his “role model” and for taking him “under his wing” during his freshman and sophomore years.

Serrano’s teammates have also played a big role in his high school soccer experience. “Their competitiveness really elevates the level at our practices and it helps develop my game drastically,” he said.

Although Serrano’s freshman season was cut short due to COVID-19, he gained some of his fondest memories from it.

One of his favorite memories for the abbreviated 2020 season was his first-ever high school match against a particular rival. “We were up against Wilsonville and I remember playing the full 80 minutes.” Serrano said. “Although we lost, it really helped me set the tone for the rest of the season.”

While describing his main roles as the starting center midfielder for the team, Serrano said he must “delegate the play and distribute the ball.”

Using this strategy, he said he posted an impressive 9 goals and 4 assists throughout the year, not including the 2 goals he scored in the state championship victory Saturday. 

When it comes to preparing for a big match, Serrano keeps his pregame ritual simple. “Every time I am about to step on the pitch, I have to step in with my left foot first,” he said. “That’s just something I’ve been doing for a while now and it has helped me calm down any nerves I get before a game.”

As Serrano looks towards the future, “I hope to play D1 soccer, and hopefully [professionally],” he said. Continuing soccer at La Salle, Serrano hopes to share his passion for soccer and become a leader for others on the team.