Soccer And Family Guide SPU’s Mejia Through Uncertainty
Alex Mejia played in 17 games and started in 16 for the Falcons as a junior in 2019, finishing with totals of four goals and two assists.
Alex Mejia played in 17 games and started in 16 for the Falcons as a junior in 2019, finishing with totals of four goals and two assists.
Alex Mejia
Alex Mejia

Monday, October 19, 2020
by Kaho Akau, GNAC Media Relations Assistant

SEATTLE – Alex Mejia was just nine years old when he experienced the most terrifying moment of his life.

Born in Philadelphia and raised in Seattle, Mejia moved with his parents to his father’s hometown of Tela, a town on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. They lived in Tela for just one year, but one memory remains unforgettable.

Mejia was woken up by a violent shaking at 3:30 a.m. on May 28, 2009. A 7.3-magnitude earthquake had just hit Honduras.

Still half asleep, Mejia had no idea what was happening. Their house sat on eight-foot-tall stilts to avoid flooding during the rainy season, but the trembling of the house was more extreme as a result. His parents ran into his room to grab him and the three stumbled out of the house while the ground continued to rattle.

“It felt like the whole house was bouncing,” Mejia said. “The shaking lasted for almost a minute so we had to run out to the yard. Everything was still shaking and no one knew what to do.”

After the family had some time to process what was happening, it dawned on them. Tela lies on the northern coast of Honduras and their house was less than 100 yards from the beach. Not only did they have to deal with the earthquake, but they also had to prepare for a possible tsunami.

Fortunately, there was no tsunami and only a few things in the house were broken as the shaking ceased. But the fear of the unknown was still enough to make them quiver in their yard for a few more moments.

“As a 9-year-old boy, I had never experienced anything like that,” he said. “Besides being scared and having school closed for a week, there were no big problems. I’m glad nothing more serious happened and everything was alright.”

Now a senior defender on the Seattle Pacific men’s soccer team, Mejia still remembers every detail of that frightening morning. But the one thing other than his family that has always brought him comfort is soccer.

Mejia started playing soccer when he was four years old. It wasn’t until he arrived at Seattle Pacific that he realized just how unique and universal the sport is, especially at the collegiate level. Playing Division II soccer has allowed him to represent his family and take pride in his school, which is something that he never felt before.

“Soccer is the world’s game. No matter where you go, there are people who play soccer,” he said. “I have met people from all over the world through soccer.”

When Mejia is on the soccer field, countless thoughts enter his mind: Am I contributing enough? What are the other team’s weaknesses? How much time is left on the clock? How much energy do I have left?

But the best part about going to school so close to home is having his friends and family in attendance.

“I also check the stands to see who came to watch,” he said. “I should be more focused on the ball but a little wave from my friends helps me to play better because it puts a smile on my face.”

Off the field, Mejia coaches a 10-year-old boys’ soccer team with Seattle Celtic, the club he played for when he was a child. He also loves to dance and go fishing but his busy schedule has put a lot of extracurricular activities on hold. With very little free time on his hands, his college life has been dedicated to soccer and schoolwork.

A business administration major with concentrations in finance and economics, his interest in business and making money started when he was a high schooler selling soda, doughnuts, candy and clothes to his peers. After graduation, he plans to stay in the soccer world and someday land a marketing or finance job for a major European soccer club.

“Business seemed like the best fit for my personality,” he said. “I have always been creative in finding ways to make money and this makes me a perfect fit for the business world.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep the nation and with GNAC sports being suspended until the spring, it can sometimes be easy for Mejia and his fellow seniors to already look ahead to life after collegiate soccer. Practices are even set up in small groups, so he doesn’t get to be with the entire team at any given time. But he’s not done yet. There’s still more to accomplish.

Mejia looks forward to the day that he can finally travel with the team and compete again. He looks forward to leading his team and competing for a conference title. He looks forward to seeing fans in the stands because there is no better feeling than scoring a goal and hearing the crowd roar while he celebrates with his teammates.

“Soccer had been my life for the past 10 years and to not play a normal season this year for the first time in a while is weird,” he said. “It has made me realize that soccer is everything to me. This school and program have given me everything.”

Mejia can’t wait for his life to go back to normal. But having soccer and a loving family by his side makes the wait well worth it.