A 7,000 Mile Journey: Alex Solomis Thrives on the Pitch

Alex Solomis is chasing his dream of becoming a professional soccer player. Photo courtesy of Chris M.
Leung/Dons Athletics

Cyprus native and defensive midfielder Alex Solomis is no stranger to holding himself to a high standard. The first-year student-athlete lives and breathes soccer, and views the opportunity of playing for the USF soccer team as a stepping stone to reaching his goal. 

“I always say, whatever the case, I’m gonna go pro. I just want to make it, anywhere I can just play [soccer],” Solomis said. “Right now, the ultimate goal I would say is the MLS [Major League Soccer].”

Solomis was born on the small island of Cyprus, which is located in the eastern region of the Mediterranean Sea. He grew up in the capital city of Nicosia, which is known for its warm climate throughout the majority of the year, with temperatures peaking around 110 degrees in the summer. In his free time, Solomis said he enjoys going to the beach and spending time with his family.

After being introduced to soccer at the age of four, Solomis quickly fell in love with the game. “I feel like it’s the best sport because it requires so much thinking,” he said. “It requires everything. You have to be smart. You have to be fast. You have to be technical. You have to be focused for more than 90 minutes.”

Throughout his time in Cyprus, Solomis trained with the U17 and U19 National Team during the 2018-19 and 2020-21 seasons, and he won the U19 First Division Championship with Omonoia FC in 2022. From his experience, Solomis pointed out the strong sense of community he felt due to Cyprus’ small size. “Everyone knows you and you know them. I knew most of the kids I was playing with,” he said. “The teams weren’t many. For my team, there were many players that were on the national team as well.”

Transitioning from his native country to a city that he considers “very hectic,” Solomis said that it took some time for him to get comfortable in San Francisco. “I went from one of the most laid-back places to one of the craziest places,” he said. “In the beginning, it was pretty hard. It was difficult to adjust. It also affected the way I was playing, it took me a while to really start giving what I know I can do.”

Solomis added that the difference in playstyle between European and American soccer also contributed to his adjustment. “Europe is a lot more technical. [America], it’s a lot more physical,” he said. “The pace of the game is faster. You don’t have a lot of space and time to react to make a pass or to transition from defense.”

Teammate Kaleb Afsari said, “His skill lies in his knowledge for the game as well as his technical ability. He has great technique in long passes, shooting, and control.”

His passion is apparent to those who play with him. USF teammate and fellow Cyprus native Constantinos Michaelides, said, “Alex is a very determined, hardworking individual. His work ethic is something that drives and gives energy to those who find themselves around him.” 

When Solomis isn’t physically training, he turns his attention to watching professional soccer games, where he tries to learn from the best. “I model my game after Sergio Busquets, a defensive midfielder from Barcelona. I have similar traits to him. He’s a lot more technical and has really good vision, composure, and passing range,” Solomis said.

When playing on the field, Cyprus is on his mind. Even 7,000 miles away from home, he said,“I feel more passionate about representing my country now that I’m away from it because I also miss home a lot.”

To others with big dreams, Solomis said, “If you’re passionate about something, commit to that and give everything to that. Don’t do something just to do it. Don’t just get a degree to get a degree. Do something you actually love doing and want to have a future with.”

Editor-in-Chief: Megan Robertson, Chief Copy Editor: Sophia Siegel, Managing Editor: Jordan Premmer, Sports Editor: Chase Darden

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