BORN FOR THIS: Soccer Is A Family Affair For Austin's Iyoriobhe
SOCCER IS ALL EJ IYORIOBHE HAS KNOWN.
The Fort Bend Austin senior forward/midfielder was introduced to the game while growing up in his native Ireland. His granddad, Victor Oduah, played on the Nigerian national team and taught Iyoriobhe the ins and outs of fútbol.
His brother, Eromose Iyoriobhe, played for Austin (Class of 2018) and now stars at West Point. He is Iyoriobhe’s inspiration.
“Soccer was all I knew from a young age,” Iyoriobhe said. “My first memories were of soccer because of my granddad. My family has always been involved in soccer. When we’d have family outings, we’d all go to a park and play together. I have always associated soccer with good times, good memories. It was fun.”
Iyoriobhe, who came to the United States when he was five years old, was practically born to play soccer. He stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 165 pounds. He is a crafty dribbler with terrific speed. He has rapidly-improving passing skills and vision.
He has no trouble beating an opponent one-on-one.
“I’ve always been fast and strong when I’m on the ball,” Iyoriobhe said. “Dribbling, pace, finding my teammates. Stuff like that.”
In helping the Bulldogs to a 9-1-1 start this season, he scored five goals with five assists.
“Last year, I was kind of raw as a player,” said Iyoriobhe, a four-year varsity letterman. “You’d see bursts here and there, but it wasn’t consistent throughout the game. Now, being a senior, I’m expected to be a leader on the team. I want to play a complete and composed game for the whole 80 minutes.”
Iyoriobhe’s goal is to lead his team to a deep playoff run this season. He plans to play more of the central midfield to get more teammates involved when he’s on the ball.
He is the engine that revs Austin’s attack. Iyoriobhe wants to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and play in college. He looks to Eromose for guidance.
“He’s the one who always gives me tips and advice,” Iyoriobhe said. “He’s the main one guiding me on what to do and how to play. He motivates me to keep going."