Omar's Outlook - PDF Version | Omar's Highlight Reel | Pogoñ Szczecin Web Site
DaytonFlyers.com had the chance to talk with former Flyer and current pro Omar Jarun about his experiences at the collegiate and professional experiences. Dayton currently has seven players, including Jarun, playing professional soccer.
What is the best soccer memory you can recall from your time at the University of Dayton?
The last game I played for UD was very memorable. We lost to Saint Louis in the semifinals of the A-10 Tournament. It was torn in penalties, but the game was fantastic. We played hard but came up short. It had a great atmosphere and has to be my most memorable moment.
How did playing at Dayton prepare you for where you are today with your current club?
Dayton is a very professional university with a professional atmosphere created by Coach Currier. UD has always had great players come into the university, which creates a lot of competition. This is very similar to playing in the pros. If you are not good enough in a match, there is someone right behind you ready to take you spot. This really helped me want to train and play hard every day.
What was your story? In other words, how did you go from finishing your senior year to signing your first professional contract with the Atlanta Silverbacks?
I was rewarded for my hard work at Dayton by being invited to the MLS Combine in Los Angeles. I had high expectations going into the combine, thinking that I would definitely get drafted in the MLS. I had a nightmare of a combine and no one selected me. The USL at the time had a draft and the Silverbacks selected me. I still remember how disappointed I was to not get drafted into the MLS. After taking the MLS Combine for granted I told myself I would never take anything for granted again in my career. I took the opportunity Atlanta gave me and ran with it. I was happy to sign my first pro contract back in my home town, but I knew I needed to keep progressing as a player to play at the highest possible level.
Was it difficult to go from playing professionally in the United States to signing a pro contract with Flota Œwinoujœcie in Europe? What sacrifices had to be made?
There are some difficulties that come with playing in Europe. The language barrier is tough and it was difficult to have to leave my family behind. The one thing I kept telling myself was, ‘work hard and good things will happen.’ The transition I have made from playing with the Vancouver Whitecaps to playing in Poland was smooth. I just never realized how competitive it really is every day, even with training. You can never take a day off, which can be difficult at times.
Having played for a wide variety of teams, what is the most important thing toward having a championship team?
I think that team chemistry, players playing well when they are called on and a bit of luck are all important in having a championship team.
Have you won any championships in the professional ranks? If so, what was the experience like?
I lost in the 2007 USL Championships with Atlanta, but won the 2008 USL Championships with Vancouver. I also advanced to the 2010 Poland Cup. I have been fortunate enough to play in three finals in my five-year pro career. Winning in 2008 with Vancouver was unbelievable. Having had such a disappointment after losing in 2007 with Atlanta, there was a great feeling of accomplishment coming back the next year and winning with Vancouver.
What is the biggest difference between Division I college soccer and the professional game?
The speed of play and the quality of the players are the biggest difference. There is always one player on a team that can come up with a piece of brilliance to win the game.
What is the best advice you have been given as a player?
You can achieve anything you want with hard work and discipline. When times are tough try to find a positive thing from your situation.
Can you compare the level of discipline at the pro level with the level of discipline at the collegiate level? What things that you do now to prepare for games would you go back and do differently than while in college that you feel would have helped make you even more successful and consistent?
I can really pinpoint my discipline starting in my football career to my senior year at Dayton. Coach Currier came to me and wanted me to be a leader on and off the field. He told me I had to set an example to the other players so I tried my best. I did everything I could to set a good example and play hard every day. I still keep this discipline today. The only thing I would change is my diet that I have now. You really have to eat well every day so that you can perform consistently.
Who is the best player you have ever played with?
Alex Pineda Chacon
What are the most important elements to a having a successful team in your opinion?
Everyone has to be working hard for each other. The veteran players need to lead by example. Teams also need to find a way to get a result even when they are not playing well.
What do you miss most about playing for the Flyers?
I miss playing with the teammates I had at Dayton. I also miss playing at the university in front of my friends.