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Men’s Soccer: CC Uche is determined to make his mark as an Ohio State transfer athlete

Ohio State junior defender CC Uche (3) intercepts the ball in the second half of the Ohio State-Northwestern game on Sep. 21. After two overtimes, the game ended tied 0-0. Credit: Scott Good | Lantern Reporter

CC Uche, a junior defender on the Ohio State men’s soccer team, transferred from Duke University before the start of last season.

Growing up in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Uche loved playing basketball since he was in elementary school and played up into high school.

However, his life changed when one of his friends asked him to try out for the soccer team in high school during his sophomore year. He discovered he had a real talent and passion for the game, and made the decision to quit basketball to focus solely on perfecting his soccer skills.

The year he decided to start playing soccer was also the year of the World Cup, which added to his dream of playing the sport he loves most.

Uche said he wanted to play on the biggest fields and under the brightest lights one day.

“I greatly enjoyed playing soccer at a high level in Argentina and Chile with some of the best youth talents in the world over the course of an entire year,” Uche said. “It shaped me into the competitor that I am today and motivated me to go back to the United States and play college soccer at Duke University.”

Uche enjoyed his time at Duke, and made several lasting friendships while he was there. However, he said the small size of the school factored into his decision to try something new and transfer to a bigger school. He began to feel that this transition would be the best thing for him at this point in his college soccer career.

“I had great success at Duke and started most of the games,” Uche said. “There was just a lot of turnover with a lot of players leaving and not much stability with the coaching staff and I wanted to come to a more comfortable situation.”

After transferring to Ohio State prior to the start of the season, Uche has high expectations for himself and for the team. The goal is clear among the team to do well in the Big Ten conference.

With new head coach Brian Maisonneuve at the helm, the excitement and new energy is extremely evident.

“CC has been great and a tremendous boost to the athleticism of our team,” Maisonneuve said.

Because he grew up in a small town, Uche admitted it has taken a little time to get accustomed to the urban setting of Columbus.

“It’s been pretty crazy but also pretty unique at the same time to be at a big school like Ohio State,” Uche said. “Coming from a small school like Duke where I knew everybody and now being here, it has been an interesting transition trying to make connections and friendships.”

Despite this initial obstacle that he had to face, he does not regret at all the decision to transfer.

“I fit in with the team great and I love the guys,” Uche said. “Coach Maison is the GOAT and is one of the best coaches I have had by far.”

Uche said Ohio State’s athletic reputation speaks for itself, and that he has enjoyed getting to meet new people since joining the university.

“Transferring isn’t the easiest, but at the end of the day, I feel like this new experience has really helped me grow as an athlete as well as a person,” Uche said.

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