By Jorge Jones
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
Max Gunderson is ready to make his debut Saturday, April 9, at Toyota Field with the newly formed San Antonio FC soccer team.
Gunderson, a three-time, all-conference-performer defender from Henderson, Nev., played with the University of the Incarnate Word’s soccer team for four years, starting in 2008. During his time at UIW, Gunderson played 77 games, scoring two goals and three assists.
After graduating from Incarnate Word, Gunderson went on to play for the USL PDL’s Laredo Heat and the USL’s Oklahoma City Energy FC and Austin Aztex – the latter where he played 2,000 minutes in more than 25 matches.
This year, he is ready for a new challenge with the Spurs-owned soccer team, looking to improve and work hard this season, starting with the first game against the Swope Park Rangers.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for everybody to showcase what we have, showcase our talents and represent the city well,” Gunderson said. “We have good atmosphere and a great fan club behind us.”
Gunderson said his time at UIW helped him develop the necessary skills any professional player must have. He credits his coaches for the success he had as a Cardinal and now as a professional player.
“Playing at UIW developed me mentally and helped me be fit while playing a lot of games and enjoying every moment of it,” Gunderson said. “(Coaches) Vince Martinez and John Smith helped establish a good winning mentality. They taught us to always give a hundred percent and leave everything on the field.”
At UIW, he was a member of the 2008 Heartland Conference championship team and the team that made it to the second round of the 2011 NCAA Soccer Tournament.
“The best moment at UIW has to be senior year when we beat Midwestern State in the playoffs and advancing through to the second round,” he said. “It was a great experience that I will never forget.”
He said time away from UIW has left him with reflections of a unique college experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.
“The atmosphere at UIW was really nice,” Gunderson said. “(UIW has) a beautiful campus with really nice buildings — just really pretty to be on. Sometimes you take it for granted and then you go back there and you’re like, ‘This is really pretty.’ But for the most part I just remember really good teachers, good coaching and a great college atmosphere.”