Getting to know....Eddie Na

by Pete Richmire

TACOMA, WA. -We know you love to cheer for the Stars on the field but now, we want you to get to know the players you cheer for! Every week we will spotlight a different Tacoma Stars player and highlight them here. In our sights for this week is seven-year Stars veteran forward Eddie Na!

Q: There is quite a bit for fans to learn about Eddie Na away from indoor soccer, let's start with suiting up for the Guam National Team. What was that experience like?

A: Playing for the Guam National Team has been such a dream come true. To represent the island in all the major tournaments has been an incredible experience, an honor and one I am so excited to experience at least one more time! It’s a different experience putting that jersey on, competing against the best from every country we face. It’s so much about pride and making the people of your country proud and the stakes are always so high it’s an incredible rush every minute of those trips. Just experiencing the game in different parts of the world and getting a taste of cultures is so eye-opening and enjoyable. I’ve learned so much on and off the field just by being part of the national team and I can’t wait to go back and fight for the country and hopefully bring success and pride to the island for everyone to celebrate. 

Q: Now, we can discuss your recent success as a high-school coach. Tell us about last season!

A: Last season was phenomenal and it’s amazing to look back on. One of the craziest achievements is that we were ranked by US soccer as #4 in the nation for boys high school soccer and we’re consistently ranked in the top 15 for the majority of the season! On top of that we won arguably the most difficult league in the state which is a feature in itself, but to do it undefeated is something I am so proud of. It was so much time and effort put into the season from our players to the staff to even the fans. It was a big collaborative effort amongst everyone involved with Curtis Boys Soccer that led to the success. Without a single piece of that remedy, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve our first league title in 17 years. I can’t wait to make future strides and continue to build this program to its maximum potential. I can see it being a top school for many colleges and professional teams to reference whenever they want to find good soccer players in Washington State. Now it’s about making it all happen and we are getting there for sure. 

Q: Favorite soccer memory, from any point in your career?

A: There are so many memorable ones it’s hard to pick! I would say…breaking the PLU goal-scoring record, signing my first contract with the Tacoma Stars or playing in Hong Kong for the Guam National Team! All three and tied in my head! Each had its own special moment for various reasons that I’m very proud to tell anyone about

Q: If you found yourself on the side of the road, and broke down at 2 in the morning, which Stars teammate is answering the phone and helping without a doubt?

A: I would say Logan Jones! That guy will always answer and is always willing to help out. 

Q: Where is your dream vacation site and why?

A: I think my dream vacation would be Spain I have always wanted to travel there and backpack around all the major cities, eat all the different dishes, and engulf in the Spanish culture that has so much history behind it! And the beaches!!! 

Q: Which Stars teammate does Eddie Na like going one-on-one for a challenge with at training?

A: I love the challenging environment we have here at the Stars with so many quality players. But the one I have the most difficulty with over the years is Adam West. He’s so tough to play against because he’s very strong, and aggressive but smart with his positioning that makes it a different experience against him every single play. I might get the best of him for one play and the next I’m on the floor while he’s ripping a ball into the back of the net. He’s really helped me recognize what to work on and hone over the years. 

Q: Favorite movie?

A: I would say…22 Jump Street because it’s just downright hilarious and Intern because it’s a great heartfelt movie I’d recommend to anyone! 

Q: When you were in elementary school, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: I’ve always wanted to be a professional soccer player. Anyone and everyone who saw me grow up knows that’s always been the only dream I’ve ever had! It wasn’t until I got to college that I considered a more standard and stable career path and I grew into that passion of being a school counselor! I am very thankful all of my jobs are things because they are all things I’m very passionate about. 

Q: Do you see yourself coaching at the collegiate level someday?

A: To be honest, coaching was only a thought of doing it at Curtis. The motive was more to give back to the community that served me rather than for the interest in coaching but over the years it’s come into my mind more. I think I would be open to the idea if the opportunity arose. 

Q: Which of your Stars teammates is most likely to make you laugh?

A: Logan Jones or Fellipe Souza for sure they’re both just goofballs and probably the funniest guys in the locker room! I’ll always get a good chuckle even being in the vicinity of those two! 

Q: Favorite Stars memory at the accesso ShoWare Center in front of Stars fans?

A: I have to give a shout-out to the time we beat San Diego back in 2014 I think…Mike Ramos scored the final second of the game to make it 8-7. I had been training with them all season and really experiencing indoor for the first time and WOW that was…so unreal to watch.

But in a game I’ve played in I have to say when we beat Monterrey at the ShoWare Center a few years ago in our special jerseys. Monterrey still are a phenomenal team but back then they were on such a hot streak and it really didn’t seem like anyone could stop them. It was such a gritty performance from top to bottom and the crowd was just as into it as we were. By the end of the game, the whole place erupted and I have never felt the ShoWare Center jump and cheer like that in my time with the Stars. 

Q: What is one thing about Eddie Na that would surprise fans?

A: I would say I really enjoy cooking! I make a really mean steak! It’s a craft I like learning more about that I’m sure I’ll devote more time to in the future.