Priit Peedo, junior, plays forward on the Men’s Soccer team, but here’s the catch: he traveled half way around the world to arrive to his position.
Priit grew up in Tartu, Estonia, which is the second biggest city in Estonia.
“Estonians tend to be quite reserved, but are friendly people,” said Priit, in a soft but thick accent.
Since an early age, Priit was an active child who demonstrated an interest in soccer.
“I used to have a lot of friends in the area I grew up in that would play soccer, so I would join them,” said Priit. “We played all the time until it got dark outside and we couldn’t see the ball.”
From playing a lot outside, Priit embraced his first soccer practice at the age of six.
Priit on the right
“I had a passion for soccer since the first time I played it,” he said.
Priit became a member of the Estonian National Youth Team for three years, playing for the U-15, U-16, and U-18 teams.
With his team, Priit traveled to Finland, Germany, Latvia, and Russia.
“Germany was probably my favorite place that I went to,” said Priit. “They had the highest class facilities that were amazing to play in.”
With the passion for soccer came the idea to begin a new journey to the United States.
“I liked the idea that I could play soccer, meet great people, and earn myself a degree at the same time,” said Priit.
Coming from a close-knit family, it got difficult to leave home.
“It’s hard because I never like saying good-bye, but I talk and Skype with my family a lot,” he said.
Priit even experienced some culture shock upon his arrival to the U.S.
“I was surprised at how big everything is in America: the size of the cities, cars, meals, etc.”
Priit first accepted a scholarship from Florida Southern, but after one year, Warner Men’s Head Soccer Coach Drew Stacey recruited Priit to Warner.
“I’ve gotten to see Priit grow while his time here at Warner,” said Stacey. “Whether you are in the U.S. or in any other country, leadership is leading those around you to progress, and Priit has become one of our four team leaders off the field and a team captain on the field.”
“Next season will be his senior year, and I look forward to having his drive for one more season.”
Even teammates agree…
“Being from Estonia, Priit adds a different dimension with unique characteristics and humor,” said teammate Billy Cundall. “He is not only a fantastic player on the pitch, but he is a genuine friend off it.”
As for the future, Priit has big plans…
“My dream is to play in the Major League Soccer (MLS), preferably for Orlando City Soccer Club.”
Watch some of Priit’s video highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG8VKjfM4eY&feature=youtu.be