It’s a 90 degree August day in Buffalo. While many students are kicking back and relaxing, Marco Trivellato is packing his stuff up in Italy and making the trek back to Buffalo, and his Canisius College teammates, for another season of college soccer.
It’s a trek he does’t mind taking as he works toward his degree, and trying to help the Griffs get to the NCAA tournament.
Living in the United States, people have a tendency to take what they have for grant it. They expect to be able to to do anything they want, when they want to. They almost forget how good they have it here in the states.
For a lot of Europeans, the “American Dream” is till alive and well. They see what the United States has to offer when it comes to jobs, athletics or even education. Colleges in the states are sought after by athletes in Europe.
You see more and more European athletes being recruited by college coaches. It’s a win, win, for both the college and the athlete. The college gets a very good student-athlete to help their program. And the student-athlete gets a very good education they can either use here, if they choose, or back home.
For Canisius College men’s soccer player Marco Trivellato being able to come to the states to get an education, and play at the Division I level, is something he was looking to do for awhile.
“The American Dream is still alive in Europe. Living there has helped me to build my character, meet new people, become independent (I have to do a lot of stuff by myself without the help of my parents ),” explained Trivellato. “I deal everyday with different kind of people and it helps you to understand how people, who are not from your same country, think and act. It's a great experience that I'm living right now.”
The experience hasn’t been without a few bumps in the road. Like anyone from a different country coming over to the states language was a big barrier in the beginning. Trying to understand what people are saying and what they are doing was not easy.
Canisius, however, made the transition a little bit easier for Trivellato. They wanted to make sure he could succeed. While also have a great college experience, and a great experience abroad.
“At the beginning it was hard, because I wasn't used to dealing with people in English. Also, right now my English is not perfect,” stated Trivellato. “But Canisius has helped me a lot during (my time). Every time I had problems they found the way out. The tutoring center was my second home last year. They helped me a lot. I would say that college is like high school in Italy, so besides my problem with the language it was not so hard to get used to my new life.”
The English wasn’t the only issue he had to overcome. Not playing was another one. Trivellato arrived just in time for the Griffs’ season, but the coaches made the decision to red-shirt him for the year.
It wasn’t a bad idea as he needed to get used to a new country, new school and a new way to play soccer. But, a very accomplished goalkeeper back in Italy, Trivellato wasn't used to riding the pine.
He was used to getting out there and helping his team win. By being on the bench, there were times he felt upset and wondered why he would practice if he couldn’t play. Trivellato loves the game of soccer, and loves to compete. When he couldn’t get out there it was eating him up inside.
“In my career, I was lucky to never experience the bench spot. I almost always played. For this reason last year was tough for me. I grew up with the mentality that during the week you work hard to be ready for the next game,” explained Trivellato. “But I couldn't play last year. So every time I went over to the field I thought why am I'm doing it, because I knew I couldn't play. At the beginning it was easier, because I used that time to understand how American soccer works and to get used to different method of training. However, over the spring, I was really upset because I couldn’t, (and I cannot), understand why I couldn't play friendly games. Spring doesn't count. It was frustrating really. To be honest it was so stressful that sometimes I would break everything around me. I love playing soccer, especially I love to compete. Last year was a nightmare, but fortunately it's done.”
Like most soccer players in Italy, college isn’t really though of as much. Most soccer players want to be good enough where they can become a professional. Play in Serie A. Maybe even good enough to play for the national team.
It’s a dream that never dies. However, to be part of any youth team, or to be considered for a national youth team, you normally have to play for one of the big clubs.
Trivellato didn’t play for one of the big three or four clubs in Italy. He did make a pretty good name for himself before heading to play for Canisius.
“It is tough because everyone plays soccer. However ,I was lucky to play with and against players who right know are playing pro,” stated Trivellato. “To get a call from the national youth team you have to play for important teams such as Inter, Milan, Juventus, Roma, or you have to win your league. However, in your league you play against those team which invest a lot of money to get the best players they can get.”
Trivellato’s goalkeeping career started early on in his soccer life. But, it’s not how you may think it began. He wasn’t the kid who always wanted to play net. He wasn’t groomed from the age of 5 or 6.
He started to play between the pipes because the normal keeper didn’t show up for the game.
“One day, when I was 8 years old, my keeper didn't show up for a game. So my coach asked me to go in the goal, and from that moment I haven't left that place.”
Ever since that day goalkeeping has been in his blood. It’s something that he wanted to make sure he excelled at. He has put in the hard work over time to make sure he is the best keeper he can be.
“I met hundreds of great players, and five to seven great goalkeeper coaches. From everyone I took something that I believed it could make me better,” stated Trivellato. “In addition if you play for different teams every year you have to compete for the starting position. I believe that competition is the most important drive to improve your skills. Who wants to stay on the bench?Not me. I’m also going to earn my MBA after graduating. After then, if I get the chance I would like to play pro. If I won't able to do that I would like to find a job in the states.”
Some would say why stay in the states if you come from a beautiful city like his hometown of Padua? Many people from the states go to Italy and say that would love to live there. It’s hard sometimes for people here to understand that others would want to leave.
But, then again, the United States is still the land of opportunity.
“ I grew up in Padua, a little town close to Venice. Padua is famous for Saint Anthony. There is also the second biggest plaza in Europe after the red plaza in Moscow: Prato Della Valle,” stated Trivellato. Padua is nice. There is also a huge university and you can find whatever you need. Romans built Padua so it's a town with a lot of important monuments and history. To be honest I didn't like my city to much, because I preferred to take a ball and play in my garden rather than going out.”
A boy, who is now a man, living out a boyhood and American Dream.