After playing two years of soccer at the University of California – Los Angeles, Colorado native and redshirt sophomore Reid Hukari transferred to DU at the end of March to join the Pioneer men’s soccer team for the 2012 season.
While at UCLA, Hukari found field time tough to obtain.
“The main thing was that I want to play soccer in my future,” said Hukari. “Soccer wasn’t really working out [at UCLA]. We had a 31-man roster, so it’s kind of tough to get in the team. I just [transferred]for soccer, and I love Colorado.”
Although Hukari played 11 games for UCLA’s Bruins his freshman year, he spent all of his sophomore season on the bench as a redshirt. Though he was missed by DU during freshman recruitment, head coach Bobby Muuss said he is confident about Hukari’s prospects with the team.
“It’s been amazing how well he’s fit right into the group, and he knows some of the guys from his playing days in Colorado, as well as keeping in touch with them while he was in college,” said Muuss. “Some of them have played with him during the summers, so the transition has been seamless.”
Prior to his time at UCLA, Hukari was voted All-Colorado First Team twice while playing at Wheat Ridge High School, where he holds the school records for career goals (50), career assists (36) and single-season goals (22 in 2008). Hukari also played club soccer for Colorado Rush.
“We are very excited to have Reid join our program here at the University of Denver this spring,” said Muuss. “In addition to being a tremendous soccer player, he brings a fierce competitive drive to our program. Having him start in the academic and soccer environment here at DU this spring will be a huge benefit for Reid and the program for this upcoming fall.”
According to Hukari, the transition from UCLA to Denver has shown drastic differences in the academic programs between the two schools.
“Academically, it’s pretty good,” said Hukari. “The school here is tough because I’m coming from the smallest class I had at UCLA being 250 people, and now the biggest class I have here is 35. So, knowing the teachers in an intimate setting is kind of cool, but that’s been a different transition for sure.”
Going forward, despite concerns about transferring, Hukari said he feels good about the season. Hukari is confident in his new team’s abilities to excel this spring season.
“As far as spring goes, I see no reason why we can’t win the rest of the games we have in spring and then go from there,” said Hukari. “This will be my third week here. It’s been kind of tough and I’m still judging everything, but the team looks really good right now. We’ve been competitive in practice, and I feel like it’s going to be a good season.”