Vince Erdei: "I did everything in my power to make this team great"

Name: Vince Erdei

Year: Junior

Major: Applied Math and Economics

Hometown: Budapest, Hungary


Describe the feeling when you first step onto the pitch.

Vince: “I think there’s just a really great feeling because when I step onto the field, I feel like I’m in my own environment; I’m home. I’m surrounded my friends on the field, and I play for them. When you see people in the stands, that gives you extra motivation. And you know you just do what you love. It’s just a great feeling overall.”

What do the team and your coaches mean to you?

Vince: “They obviously mean a lot. I really respect them, in a different way I would say. My teammates are my friends—my best friends at the same time, and I know we’re gonna be friends 10 years from now too because we created really good bonds and I feel like we’re the same type of people. My coaches obviously are mentors to me, and especially my head coach, who is a really good mentor. He always encourages me, he knows me very well, and we have a really good relationship. I really look up to him. And I think at the same time, he shares the same feelings towards me. There’s this common respect, which is good.”

Give the freshman you advice.

Vince: “I would tell the younger me to be more outgoing. Be more open-minded, talk to people, make friends, because that means a lot in college and it’s super important. I would also say to be more confident because confidence matters a lot. And I know now because I’m really confident now. On the field, especially, because it makes my performance even better. I definitely wasn’t confident when I came here. I needed at least a semester to get used to everything.”

What other interests do you have?

Vince: “Tennis because I played it for a long time and basketball. I like being with friends because we really don’t have too much time to be together and just hang out but when we can, we always have fun. It sounds kind of weird but I really like learning. I’m also interested in financial service sector (banking). My brother is in the field and works in Times Square, and he’s really successful. I want to follow his path because he’s my idol.”

I read that you use chess to beat your opponents. Care to elaborate?

Vince: “The fact that I played chess for 7 years gave me a good way of thinking. It helps me prevent what happens on the field. They say that I have a good soccer IQ and can figure out where to go because of chess. I was more interested in soccer than chess as a kid but I’m grateful that my parents forced me to play chess instead. I still like playing chess now but I can’t see it as my career because I can’t just sit down for 4 hours and play the game.”

What’s the best part of being in the US?

Vince: “The opportunities that I am able to have. Just being able to play soccer and study at the same time is a huge deal. Coming to the US from a small European country, it’s a big opportunity if you follow the right path. The way that people interact with each other in the US is different than in Hungary. They’re more approachable and more open-minded here.”

Do you like being in the spotlight and one of the well-known players on the team?

Vince: “Yes because obviously there isn’t anyone who wouldn’t like that. But I’m not the type of person to always talk about themselves. I don’t like being the guy that’s the only guy on the team; I wouldn’t be effective without the team. One day I’m gonna score, the next day someone else is gonna score. I got lucky because last season it happened to a lot to be me who was able to score. I would love for my team to be more honored. It’s a team effort and my success is due to their effort.”

What’s your greatest achievement on and off the field?

Vince: “For soccer is being on the national Hungary team U17. Off the field, the fact that I was able to play soccer here. Many people are not able to do that and I’m proud of myself for that. I’m pretty sure I’m able to get the most out of being here in the US.”

What’s one of the biggest disappointments you have?

Vince: “I have a couple but the biggest is when I was 13, and I was in the best shape of my life. I had appendicitis and I had to spend over a month in the hospital and I had to sit out for the entire year. I feel like I was meant to be better, but couldn’t because of the operation. I lost my grandmother just after I came to Stony Brook and it was a really hard time for me but I had to work through it.”

What inspires you?

Vince: “My oldest brother inspires me the most because he always helps me and tells me what to do, advises me, and I try to follow his path. He came to America 10 years on a tennis scholarship in New Orleans and I was able to come here because of him. If I do something bad, he tells me what I’ve done wrong. Over my entire career, he’s helped me the most with soccer and off the field.”

What do you want your legacy to be?

Vince: “I think that if people said Vince was a hard-working guy and always open-minded, out-going and represented Stony Brook in the right way, I would be happy, know I did my best and did everything in my power to make this team great.”