Enzo Martinez: The Face of Hope For The Colorado Rapids

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Posted Wed, Jul 18, 2018

SAVIN’ THE DAY: Enzo Martinez dribbling the ball down the field. [Photo: Colorado Rapids/Garrett Ellwood]

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Nov. 21, 2010, the 2010 MLS Cup final facing off the Colorado Rapids and the FC Dallas.

Minute 35 — David Ferreira with a brilliant finish, and Dallas has the lead 1-0 against the Rapids.

Minute 57 — Casey in the middle can he finish it, you bet yourself he can!!!! The game is tied 1-1.

Minute 107 of extra time — Crazy deflection it’s an own goal!!!! By George John from FC Dallas the Rapids up 2-1.

The whistle signifying that the game is over echos throughout the field, and the team from the Rockies is Champion for the first time ever! It’s almost been eight yearsbut the championship feeling still feels fresh for fans, players and staff — a gift and an honor earned by the sweat, passion and hard work done by the Colorado Rapids.     

Nicolás Lodeiro for the Sounders waiting for the Referee to give him the go to kick a Corner Kick against the Rapids. [Photo: David Guardado]

As Major League Soccer (MLS) gets more and more decisive, getting the edge on your side is concededly important. For the Colorado Rapids it came with an attacking midfielder, measuring 5’7 named Enzo Martinez. Enzo produces hope, by bringing hard work, passion and love to the game. Creating hope for Rapids fans that one day they will see another MLS Cup at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Hailing from Uruguay, Enzo was born in the nation’s capital, Montevideo. Even though, Enzo later moved to the U.S., as he remembers, “I was 10-years-old and my father had lost his job. We decided to sell what we owned and bought my dad a ticket to come to the U.S. From there he work three jobs and was able to save enough money to bring my whole family to the U.S.”

Enzo and his family settled in Rock Hill, South Carolina where Enzo had to adapt to a new way of life. “I didn’t speak a word of English,” he says. “It was a huge change for everyone, but I’m very happy it happened.”

JUST FOR KICKS: A sight far too familiar to the opposition, Enzo Martinez in mid-kick. [Photo: Colorado Rapids/Garrett Ellwood]

Soccer was life for Enzo, and he gained inspiration from his family and his native country. “I had uncles that played [and] my dad played,” he says. “Since I was little, that’s the only idea I have ever had. I can’t think of anything else I wanted to do, and I’m lucky now.”

Showing promising talent and heart, Enzo continued to dream big by placing his stamp at the University of North Carolina. Playing three years there and scoring 22 goals in 72 games, and becoming NSCAA First team All American.

The next year Enzo decided to join the draft, as was drafted 17 overall in the 2012 MLS Super draft by Utah’s Real Salt Lake.

However, Enzo felt that Real Salt Lake neglected his time and talent. “I was there for two years,” Enzo says, “and for me all I wanted to do was play. I didn’t wanna be on the team just to be there.”

The question was clear for Enzo why be involved in soccer if your not going to play?

An opportunity arose with the Charlotte Independence, a second tier league soccer team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Enzo played with the Independence for a couple of season, racking up experience and knowledge that later led him to the Colorado Rapids.

Fans at Dicks Sporting Goods Park watching the Rapids and the Sounders warm up before the game. [Photo: David Guardado]

Finally signing a contract with the Rapids on Feb. 19, 2018, an opportunity opened up. “I couldn’t pass it by,” Enzo says. “It was something I had work for so long for. The coach and staff liked what I was about, and I was lucky enough to sign a contract here.”

Enzo had one request, he wanted to wear the number 19, but that number was taken by teammate Jack Price. So Enzo had to be creative with the number on his back. “I came up with 90,” Enzo says, “because I was born in 1990 – it was something that had meaning for me.”

With a team and a number on his back, Enzo always keeps his feet on the ground by acknowledging the hardships of soccer. “It’s not easy being a player at a high level,” he says. “This career is up and down, but the hardest part of it is reminding yourself to go to work, getting it done, and never getting to comfortable.”

Enzo adds, “One thing is believing in yourself, and two is never ever giving up. If there’s something you want in your life, you need to get it done. For me it hasn’t been the easiest, but I always, always believed in myself, and all the hard work has paid off for me.”

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To Watch The Colorado Rapids Journey, Check Out Their Games

https://www.coloradorapids.com/tickets/singlegametickets

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