The verse that reminds me and encourages me every day that God has blessed me with my talents is:
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”
This verse is on my shin guards and reminds me before every game that I am doing what I love because of the opportunity God has blessed me with. I have recognized the talents God has given me and have utilized them to the best of my ability. By using my talents, I am spreading joy to others and encouraging others to follow their God-given talents.
I have been playing soccer since age 4, and my mother was my first coach. I was recruited for a club soccer team at the age of 9 and played for the SoCal Blues for 7 years until switching to Laguna Hills Eclipse Soccer Club. After winning a National Championship (2010) my last year of club soccer, I went and played 2 years at St. Mary’s College of California. I broke single season goal-scoring records and was the first to be named to the 1st team All-League roster since 1992.
I began feeling the stress of being a Division 1 athlete. I was injured in the spring season and had a procedure on my foot that kept me from playing for a few weeks. I fell into a depression and was not going to class. I wasn’t even eating (which is crazy) if you know me! I love food!
I was feeling sorry for myself and my relationship with God was becoming distant.
I ended up transferring closer to home to get back in shape and get healthy mentally and physically so I could still play the sport that I loved. I knew I didn’t want to give it up. USC took a chance on me upon transferring and I knew God was putting an opportunity in front of me that I could not pass up. I realized at this moment that God wanted to use me and my talents to positively affect others. I began leaning on him more and my conversations with God were more frequent and purposeful.
After my college career, I was able to live out my dream of becoming a Professional soccer player. I went abroad to the Czech Republic where I played for F.C. Slovacko Zeny for 2 seasons.
What made it all worth it for me was being a role model to so many young athletes. I would receive letters and emails from young fans that played the same position as me and looked up to me. I loved to create a relationship with these young athletes to give them the encouragement and motivation to continue playing soccer and becoming the best young athlete and person they could be. Soccer is more than just a ball game. I learned sportsmanship, how to put others before myself, how to work together as a team, and how hard work and dedication can pave the way to fulfilling life long dreams. Soccer was character building and everything that goes into the sport in addition to my coaches, friends, and family helped shaped the person I am today.
My name is Jordan Marada and I graduated from USC in 2014. I was raised by my incredible parents Julie and John who have been my support system and biggest cheerleaders throughout my playing career. I have an awesome brother Jake who is 24 years old and also has supported me in my journey all while being dragged along to about every soccer field in California. I have played soccer for 23 years now and it is still what I am most passionate about. I still love playing the game, love the competition, and my teammates. As I get older in my playing career, the most important thing about the sport to me now is my ability to inspire young athletes, especially young girls who watch. I love what I do and who I am. I am a female athlete. Being a female athlete is so powerful. Women can be incredible leaders… and I hope to encourage young athletes to be the best they can be!