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United Player Goes Pro!
Ben Dragavon is a 25 year old member of the MLS pool of goalkeepers. He has been training with the Seattle Sounders FC since January. Dragavon is a WWU and Monroe High School grad who has fond memories of his years playing for Snohomish United. The following is an interview with Dragavon reflecting on his time with the Snohomish club.

What is your 1st memory about Snohomish United?
MY EARLIEST MEMORIES WERE OF MY OLDER BROTHER PLAYING FOR SNOHOMISH UNITED. I REMEMBER GOING TO HIS GAMES AND ALWAYS WANTING TO PLAY FOR THE CLUB.

What is your fondest memory about Snohomish United?
PROBABLY THE TOURNAMENTS AT STOCKER FIELDS...THE BIGFOOT, SNOHOMISH UNITED INVITATIONAL, I HAVE A LOT OF MEMORIES FROM THOSE TOURNAMENTS AND GAINED FRIENDSHIPS THAT ARE STILL ALIVE TODAY.

Who had the biggest impact for you at the club?
MY DAD BECAUSE HE WAS MY COACH AND WAS/IS ALWAYS THERE FOR ME AND PUSHED ME TO WORK HARD. ALSO ZOLI DOLD, MY FIRST GOALKEEPING COACH, HE GAVE ME
THE TOOLS TO BECOME WHO I AM TODAY.

Are you still in contact with old team mates from Snohomish United?
DEFINATELY. SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS PLAYED WITH ME AT THAT CLUB.

How many seasons did you play with Snohomish United. Did you also play recreational at SYSC?
I BELIEVE I WAS AT THE CLUB FOR 5 YEARS. I PLAYED RECREATIONALLY IN NORTHSHORE.

How many seasons did you play at Snohomish United and who were your coaches?
5 YEARS. MY COACHES WERE MY DAD, JEFF PETTIT, AND ZOLI DOLD.

At what point in your soccer career did you decide to become a goalkeeper?
GROWING UP I ALWAYS PLAYED ON THE FIELD AND IN GOAL. WHEN I STARTED WORKING WITH ZOLI IS WHEN I PRIMARILY BECAME A GOALKEEPER.

Have you been back to your old stomping ground since leaving?
I HAVEN'T BEEN BACK IN AWHILE. I BELIEVE A VISIT IS IN ORDER.

As an ex-Snohomish United player, what advice would you give to young players who want to follow in your foot steps?
PRACTICE, WORK HARD, AND PRACTICE AGAIN. I CAN ONLY HOPE THAT YOUNG PLAYERS CAN LOOK AT MY PATH TO
BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL AND REALIZE THAT WITH HARD WORK, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

Dragavon's story of dedication, discipline, and love of the game is inspiring and full of hope for our young United players. With a strong and challenging youth soccer club we have the power to send players to the MLS for years to come!


Ben at the Bigfoot Tournament 1998.
Picture taken from deceased grandmotherís album

Interview by Snohomish United
Article by Dana D. Oppelt

 

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