Chimdum Mez leads Sac State’s men’s soccer team in his final year

Jordan Santos

During this time last year, Sacramento State men’s soccer had difficulty finding the back of the net heading into conference. This season the team’s offense has been more productive and a contributing factor to this feat comes at the boots of senior forward Chimdum Mez.

The senior has doubled his production from his junior year, having scored four goals through nine non-conference games this fall and has been the leader for a team full of young talent.

Mez is entering his final year at Sac State and looks to be going out on top as the leading goal-scorer for the men’s soccer team. Though, he hardly acts like it through his calm and down-to-earth demeanor.

The Sacramento native began playing soccer when he was six years old and advanced to club ball for Elk Grove United when he was 13. The starting forward was a standout at Franklin High School in Elk Grove before he decided to commit to Sac State.

He became interested in soccer because of his heritage. Both of his parents are from Nigeria, where soccer is the number one sport. His dad got him into the game at a young age and Mez never looked back.

“The first present I bought for Chimdum within the first three days of his birth was a soccer ball,” said Mez’s father Johnny Mez. “When Chimdum started playing soccer at about 6 years of age, other parents told me that they would not be surprised to watch him some day on the television playing professional soccer. Since then, he never ceases to amaze me by his quickness, passion, athleticism and his overall enjoyment of the game of soccer.”

Chimdum Mez explains how his father came to the United States from Nigeria in 1982 in search for an education. The transition to living in a new country with limited resources was not an easy task, but Mez’s father made it happen.

“Without god, I wouldn’t have survived in America,” Johnny Mez said. He named his first son “Chimdum” which means “God is leading me.” This unique name fits the player’s personality on and off the pitch.

Sophomore defender Preston Davis describes Mez’s progression as a player and a person.

“It’s been a lot of fun playing with him this year,” Davis said. “I think his feet have gotten a lot better from last year, and I can tell that he is playing with a lot of confidence right now. Being one of the few seniors on the team, a lot of guys look up to him to be a leader and help us get wins, as he has shown he can do already.”

Former Sac State goalie Cesar Castillo has known Mez since his freshman year and said even though Mez is a fantastic player, he is an even better person.

“He’s off to a good start this season and that’s a reflection of the hard work and dedication he’s put in the past seasons and summer playing PDL (Premier Development League),” Castillo said. “Off the field, he’s a charismatic person that’s well liked around campus. Chimmy [Mez] is a great student-athlete, but even a better friend.”

Aside from being a talented soccer player, Mez is also an accomplished barber. He has been cutting hair since his junior year of high school and is the unofficial barber of the soccer team.

When not playing soccer or cutting hair, one can usually find Mez dancing or cracking jokes with his teammates.

One thing Mez loves most about soccer is its ability to bring the whole world together and said this year’s World Cup showed him the impact soccer has on the world.

Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba and Ronaldinho are world-renowned professional players that have had an influence on Mez’s career. His favorite teams to watch are Arsenal, Barcelona and LA Galaxy. He is also a big Philadelphia Union fan because his cousin has been playing with them since 2010.

Sac State men’s soccer coach, Michael Linenberger, believes the sky’s is the limit for Mez.

“As a freshman, he was an athlete that played soccer,” Linenberger stated. “Now, he is a soccer player that is also a great athlete. He has really changed his lifestyle and training habits in order to make this transformation.”

Mez’s dream is to play professional soccer and he is doing whatever it takes this year to make that dream into a reality.

“Playing professionally is a dream of mine and I just want to continue to play well and hopefully someone gives me an opportunity,” Mez said.