Heck, 27, lives in Marina Del Rey, Calif. where he works as a Product Manager at IBM following an impressive collegiate career at Cornell University. Across three seasons with the Big Red, Heck tallied three goals and two assists from 44 appearances and was named team captain his junior year. “Eastside prepared me mentally and physically for playing at the collegiate level,” said Heck. “There is so much social learning that occurs from team sports and Eastside does a great job of pushing players to be amazing people and to learn how to grow together.”

Heck first joined Eastside FC at the U-13 age group, making the ’94 Red Team, where he spent six seasons with the club. During his time at EFC, his team won regionals every year, won the Washington State Cup ever year but one, and even won the USYS National League once. On two occasions, Heck’s team finished third at nationals, missing out on the final by a single goal. “It was amazing to win so much and to be a very good team, but more so it was just a privilege to be around so many amazing players and people,” said Heck. “The bond that you form with people who are on a team for long periods of time is unlike any other. You fight through adversity together and win together and everything in between.”

Heck’s success on and off the field exemplifies Eastside FC’s commitment to building champions in life. From 12 years old, he was able to work hard and learn countless valuable lessons as he progressed through the club and into college soccer. Reflecting on his time at Eastside FC, Heck noted that it’s important for players with similar ambitions of playing at the highest levels to constantly push themselves and put themselves in an environment where they can grow. “College soccer is much different than club,” he said. “I loved my time playing because I desired that competitiveness and I wanted to play every day. In order to play in college, you need to do extra training, get good grades, be proactive with letting coaches know that you are interested in their school, and do your research. “In order to play, you really need to commit to learning the game tactically, improving technically, and growing physically…. Above all else, you need to want it. If you truly want to play in college, you will find a way.”