CLINT WADDELL - Wednesday, April 21, 2010
A long road leading to German club VfB Stuttgart came to an abrupt end last week for Eric DeFreitas who aggravated a hamstring injury while playing for Stuttgart II.
The former University of Tulsa product ended up just having 40 minutes with Stuttgart's U23 team to impress the coaching staff. Things were cut short when he re-injured his hamstring in some three-on-three drills after the scrimmage.
Even with this slight setback, DeFreitas still sees his experience with the German club as a positve one.
"My agent told me the feedback he got was positive but they said seeing me play for 40 minutes was not enough to offer anything, which I completely understand," DeFreitas recenty told YA. "Of course I am disappointed that I was injured, and so soon, but I am optimistic about my future in Europe."
DeFreitas, whose father played professional in Portugal, has dual citizenship holding both a US and a Portuguese passport. He spent last summer touring around several clubs in England, gaining experience and showing off his skills.
"I started at Coventry in July 2009 with [FC Lyn goalkeeper and fellow Tulsa alum] Tyrel Lacey," DeFreitas recalled. "I was there for about a week or so, then Blackpool, then Morecambe."
He stayed with Blackpool for almost three weeks and played in three games with the first team scoring a goal in a tournament in Devon and getting as assist against Liverpool's reserves.
DeFreitas also played with Morecambe for a week, putting up an assist in a friendly before the season. The staff was impressed and wanted to see him in more games, but both manager and player decided against a move to the English cllub.
The attacking midfielder spent most of the winter at the University of Tulsa working out and getting his weight up. His trial with Stuttgart was actually planned for the winter break, but a combination of bad weather, poor results and a coaching change pushed things back.
When the phone call finally came, DeFreitas had a nagging injury and was just getting over a cold. It would be that same nagging injury that cut his trial this past week short.
Despite the short trial, DeFreitas and his agent are confident that something will work out.
"I am going back to Tulsa for rehab and my agent is confident that something can be worked out once I am match fit," he said. "Whether that is with Stuttgart or not – I do not know.
"I was not able to prepare as well as I wished I could have. But those things happen and I can't make excuses, just learn from my experiences. When I come back I will make sure I am in top form and I am confident that if I play my best and if its in God's plans then it will happen."
DeFreitas played four years of college soccer with Tulsa. The attacker started 63 of 77 games, scored 18 goals and had 16 assists.