Proving All of Them Wrong: Here’s how some of soccer’s best have conquered their doubters

Eastbay Fall Sports

Every soccer player has his or her doubters. Whether it’s a coach, family member, or rival, someone has told them that their dreams are too big or impossible. But those words don’t make the elite give up – they only make them work harder. Those haters are fuel to the fire. Don’t believe us? Here’s how some of the best soccer players in the world have Conquered Their Can’t. Shout out to our friends at STACK.com for the great videos.

Lucas Mendes, Gatorade National Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year

“I have a tweet from my freshmen year. Someone said, ‘Lucas is too small, and he’ll never make it as a professional athlete.’ I still have that up on my laptop. Every day I see it and I think, ‘I have to prove everybody wrong.’”

Ella Stevens, Gatorade National Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year

“I’ve been cut from teams, and that was hard to get through. But it was a learning experience, and I’ve learned how to fail, and I think that’s necessary at the next level.”

Lucas Melano, Portland Forward

“I played for a junior league in Argentina, and I was there for about a month. They told me I could not play because there were other players better than me. So I took a bus from Buenos Aires to Córdoba to play for a club that had space for me, and I could play there. I got better there playing professionally, and I was transferred to the Portland Timbers and won a championship.”


Crystal Dunn, USWNT and Washington Forward

“No one in my career has specifically said, ‘You can’t do this,’ but I do think throughout my career I have faced some challenges. I’m very short, and I always felt like I would get overlooked because I didn’t have the height and the stature that other girls had. At a very young age I was like, ‘Wow, am I even going to continue playing this sport because other girls are just going to get bigger and taller than me?’ So I think that was something I had to deal with when I was younger.”

Crystal Dunn

So now that you’ve heard from some elite footballers, tell us in the comments about your own #SayICant story and how you have overcome or are planning on overcoming it. And as you prepare to Conquer Your Can’t, check out our Soccer Gear Guide to discover this season’s hottest soccer gear.

Julie Ertz Featured Image

Julie Ertz: Attacking Adversity

Julie Ertz is one of the fiercest competitors on the planet. Find out how she tackled the challenges and obstacles in her way to become an international soccer superstar.

Nike International Soccer: Rock the Right Kit This Summer

Check out our deep dive into Nike’s newest international kits, and the meaning behind each design.

Euphoria Pack featured image

Paint The Pitch: Introducing the Nike Euphoria Pack

Drip, drip, drip. Nike’s new ‘Euphoria Pack’ soccer boots are here and dripping with style. Eastbay is here to break down each model and what makes them stand out from the rest.

Featured Image For Rappers

Rapper Shoes: Which Artists Need Their Own Signature Shoe

A definitive ranking of the top hip hop artists who have yet to drop their own signature shoe.

Zach And Julie Ertz

The Ultimate Training Partners: Zach and Julie Ertz

Pro athletes Zach and Julie Ertz train together during the offseason in order to be stronger competitors and a stronger couple.

Best Soccer Gear Featured

This Year’s Best Soccer Gear: A position-by-position breakdown

Before you step onto the pitch this fall season, you’ve got to grab this summer's best soccer gear. Eastbay has you covered with our Soccer Gear Guide.

Nike World Cup Apparel

Which Nike Stadium Jersey Will You Wear? Gear Up For Russia

England. France. Brazil. Portugal. What team will you rep? Get a detailed breakdown of this year's Nike World Cup Jerseys.


20 Years of Nike Mercurial

What separates the fastest and most dynamic soccer players in the world from the rest...

Sofia Huerta Featured

Sofia Huerta: Striving to Be Her Best

Eastbay cover star Sofia Huerta is more than a soccer player — she constantly strives to be her best, on and off the field.

Soccer Top Gifts Featured

Top Gifts: Soccer

Eastbay offers thousands of gifts that keep on giving. Check out our Top Gifts: Soccer and find exactly what you need this holiday season.

Cold Weather Feature

As The Weather Gets Colder, You Get Stronger: Your Fall Sports Cold-Weather Guide

Eastbay is here for you, with cold-weather clothing designed to withstand anything Mother Nature throws your way this fall sports season.

adidas soccer

Jesus Ferreira and Paxton Pomykal: Leading The Break

Young, flashy, and talented — Jesus Ferreira and Paxton Pomykal are perfect examples of the...

See More