Profile: Fullerton College’s Messi

The Hornets’ all-time leading scorer and two-time OEC MVP Misael Gonzalez has left his mark on Fullerton College. As he moves on to playing Division I soccer at UC Irvine, the FC captain hopes to pursue his dreams of playing professional soccer as well.
Misael Gonzalez is a disciplined athlete with lofty dreams. If Gonzalez had a could play for any professional soccer club in the world, it would be Manchester City, a club based in England.
Misael Gonzalez is a disciplined athlete with lofty dreams. If Gonzalez had a could play for any professional soccer club in the world, it would be Manchester City, a club based in England.
Brian Mack

Hornet super striker Misael Gonzalez remembers one outstanding moment from a season full of personal accolades. His fondest memory is leading his squad past Chaffey College not only for the first time in school history but in the way in which they did it. 

In the opening game of the season, Fullerton came into the matchup against Chaffey with a 0-6-1 record in the last ten years. What followed next was Gonzalez leading his team to do something they had never done before. He scored two goals in just eight minutes, delivering the knockout blow to the Panthers for the first time in Hornet history. 

Gonzalez just completed a historic sophomore season at Fullerton College, where he became the school’s all-time leader for most goals scored. In 2023, he recorded a total of 61 points, netted 27 goals, and dished off seven assists. As captain, he led his squad to the no. 2 seed in the CCCAA playoffs and took OEC MVP honors for the second straight season. 

“Winning the OEC MVP was something great. It was one of my goals to win it [MVP] again this year. I knew if I had done it last year, I could do it again this year knowing I had improved a lot, worked harder than I did last year, and prepared differently,” Gonzalez said. 

Gonzalez was a two-year starter for the Hornets, where he took home back-to-back OEC MVP’s. Gonzalez was also named to the CCCAA’s All State team in 2023. (Brian Mack)

The passion for soccer in Gonzalez started back when he was a child.

 “It all started around when I was six-years old. I would see my dad playing and I just fell into it,” said Gonzalez. “Now, I base my career around it and I want to become a professional soccer player. That is why I do it every day.” 

Gonzalez pointed out the Argentinian soccer star and FC Barcelona legend Lionel Messi as his main idol. He said that he tries to replicate Messi’s playing style. 

Growing up in Fullerton, Gonzalez attended Fullerton High School. There, he won the Freeway League championship all four years he played for the Tribe.

Getting a spot on the Hornets’ soccer team was quite simple, Gonzalez said. After graduating from high school, he did have a couple of offers to play collegiate ball, but decided to forgo those options and attend Fullerton College. 

His older sister, a Hornet alumna, played a role in his decision to go to Fullerton College. He said she raved about the nice campus and good education FC has to offer. Gonzalez saw the opportunity as just a different route to take and wanted to see where it would take him. 

Fullerton College men’s soccer season abruptly ended just two weeks ago in the first round of the CCCAA State Playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 18. However, Gonzalez’s career will continue on as he will be heading to UC Irvine in the fall to play Division I soccer. 

“The loss just made me realize sometimes God takes away the unexpected to give you something bigger in the future. I will grow by just following his plan, staying disciplined, and keep working to be at my best for my next chapter at UCI,” Gonzalez said. 

Hornets’ sophomore star striker Misael Gonzalez looks to attack the defense to create offense for the squad in a previous match against the Golden West Rustlers. Gonzalez will be apart of the UC Irvine Anteaters soccer program next fall. (Cesar Garcia)

Being the Hornets’ soccer captain, Gonzalez said he stepped up and motivated his teammates to keep improving, after suffering a tough loss.

“I just thanked them for the great season we had. I told them to continue working towards their goals, a lot of things can change within a year, and to never underestimate an opponent because at the end it’s who wants it more that day, not who has a better overall record,” said Gonzalez. 

Gonzalez also gave credit for his successful season to the mentoring Hornets’ head coach Greg Aviles, and assistant coach Kenny Castellanos gave him throughout the whole season. 

Out of all the college scholarship offers he received; he said that UCI stood out the most to him for multiple reasons.

“I wanted to stay close to home, but also be able to play at a very high level. The UCI coaches stood out to me the most. The campus and fields were nice as well, but mostly it was just the coaching staff for me,” Gonzalez said.

Misael Gonzalez looks forward to his next chapter in his Division I soccer life at UCI, but remains thankful to his coaches and teammates for his time as a Hornet. (Brian Mack)

Outside of his day-to-day life as a soccer star, Gonzalez enjoys being “just a regular guy.” He enjoys going to the gym and playing video games first and foremost. His secret passion, however, is being a part-time barber. He promotes his haircut services through his Instagram account.

As the OEC MVP completes his JUCO journey, Gonzalez feels Fullerton College’s soccer program has left just as big of an impact on him, as he has left on it for future Hornets.

“It has opened my career to a lot of new opportunities, getting closer with the team, making new friends that’ll be with me the rest of my life,” said Gonzalez.

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