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“I went from the Bundesliga to playing pickup games for $50."

AS spoke to Bryan Arguez, who was recently acquitted of his rape charge: “It’s farfetched, being out two and a half years, but I’d still like to play a World Cup,” he said.

Arguez playing in the U20 World Cup.
Alex Livesey

In 2007, Bryan Arguez was picked by DC United in the MLS Superdraft. One year later, he signed for Hertha BSC and became the youngest American to debut in the Bundesliga at 19 years old (Christian Pulisic recently became the youngest at 17).

“[Debuting with Hertha BSC] was one of the best days of my life. I cried after that game. It was overwhelming,” Arguez said to AS USA.

But Arguez’ life changed drastically in Aug. 2013 when the midfielder was accused of rape.

Two years and seven months later, he was acquitted of the charge.

“Everything’s good, man. After everything that happened, everything’s good. Every day is good,” Arguez said. “The other day, I saw one of those dancing men, the ones companies use to promote their businesses, and I was telling my friend that it reminds of me my brother because he used to say I look like that when I dance. And I was just thinking, if the jury’s decision went the other way then I’d never be able to see that again. Lately, I’ve been really appreciative of the little things compared to how I usually would.”

Arguez went through rough times and couldn’t get a job due to the pending rape charge. Being acquitted has been the biggest relief for the midfielder because it reopens the doors to the world for him.

“I went from that level [Bundesliga] to playing pickup games down in Homestead for people to make bets on me. That’s how I would earn money to survive for the past couple of years. I’d get like $50 a game or maybe $100 if it were a good game. So I went from that [playing professionally] to that which is a pretty big change.”

The player did everything he could to find a job and continue on with his life, but it was nearly impossible.

“The reason why I had to go play those pickup games and earn $50 a game, or whatever, was because it’s almost impossible to get a job with a pending rape charge. I studied my ass off to pass the state exam for the license to sell health insurance and I passed it. But when it was time for the state to issue me the license, they wouldn’t because of my pending charge. That also goes for any jobs I would apply for.”

But after the court decision in DeKalb County went in Arguez’ favor, he’ll be able to go back to doing what he’s always wanted to: play soccer professionally.

“My dream is to the best I can be. I know it is farfetched, being out two and a half years, but I’d still like to play a World Cup. I don’t want to limit myself to anything.”

The 27-year-old soccer player played for several teams in the United States youth system (U17, U20 and U23), but he was never called up by the senior side. His next step as a soccer player will help him regain possibilities to play with the Men’s National Team.

“I still want to reach my goals and live my dreams so I’m going to work my butt off for however long I need to, to be able to get there. I’m actually signing with the Miami FC. I’m waiting for the NASL league to clear me so I can play with them.”

Currently, Arguez can’t practice with the Miami FC until the NASL gives him clearance, but that doesn’t stop him from training on his own.

“Right now they gave me a program and I’m training on my own.”

The past years have been cruel, but Arguez is back and he’s back with a smile on his face.

“It’s exciting, really exciting. It’s been two years and seven months since I’ve been able to play in this level. It’s exciting and I want to do my best, so I’m working really hard. I think the best way to describe this is exciting,” he said.


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