OCFC Defender Commits to Utah Valley!

by Art Eftekhari

center back nicolai dejbakhsh accepts offer to play division I soccer!

Lake Forest, CA – Orange County Football Club is proud to announce that center back Nicolai Dejbakhsh has committed to Utah Valley University’s College Soccer Program.

For Dejbakhsh, it has been an exciting year that saw the seventeen-year-old defender make his debut with OCFC in the final match of the 2019 NPSL regular season against A.S. Los Angeles.

The progress continued for Dejbakhsh when he became a regular starter at center back for OCFC 2 during the Fall 2019 UPSL season.

OCFC 2 finished the season with ten wins, one loss, and one tie and finished second place in Western Conference SoCal North Division I.

“The back four of OCFC 2 have been consistent, disciplined, and have done a great job on the attack,” OCFC 2 Head Coach Paul Caligiuri said.

“Nicolai has really stepped up this season and he has been getting better and better every game. His effort on the field is a testament to his hard work in practice.”

Nicolai Dejbakhsh made his big decision on December 6 and he will be looking to break into the starting lineup for the Utah Valley Wolverines during the Fall 2020 college soccer season.

“I was very relieved when I received the offer,” Nicolai Dejbakhsh said. “It is a great feeling knowing that I am good enough to compete at the Division I level.”

“I’m excited to start playing with the team and contribute to the program.”

Located in Orem, Utah, the Wolverines play in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and recently qualified to the WAC Final.

“When I heard the news, I couldn’t stop crying,” OCFC Owner Nader Dejbakhsh said. “I am so proud of my son. All the years of hard work he has put in since the age of six have paid off.”

But for Nicolai Dejbakhsh, the hard work has also involved overcoming obstacles and injuries.

At the age of eleven, it was an ACL injury. Three years later, a broken back caused Nicolai to miss eight months of soccer.

“It was frustrating, the injuries were tough on me mentally as well as physically,” Nicolai Dejbakhsh said. “But I stayed positive and I refused to give up. I knew I would come back stronger.”

Looking back, 2019 had plenty of excitement for OCFC owner Nader Dejbakhsh as he saw his club make the soccer headlines by qualifying to the 4th Round of the U.S. Open Cup.

And with his son Nicolai committing to Utah Valley University, it is the perfect way to end the year.

“Today is the greatest day for me, and this is my son’s greatest achievement to date,” Nader Dejbakhsh said.

“I want to thank Paul Caligiuri for helping Nicolai become the player he is today. The best is yet to come.”

As for Nicolai Dejbakhsh, there is plenty to be excited about in the future. But he knows he must work harder than ever if he wants to excel at the college soccer level.

Based on his history of playing the game he loves, working hard won’t be a problem for Nicolai Dejbakhsh.