LOUISVILLE, KY — Arda Bulut’s lifelong dream came true year ahead of schedule.
The former Stanford soccer star and Los Gatos native on Thursday signed a USL contract with Louisville City FC.
“Excited for what is to come in this new journey. Can’t wait to get it going,” he tweeted with a purple circle emoji in a nod to the team’s official color.
The computer science major and former Bellarmine standout decided to forego his senior year to fulfill his lifelong dream of playing professionally, citing uncertainty about the coronavirus crisis.
He is eligible to play in Saturday’s game against USL Championship rival Saint Louis FC.
“My biggest aspiration since I was a kid was to play professionally,” Bulut said in a statement.
“I was excited and looking forward to my senior season with Stanford, but with everything happening due to COVID-19 and all the uncertainty, I felt like it was time to pursue my professional dream.”
Bulut collegiate career was highlighted by playing for Stanford’s 2017 NCAA championship team.
Bulut played for the San Jose Earthquakes Academy from 2015-2017. During the summer of 2016, he trained with the Earthquakes’ Major League Soccer team for two weeks.
The soccer standout has also been recognized for academic excellence.
He was named to the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll and received All-Academic Second Team honors in 2019.
He will continue his coursework online.
Bulut has also been active in community service, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and The Terraces of Los Gatos.
“The environment I was in at Stanford was really high level and high intensity,” Bulut said.
“We were always wanting to push ourselves to be our best. That experience is really going to help prepare me for this level, because I hear Louisville City FC is similar in that they’re pushing every single day to work their hardest. It’s something I feel like I’m ready to do.”