ANDREW VORCE - Friday, August 7, 2009
Evoking a sense of deja vu, Wake Forest striker Cody Arnoux has forgone his final year of college to sign with Everton FC on a one-year contract, following in the footsteps of another summer signing by the Toffees, Anton Peterlin.
"Everton will complete the signing of Cody Arnoux, subject to the formalities of the transfer being ratified by the Football Association," the team stated in an official press release.
"The American arrives on Merseyside on a one-year contract having played for the Carolina Dynamo in his homeland."
"Arnoux, 21, will join up with Andy Holden and Alan Stubbs' reserve squad in preparation for the new season."
While the emergence of Peterlin as a target for Everton came as a relative surprise as he had maintained a relatively low profile during his college career, the 21 year-old Arnoux comes as a more known commodity, having developed as one of the leading figures on the high-profile Wake Forest soccer program.
The 5'10" striker showed his explosive qualities over the past two seasons, netting a team leading respective 15 and 17 goals in his sophomore and junior years with the Demon Deacons, an experience he feels has readied him for his future life as a professional player.
"Playing for Wake Forest has prepared me for the next step," Arnoux told YA. "Coach Vidovich and his entire staff run a top notch program."
"It's as if you are truly a part of a professional organization," he adds. "All the tools are provided to be successful, [but] it's your work ethic and dedication during the season, and most importantly the off-season, that take you to the next step."
Drawing another parallel to the signing of his new Toffee teammate Peterlin, Arnoux's connection to the Merseyside-area club came through Graham Smith, coach of Ventura County Fusion of the USL Premier Development League and a long-time veteran of the English game.
"The same person that got Anton the trial gave me the opportunity," he explained. "I had the chance to go over and train in high school but I chose to put it on hold until I had a few years of college under my belt."
The wait has proven fruitful for the North Carolina native, as his years in the Wake Forest program fostered his growth as a player, a growth he feels will flourish now that he is in the professional environment.
"I absolutely believe my game is getting better with time," he evaluates. "You can never know everything about the game of futbol, but it's making mistakes and learning how to fix those mistakes that make's you a better player."
"I'm still young and still make mistakes, so I'm still learning and always listening and watching to make myself better as a player."
Arnoux is no stranger to the sort of dedication needed for a burgeoning professional career, as his talent was already identified at an early age putting him into the most competitive of environments.
"When i was younger I went to a few camps with the u-15 and u-18 national team," he explained.
"Having gone through the experience of not being picked for certain trips or residency [...] has always made me work harder to prove that I thought I should have belonged there."
Now given the undeniable opportunity to prove that he belongs at the highest level, Arnoux recognizes the advantage of having a familiar face around to help ease the transition to a different culture, one which has often proved problematic for other young players.
"Having another American has eased the transition certainly," he admitted. "[Anton and I] will be living together and it definitely helps to have someone in the same situation that you're in."
The help extends beyond the assistance of his compatriot, the entire Everton FC family is in place to help these two new Yanks across the pond.
"So far the experience has been great," he explained. "All the guys on the team are real stand up guys."
"They were all very welcoming and have been great in helping me ease the transition," he continued. "It always helps to have a support system around you when making difficult transitions and the team has really come together these past few weeks."