GERZICICH LEADING THE WAY AT KIRYAT SHMONA
After having been a first team regular the past three seasons in Israel, American central midfielder Bryan Gerzicich is looking to continue his success with Hapoel Kiryat Shmona of the Israeli Premier League.
Gerzicich, 26, was born in Los Angeles to Argentine parents and moved with his parents back to their native Argentina when he was just two months old. It was in Argentina where he developed as a player.
Gerzicich began his professional career in 2006 when he signed with Arsenal de Sarandí of the Argentine Primera División.
While he did manage to see first team minutes with the club, he had mixed emotions from his time there.
"Argentina is my country of residence from a young age and why I started with my football career there," Gerzicich told YA. "There were good moments and not so good moments, but I can say that there were more good times."
In 2007, Gerzicich would move his career over to Israel when he accepted an offer to play for Hapoel Haifa who were then in the Liga Leumit, the second division in Israel.
"The reasons that prompted me to decide to play in Israel, there were several, one of them was that the club I was then, Arsenal de Sarandi's, was not having a continuity [soccer]," Gerzicich said of his motivations to move from Argentina. "Another reason was the economic part. In my personal opinion I think my career was rising."
The move to Israel would pay off as Gerzicich quickly became a regular starter for the club and was immediately impressed with the quality and professionalism in his new country.
"Actually I was surprised because I was treated very well when I arrived here with my family," Gerzicich recalled. "I found a very well established club that included my colleagues who were very professional and the coaching staff who respected me and supported me at all times."
After the 2007-2008 season with Hapoel Haifa, Gerzicich would move to Hapoel Acre, also in the Liga Leumit, where he would continue to be a regular starter.
Following the 2009 season, Gerzicich returned to Hapoel Haifa after the club earned promotion to the Israeli Premier League. Gerzicich appeared 29 times for the club in his first season in Israel's top league and scored once.
"Every season in Israel was different," Gerzicich assessed. "In each [I had] a good time personally and professionally. In the 2008-2009 season there was a difficult negotiation between the clubs. For me it was too good of an opportunity because, I am able to play [for] a better team, [and] to progress."
Over the past season, Gerzicich moved once again and this time to newly promoted Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona FC, a club that has had up and down fortunes in recent years.
In 2007-2008, the club finished third in the Premier League and participated in the UEFA Cup but was relegated just a season later.
Now back in the top league, Hapoel Kiryat Shmona acquired Gerzicich to be a mainstay in central midfield and a player who could help lead the club to more consistent and positive results in the Premier League.
Gerzicich has started and played a full 90 minutes in each of the club's first two games of the new season. Hapoel Kiryat Shmona opened the season with a 2-0 win over Bnei Sakhnin followed by a 2-2 draw against MS Ashdod.
"I hope this year that I can personally continue to grow in my career," Gerzicich said of his goals for the season. "I hope the team will group [together] and remain united and finish [among] the top positions."
Gerzicich has never represented any country internationally at any level. Despite having only lived in the United States for the first two months of his life, his goals are to continue succeeding in the Israeli Premier League with Hapoel Kiryat Shmona so that US head coach Bob Bradley may take notice of his play.
"Most of my life I lived in Argentina and I have all my family and friends living there," Gerzicich concluded. "I have a special feeling for that country. But my desire is to continue my career in the country where I was born and someday be a part of the [national team] of the US. I was never contacted to play at the U.S. national team. I would really like to play for the US, my country."
Gerzicich and Hapoel Kiryat Shmona will play their third game of the season on Friday, September 10th when they host Hapoel Petah Tikva.