Hitting goals off the field

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He came to BYU determined to play for the men’s soccer team, but little did he know his career at BYU would have many more milestones along the way.

James Bindrup prepares to throw the ball back into play during an earlier game against the Ventura County Fusion.
James Bindrup prepares to throw the ball back into play during an earlier game against the Ventura County Fusion. (Photo by Elliott Miller)

Senior defender James Bindrup has loved soccer his entire life and has played as long as he can remember. At age 11, Bindrup joined his first traveling soccer team and began to enhance his skills. But he knew he would have to showcase his skills, so he received training from the Las Vegas Premiere soccer club. Bindrup was later recruited by the BYU men’s soccer team after attending a week of the BYU summer sports camp during his junior year of high school.

He made the decision to play at BYU and for the rest of high school, he focused solely on academics and soccer. Bindrup graduated high school early and came to BYU in January rather than walking with the rest of his graduating class in the spring. Because he came early, he had five extra months to practice and bond with the team before he even stepped on the field for his first game.

“My first collegiate soccer game, I played Real Salt Lake. It was an awesome start to my soccer career. Since, we have traveled to Chile, Puerto Rico and played against many Division 1 schools. It has really just been a blast,” Bindrup said.

Today, after playing four seasons with BYU, Bindrup has fought for his place on the team as captain.

“On the field I had the opportunity to play beside him,” Alex Neff said. “We play on the same side. He makes my job a lot easier. He wins every ball, every tackle and makes me look good. He is welcoming and a good captain. I’m really glad I got to play a season with him before he left.”

Soccer was a major part of his BYU experience, but it wasn’t everything. Bindrup is graduating soon with a degree in Russian and preparing for medical school. He chose his major after falling in love with the language and culture while on a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Novosibirsk Russia Mission. His major provided him with the opportunity to travel to Moscow State University and study biological technology, giving him an upper hand in applying to medical school. He said taking the medical prerequisite courses and competing against other talented students was the most difficult part of his collegiate experience. However, Bindrup learned everything he needed to learn at BYU and said he is ready for medical school and has already applied to several schools.

“I think medical school will be a good adventure,” Nikki Bindrup, his wife, said. “He applied to schools all over the country. I’m just excited to see where we’ll go, I would go anywhere,”

Bindrup hopes to be accepted to either the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Science or the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

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