“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
A 22 year old forward for the LA Galaxy, Ethan Zubak has been climbing the soccer ranks for years as he has worked his way towards the top competition in the United States. Making his debut for the LA Galaxy of the MLS in 2019, he impressed many with not only his soccer skills, but his leadership and care for others. As those traits have gotten Zubak numerous accolades throughout his soccer career, it is his faith that guides him through it all.
A California native, Zubak says that faith was always an important part of life for him and his family. “Faith has been important in my life since day 1. I come from a Christian family who’s always emphasized God first. I’m truly lucky that this was the case because the values that my faith has taught me are priceless.” Zubak says that his faith has been able to make him a better player, too. “I’ve seen guys come and go that may have been more talented than me, or have gifts that I don’t, but didn’t last in the game. The difference to me was mentally, they didn’t have strong foundational principles, and overall no reliance on God. I’m not saying that there aren’t great athletes without faith, but I think they could be even better with it. Having God, and this foundation allows me to excel in what I do. So having faith my whole life, allowed me to succeed in most everything I did, and I’m thankful for it.”
After making his professional soccer debut for LA Galaxy II, the reserve team for the LA Galaxy, in just 2015, Zubak has grown throughout the ranks of the Galaxy organization playing for clubs such as the United States Youth National Team and being a strong piece of the Galaxy attack. After getting his contract with the Galaxy, Zubak has focused on keeping faith a priority in the midst of the trying seasons. “Faith has influenced me in my soccer career, because what many people don’t know about soccer and sports, especially at the professional level, is that it is an emotional roller coaster. There’s things that are simply out of your hands, and especially as a young player trying to find his role, and rise, there’s a lot to deal with, and it takes strength. For me, the one thing that’s constant in life, is my faith, knowing that Jesus died for my sins. Knowing this, I understand that everything else is temporary, and that God has a much bigger plan for me.” For Zubak, he says he can rely on God when things get tough for comfort and confidence going forward. “He eases my troubles when things are hard on the field, and makes things that much sweeter when they’re going well. He keeps me cool, calm and collected, in a profession that can be so cut throat and demanding.”
Ethan has also been growing in his faith through his relationship with his fiance, Katie. Katie and Ethan met in high school, and Katie says that through their relationship, they have both helped each other grow in their walks with God. She says, “Ethan and I started dating at the end of our senior year of high school. I had heard of him but I didn’t know much about him. One day he came and picked me up on our first date and not too long into the conversation he brought up that he was a Christian. This was a great start to the date because I was thrilled to know we shared the same faith, and that it was important enough for it to be one of the first things he shared about himself. Throughout the years of dating we have grown in our faith together. I love living life with Ethan and I admire how godly of a man he is. I am so glad to share our great love for Jesus. We are so lucky that we both get to live our dreams of doing what we love in life, but we always give the glory to God.”
As Ethan and Katie ready for the next phase of their life together, they are reminded of their blessings and being thankful for every circumstance. Ethan says he is reminded of always being grateful and humbled for what he has. “Whatever is going on in my life, God is at the steering wheel. My plan is his plan, and with that I am at peace. People always ask why I smile so much, and I tell them, ‘I smile because at the end of the day I am fortunate, and God is in control so I don’t have to worry.’”