Born in Sao Paulo, Brasil, Pedro Arruda moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2000 at the age of 13. While at Tappan Middle school, Pedro began his U.S. soccer career playing for a variety of clubs around town. After his arrival at Pioneer High School, Pedro changed his focus to become part of the football team. After a couple of serious injuries as a freshman, including a broken collarbone and a severe concussion, Pedro had a successful sophomore and senior season as the starting quarterback of the high school. Although he had a few offers to play at Division 2 schools around the state, he decided to attend Michigan State University because of the school’s prestigious Agricultural Business Program.
While at Michigan State, Pedro attempted to walk on the school’s football team, but was not able to, which built the hunger to focus back on his soccer origin. During his first two years in college, the strategy to become a high-caliber soccer player was put into action through daily practices. The lack of a coach was made up by intense focus by doing research and coming up with his own training program, which focused not only on touch, but stamina, speed and agility. As Pedro became faster and stronger, he discovered an opportunity to show his abilities on the field with a real team when he studied abroad in Madrid, Spain.
During his time in Madrid, Pedro played for a variety of teams, starting with the varsity team at Saint Louis Madrid. Toward the end of that season, Pedro joined the second team at Agrupación Deportiva Alcorcón SAD, based in Alcorcón, in the autonomous community of Madrid. Although there was a strong desire to become an official player on the club, the importance of finishing school was made clear by Pedro’s family, so he left Spain.
After graduating from Michigan State, Pedro continued to pursue his dream by traveling to Brasil and trying out for a Division 2 program in the state of Sao Paulo called Ole Brasil FC. The club’s main goal was to develop players for the next level of professional soccer in Brasil. After three months of the famous “peneira” (the Portuguese word for sieve, where players from all over the country came for an intense tryout where they are slowly cut, one by one), Pedro’s place on the roster for the start of the Campionato Paulista was cut short, ending his soccer career.
After the cut, Pedro began his professional career in finance with his first job at an American Hedge Fund which invested in agricultural assets in Brasil. In early 2013, Pedro moved back to Michigan to be closer to his family and to further prosper in the financial industry.
Combining his lifetime passion of athletics and his desire to give back to the community, Pedro recognized the importance of having a coach, not only on the field, but in life. He joined forces with coach Michael Reyes in this training program to advance the level of soccer in individual players while opening opportunities for their future education. This was the start of College Dreamers, a technical and developmental program that improves not only the athlete, but also the community.