I step to the right. You think I’m going right. Then you think, I know he knows I think he’s going right. He must be going left. I step over the ball with my left. You bite. I drag the ball to the right and I’m gone.
Dillon Borta loves soccer. On a Tuesday night you can find the 24-year-old playing left and right mind games with his opponents under the Washington-Jefferson Street Bridge. Borta’s speed, agility, and ball control make him a deadly adversary when it comes to Futsal.
“I love playing Futsal because it is all about ball control and quick passing. In soccer hard tackles and wide spaces don’t allow for as much footwork. Here we get to be more artistic,” says Borta.
“Dillon is a joy to watch and a terror to defend,” says JB Webber, another Futsal regular.
“Dillon is great because he beats you in ways you don’t know you can be beaten. You think you have him trapped and then he does what you thought was impossible,” says teammate Chad Tinsley.
“He has exceptional skill, but he should pass more,” says Futsal player Jose Avila.
Borta is a direct player. He is not afraid to take on three players at once, for better or worse. But what he may suffer in selfishness he makes up for in work ethic. Borta always plays like he’s playing an international game for his country. When people are slowing down after 80 minutes of play Borta runs harder. When others may shy away from a tackle Borta charges in. One game last year in city league Borta lost a tooth.
Borta grew up in Williams, Oregon, a town with a population around 3,000. He played soccer for the local high school there and helped the team win a state championship. He came to the University of Oregon in 2003 and graduated in 2007 with a business degree. Along the way, he and friends created an inter-meural soccer team called Neo Rome. Through their college career they won 7 inter-meural championships and have 7 inter-meural championship T-shirts to show for it.
Neo Rome still plays together at the indoor soccer center in Springfield. Borta also plays in city league with a team called Ninkasi Football Club, and during the spring through fall plays in Latino League with a team called Olympia.
If he’s not playing soccer then Borta is probably working as a night manager at Albertson’s on 18th street in Eugene. If he’s not playing soccer or working, he’s probably watching a movie or reading a book. One of his favorite movies is Shawshank Redemption and books is the Hobbit.
He spins, cuts, and stalls. Sometimes it looks like he’s dancing and the ball is his partner, only dance partners usually don’t like being stepped on. On the field Borta continues to weave his way through people left and right.
It’s a science of body movement,” Borta says. “A good player will see open space and use it. A great player will see the same open space three seconds before it exists.”