|Full name||Zarek Chase Valentin|
|Date of birth||August 6, 1991|
|Place of birth||Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|2006||IMG Soccer Academy|
|2013||→ Bodø/Glimt (loan)||28||(1)|
|2009–2011||United States U20||31||(0)|
|2012–||United States U23||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of December 19, 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
College and amateur
Valentin graduated from Manheim Township High School before enrolling at the University of Akron in 2009. He started all 25 games for the Zips in his freshman year, and was off the field for only 11 minutes. He was a key contributor in defense and allowed just seven goals all season, helping them finish with a (23-1-0) season until ultimately losing in penalties during the NCAA National Championship in 2009. Although the team didn't take home the title, this was their first year making it to the finals. During just his first year in Ohio, amongst many recognitions, he was named Mid-American Conference Newcomer of the Year, College Soccer News All-Freshman First Team, All-MAC First Team, University of Akron All-Tournament Team Defensive MVP (Sept. 18-20), and made the College Soccer News Freshman Top 100 list.
In his 2010 season at the University of Akron, Valentin helped lead his team to the NCAA Men's Division I Soccer Championship, where the team won the school's first ever National Championship. As an important part of the defense, Valentin let in only 16 goals over the entire season.
At the completion of his 2010 season at the University of Akron, Valentin chose to forgo his final two seasons of collegiate eligibility, declaring for the MLS SuperDraft and signing a Generation Adidas contract with Major League Soccer as one of eleven players that year.
Valentin was drafted in the first round, fourth overall, of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by Chivas USA. He made his professional debut on March 19, 2011, in Chivas's first game of the 2011 MLS Season, a 3-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City.
After just one year in the Generation Adidas program, Valentin graduated and was announced by the MLS as a 2011 Generation Adidas graduate. This accomplishment made Valentin one of three players to ever graduate from the program in one year. In the 2011 MLS Expansion Draft, Chivas USA took a risk with Valentin, leaving him exposed and was ultimately selected by expansion side Montreal Impact.
Stats accurate as of December 12, 2013
Valentin has been a member of various US Youth National teams, including the U-20s, U-18s, U-17 and U-15s. He currently has 29 caps for the United States U-20 men's national soccer team. Valentin was a valuable part of the 2010 Milk Cup winning squad. He assisted the final goal in their 3-0 victory over Northern Ireland in the final.
Zarek is the younger brother of fellow soccer player Julian Valentin, who recently retired from the MLS (LA Galaxy) and FC Tampa Bay. In 2010 Zarek was featured in The New York Times Magazine as one of eleven Next-Gen American Soccer players. Valentin speaks fluent Spanish, and is of Puerto Rican descent.
University of Akron
- Milk Cup U-20 Tournament:
- Winner: 2010
- Chivas USA's Robin Fraser chooses defender Zarek Valentin with team's first draft pick
- Bravo's debut double for Sporting sinks Chivas USA