Miguel and Eric live and breathe soccer. They joined the Kensington Soccer Club three years ago and have already completed six seasons. When they are not at school, you can find them on a soccer pitch practicing and honing their skills. If their teams are not practicing, they’ll join the older and younger teams just to play.
When they first joined the Kensington Soccer Club, they did so solely as participants. Like many of their teammates, they joined the team for something to do outside of school. The brothers did not realize that they would fall in love with the sport and through the Soccer for Success program, gain more than a talent in soccer.
It was immediately clear to their coach-mentors that their talents far surpassed their ages.
Hesitant at first to take on a role beyond a team member, Eric and Miguel’s coaches have seen them continually become more engaged and transition from participants to leaders on their teams.
The brothers are always the first to tackle any assignment, from storing and loading soccer gear to helping coach the younger teams. “Miguel has shown a great amount of positive character development since I first met him,” says Coach-Mentor Ivan. “He has the drive to work to excel at soccer as a defender and has continued to be a great role model for his siblings, teammates and other players.”
Like his brother, Eric is consistently working to improve his game, but never at the expense of teamwork. His coach-mentor Carlos continually praises him for stepping up and supporting his teammates in any role possible. For example, if his team needs a goalie, he will step forward and play the position, even though it is not his preferred position.
“Soccer has been important to me not only because I like the game, but it has also helped me stay out of trouble. It has helped me develop positive traits like self-discipline,” says Miguel.
From participants when they began, to Soccer for Success leaders and volunteers now, both brothers continue to excel at soccer with further respect and appreciation for teamwork and leadership.
“Soccer is pretty much our life,” says Eric and Miguel.
There are many kids like Miguel and Eric who live for soccer. Soccer for Success provides youth with an opportunity to play soccer and inspires them to reach their full potential by surrounding them with caring coach-mentors. With mentorship and providing safe spaces to play, the U.S. Soccer Foundation is inspiring youth to live healthier, active lives and is making a positive difference in the lives of children across the country.