Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
A Mexican Adventure Continues: Life with Los Gallos
April 5th, 2011 4:26AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  youth boys, youth girls

MOST COMMENTED

By Emily Cohen

While talking with a reporter over Skype on a computer in his room, David Adams hears a knock on the door. "Is your room clean and your bed made?" the man asks in Spanish. He’s the father of the host family with whom David is staying for his four-month exchange program with Queretaro FC, a first division professional club in Ciudad Queretaro, Mexico, his second stint in two years.

Not so different than living at home in Utah. But that’s where the similarity ends. Last year, David lived with his coach’s family in a protective environment, participating in family activities as well as his soccer commitments. This year, he’s had to become more independent, which isn’t always easy for a 16-year-old living in a foreign country.

“Every morning, I get up at 7 and take a taxi to practice,” says David. “Then, when practice is over around 11:30, I take a taxi home. It’s a little different than the parent carpools back home and than driving to and from practice with my coach's family, which I did last year. Plus, it costs about 100 pesos [$8.50] each day.”

Socially, David is more isolated this time as well. “Sometimes, the guys on the team have parties or go out together on the weekends, but mostly I spend time in my room doing homework or talking with my family back in Utah on Skype. I also hang out with the son in the family with whom I’m staying, who is 15, and his friends, but not that often.”

But the bigger shock came on the field. Arriving in Queretaro in early February, David quickly realized that the makeup of the team had changed dramatically from last season. “Only six or seven of the 24 players, including me, were the same. One player had moved up to the Third Division team, but the rest had been cut and replaced with new players. And the coach was new too. In fact, the entire club had been revamped.”

Which meant David had to prove himself all over again. The lone American, standing out with his white-blond head of hair -- but a thick skin.

From the beginning, it was clear which players the coach designated as game-day starters and subs. Says David, “Twelve players were grouped in one area and the rest of us practiced somewhere else.”

More recently, however, David has found himself moving to the game-day group when playing rosters are drawn up on Friday before Saturday games. “The first time I was on the game-day roster, I played for one or two minutes. In the next game, against Cruz Azul, I played about 15 minutes and scored the PK that won the game for the Gallos. And in the game against Club America, I played 25 or 30 minutes and felt like I gave our team a chance to win. I’m not starting yet, but that’s ok. I’m still proving myself.”

And he’s doing that differently than last year as well. How? “My whole attitude this year is different. Last year, I was very serious and focused on not making any mistakes on the field. That was how I wanted to prove myself on the field. This year, I’m taking more risks, and they’ve been paying off. The coaches can see my creativity and know that I can think quickly on the field. More risk results in a greater reward. And I hope that reward is a starting role.”

David has another two months to crack the starting lineup. He comes home to Utah on May 28th, just as the school year ends and summer begins. Until then, David is focused on completing his sophomore year of high school online, playing soccer, and making sure his Gallos teammates know what he can do on the field. “I know I’ve succeeded in impressing them when they swear at me in English,” David laughs.

(Be a part of David’s experience in Mexico by following him on Twitter at DavidAdams94.)

(Emily Cohen is a freelance writer living in Berkeley, Calif. She has been a team manager for her children's soccer, baseball, basketball, and softball teams -- and has a blog at TeamSnap.com.)



0 comments
  1. David Huff
    commented on: April 5, 2011 at 4:35 p.m.
    We need more kids like this playing/training in the Mexican League, this is the future for a strong USMNT that will provide creative and technically skilled players that MLS currently cannot produce (with perhaps RSL excepted).


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Youth Soccer Insider
The Two-Ref System Revisited    
Two years ago, I wrote about The Two-Ref System: Its Flaws and How to Cope. The ...
The case for a full-service club: rec to comp    
How important is it for a club to offer all levels of play -- rec to ...
Crucial Concussion Evaluation Info for Coaches     
How should a coach evaluate a young athlete for a possible concussion?
A great start to practice: Free play!    
I have often wondered what goes on in the minds of 6-year-old American children who are ...
The College Quest in 2014: 'Technology can help bridge the access gap'    
It's been a decade since Avi Stopper penned a guide for high-schoolers on how to navigate ...
'Give Players Freedom' -- Justi Baumgardt-Yamada (Q&A)    
Justi Baumgardt-Yamada was an All-American at the University of Portland, played 16 times for the USA ...
Top 3 Keys to a Successful Club: Keeping 'Customembers' Satisfied    
As in any business, and a soccer club is a business, it is important to know ...
For Kids Only ...     
Dear Soccer-Playing Children of America,
Wilson Egidio's New York City Success Story    
When Manhattan SC PSG won the U-17 national title in July it became the first New ...
Curt Onalfo: L.A. Galaxy builds bridge from youth to first team    
One of the biggest challenges in U.S. player development is providing a highly competitive, professional environment ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives