Please share with us about your background as an athlete/player.
I always was a basketball player growing up. Started playing soccer at 15. My first soccer team was High School JV.
What do you like about the league?
It's very organized and the fields are great. Also, every [11v11]game has three referees, most other recreational adult leagues settle for one ref.
What do you enjoy doing outside of soccer?
Outside of soccer I enjoy traveling. Recently I did 3 new states and Europe. My girlfriend and I are total foodies, too. We’ll hit the road for an hour just to taste something new.
Are there any soccer figures/people you admire and what about them do you like?
Neymar. The difference between a technical player and a skillful player is pressure. Skillful players perform the most technical skills under pressure, and there aren't many that do it like him.
What is your fondest memory of soccer?
My NPSL team just made the final 4 out of 94 semi-pro teams nationwide. We played at Yale in front of 2,300 fans. I have family from NY and they made the drive to Connecticut to watch. We didn't win but I'll never forget the experience.
Was there any experience in particular that influenced your love of soccer?
My father is Brazilian, so soccer was always pushed on to me. At first, I hated it and just wanted to play basketball. It wasn't till I went to Brazil my 8th grade summer and took a camp out there. They had me training with 6 year old kids because I was so bad. I took it personally in the best and channeled it competitively--haven't stopped playing since.
Do you have any rituals you do before playing a game?
As I age...Ibuprofen, lots of Ibuprofen.
What do you think the future of soccer in the U.S. will look like?
The most conversational topic is Promotion/Relegation. I see arguments for both sides but as a fan I just hope soccer in the USA becomes competitive with Europe, and I think it will within ten years. Also, I think youth soccer in the USA is going to become more data driven. Scouting and training will become about numbers as sport science and technologies emerge.
Anything else about yourself you'd like to share with the BAASL community?
Check out Shadelands Sports Mall coming soon to Walnut Creek. There's going to be a huge soccer specific training center. I think the BAASL community will benefit and enjoy. www.shadelandssportsmall.com