SoccerPlus: We Continue Growing

Children, coaches, soccer moms, dads, and young people, they all look forward to reading the new edition of SoccerPlus every two weeks. The only magazine that tells stories and news about local soccer in South Florida.

Miami Caymans Soccer Academy

La Caimanera: learn how to play soccer among friends

Jonathan Rosas is head coach at La Caimanera, a place known as the home of soccer in Miami. Rosas talks about the beautiful side of training the kids of the club in futsal, and how the club works not only on the sporting side but with each child in a holistic manner.

The soccer academy offers the highest quality indoor facility. It has a blue turf field that has achieved FIFA 2-star certification. Miami Caymans Soccer Academy’s mission is to share passion for soccer, promote sports development, and sportsmanship.

Did you have a change of perspective on your game analysis when you switched from player to coach?
As a soccer player, you don’t realize some tactical aspects of the game. I had the chance to watch Spanish and Argentine soccer and some new methods to really recognize that I am no longer a player, I am a coach.

How did “La Caimanera” start?
La Caimanera is an initiative from the Miami Caymans owners. It requires planning and systematic work to focus on developing high-level players.

How long has this project been in existence?
The project started 10 months ago with 5 children and now we have about 90 children who are already playing in the most important leagues in Florida. Thanks to the club, we can always train indoors without worrying about the weather.

What are practices like?
We have a work plan which we refer to as “integral work”, consisting of different game aspects. In this plan, the child’s age is very important. For example, technical training, coordination, balance as well as psychomotor development are essential for the younger kids divisions. Later on, we begin strength training with older kids.

What is your favorite aspect of being a coach?
The great thing about working with children is that they end up teaching you more than you teach them. Professional soccer is all about money, status, and results. It’s different with children. It is very important that children develop self-discipline, become better people, and understand that companionship enriches life.

What are the club’s goals for the new season and for tournaments?
We don’t evaluate performance in relation to the set goals. The best result for us is watching a kid’s development in soccer. We want the children to feel Miami Cayman’s colors as well as feeling very much at home in the club.

How old do children have to be in order to start with soccer?
We have groups of children from 3 years to 4 years of age and older.

What does the club offer to the kids’ families?
We offer quality work and that children feel happy with their team. We recommend that parents get involved in tournaments/competitions, and that youth develop self-discipline, keep out of trouble, and focus not only on sports, but on becoming people with integrity.

Jonathan Rosas

Professional soccer player in Venezuela
Coach for 16 years
Age: 35
Origin: Caracas, Venezuela
Soccer career: The Venezuela U-20 National Team
Position as a player: Attacking midfielder
Favorite place: Paris
Favorite player: Maradona, Juan Arango
Favorite coaches: El Cholo Simeone, Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Richard Páez
Favorite teams: The Venezuela National Team and San Agustin del Paraíso School.

PINECREST Soccer Club: Discipline is the Key to Success

More than a coach, Anthony Stewart, considers himself a teacher for the Pinecrest Premier kids. He emphasizes that discipline is the key to success in soccer and to become a good student at school. Anthony played for the Jamaican National Team and against great players from that time such as John Barnes. Now in his coaching phase, he enjoys sharing his knowledge with the kids.

What has your soccer career been like?
Well, when I was playing in Jamaica we didn’t have actual professional leagues. We were given stipends to represent our country. I played for the Jamaican National Team from 1985-87 where I actually played against John Barnes (Liverpool legend).

How did you get involved with Pinecrest Premier?
This is my second year here and I can say that I love it. I had a friend affiliated with Pinecrest Premier and he would constantly ask me to come to the club to coach the goalkeepers

What is the most important thing you’d like to teach the kids you coach?
To be honest, I don’t call myself a coach, I call myself a teacher, and the first thing I try to instill into these kids is discipline. When they get out of this environment and they go out into the real world, they have to be disciplined. Secondly, I’m a big proponent of schoolwork and being a good student.

How often do the kids train?
On a regular basis, the teams practice 3 times a week, with one of those times being a mandatory goalkeeper practice.

What age groups do you coach for goalkeeping?
I oversee all the boys from U-9 up to U-18.

Who is he?

Anthony Stewart
Age: 54
Favorite food: Oxtail with rice and peas
Favorite team: Manchester United
Favorite player: Ruud van Nistelrooy

Pinecrest Premier Goalkeepers

Nikolas Leibkuchler
Division: U-15
Favorite player: Manuel Neuer

Ryan Hernandez
Division: U-16
Favorite Player: Manuel Neuer

William Rowe Allan
Division: U-13
Favorite player: Eden Hazard

Variety Street Style: Everything you Need to Know About Street Soccer  

Soccer is considered the most popular sport in the world. The street is the sports arena, where millions of children and youths play soccer. It is the place where many soccer stars begin to shine: Ronaldinho and Neymar are the perfect examples.

Street soccer does not need the requirements of a formal game. In its most informal stage, street soccer has the following rules: The match ends when everyone is tired, the game must be paused when a car is approaching, the player who kicks the ball far away must go pick it up, and there is no offside rule. (No referees, no coaches, no uniforms…) In street soccer, the team that scores more goals and respects the few rules established is the winner.

There is no large field, field markings, eleven players on each team, goalposts of a determined size and the ball, if you can call it a ball, can be of leather, rags, or anything round. The teams are conformed by friends and anyone you want to invite.

Street Soccer today

Even though in Italy, Brazil, Argentina and the rest of Latin America is usual to play on concrete streets or on dirt soccer fields, street soccer is now played in specific and modern soccer courts. In Florida, we already have very nice courts, perfectly designed to play this style of soccer, also called Futsal in some countries.

In this kind of soccer courts there are rules, standards, but they keep the “street”, fast and dramatic style. For soccer in Florida, that thrives on the street soccer spirit, it is good news that the number of well-lit and indoor artificial courts continues to increase. At the end, it is soccer.

Soccer has grown in popularity thanks to FIFA Street videogames, for PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube.
Dimensiones oficiales de canchas para Street soccer / Futsal

6 vs 6: 35 x 18m
7 vs 7 (3): 45 x 25m
10 vs 10: 80 x 45m

Real Miami FC. World Class Soccer 

A Real Soccer Academy of the Americas

Nowadays, the epicenter for soccer is Spain, the most important league in the world and the place that has changed the way to play soccer in the whole planet. For Cesar, Director of coaching, passion is the key to play soccer. Cesar not only teaches a certain philosophy to a team, but to a whole academy.

Professionally, what has your soccer career been like?
I started as a young boy playing in the youth teams of Real Madrid where I then moved on to an academy related to Real Madrid. From there, I passed on to the 3rd division in Spain where I was with very professional coaches and players who were coming from playing in higher divisions.

How long were you a player?
I played since I was 9 years old until the age of 31.

How did you end up at the academy in Miami?
Well, it was relatively simple since I was coming from Real Madrid where I was involved and I worked for. The first thing I did was to look for an academy which had a relationship with Real Madrid. I was told of Real Miami; I got in contact with them, showed my sporting resume to the president, and then was offered the opportunity to coach for a U-10 team.

How long have you been with Real Miami?
This will be my third year here, and my fourth in Miami.

How many teams do you oversee?
Well, I started off as a coach but this year I was offered the position of Director of coaching, which is nice because I don’t only teach a certain philosophy to a single team, but to the academy. This season I’m coaching the U-17s and I’m heavily involved with the U-12s as well.

How was the transition from player to coach?
It was simple in the sense that I was already mentally prepared. Since I was a player it was already catching my eye, and luckily I was surrounded by very good coaches who imparted to me the many details that are needed. Obviously, you have to change once you start coaching and one of the first errors that we make is to think that because we’ve played for years we can also hop right into coaching.

Did you change your perspective of the game from player to coach?
You have to change your mindset from a more closed and individual perspective to a more global perspective where you have to think about positions, tactics, how to position the defense, how to press when you lose the ball, etc. So, all of these concepts are things that you don’t normally take into consideration as a player.

What is the most important thing that you’d like to teach your players?
First of all, passion. To let them see that the country where I’m from is an epicenter for soccer. Spain has changed the way in which the game is played globally with their recent successes, and something that has always been taught to us as kids is the passion for the game. Also, at the end of the day the sport will impart to you some values that are very important in the real world such as working as a team, how to cope with forms of discouragement, frustration, and happiness.

What are your goals for the new season?
There are different objectives. If you ask me from the point of view of a coach, the objectives would be for the kids to enjoy themselves and to love the sport just as I do. Second of all for them to understand the game and to understand the “why” of the sport and why things happen, which hopefully results in wins as a consequence. I always tell the boys that if we play soccer and we don’t enjoy it then I don’t feel happy whether we win or we don’t win.

What does the club offer to players’ families?
As an academy, we have someone whose job is specifically to introduce the players to colleges. In addition, we have the players test what we have taught them in an international program. Also, we hope to provide them with a very large sporting education where we work on things beyond soccer such as discipline, nutrition, fun experiences, and for the players to reach their dreams.

Cesar Pacheco

Age: 37 Years
From: Madrid, Spain
Hobbies: Spending time with my family, informatics, engineering, and any sport that has a ball.
Favorite player growing up: Roberto Baggio
Favorite food: Arroz con Bogavante, Jamon, Lomo, Pescado dorado a la espalda, All of the typical Spanish foods.
Sebastian Ayllon

Age: 16
Position: Center Midfielder
Favorite player: Messi
Favorite team: Barcelona
Favorite food: Chicken Parmesan
Playing in Real Miami FC Since 8 years old

What has your experience been like with the club?
Great, I don’t have any complaints with any of the coaches and I love getting better.

Expectations for the new season:
To win every tournament, State Cup, and Nationals.

Favorite memory with the club:
During the Disney finals where I scored the winning goal near the end of the match.

Soccer Shoes: There is one pair for every type of field 

Technology is part of our daily life, and it is also an essential aspect in soccer. There are a lot of advancements and changes in the atlhetic footwear industry. One of the most recent: Adidas ACE 16 + Purecontrol laceless boots. It is a great invention because without laces it is easier to control the ball and control the game.

It is important to highlight that for greater performance, there are soccer shoes for every surface:

Hard pitch Cleats for hard fields provide players with enough amount of traction for hard and dry surfaces as dirt fields or artificial turf pitches.

Shoes designed for indoor courts are just soccer shoes without studs or blades; they look like a regular pair of sneakers.

“I’ve tried them out already, and I can say they’re the best boots I’ve ever worn”
Ivan Rakitic, Barcelona midfielder.

Lidio Britto
From: Rio, Brazil
Age: 47

How important is it to wear the right kind of shoe when you’re running?
When you start running you want the shoe according to your gait type because everyone is different. Most people don’t know but shoes are made for different types of gaits and they’ll buy shoes because they like the color, or the brand. If they just pick a shoe off the wall, they might not pick a shoe that’s appropriate for them and it will start to work against them.

What kind of material are shoes made of?
The material varies and it isn’t really something too important. What’s most important is the kind of shoe for the type of gait. For the most part, the soles of the shoes are made of “E.V.A” (which is a type of foam), but there’s also “flight foam” from ASICS, or “boost” from ADIDAS. The materials vary but they, for the most part, do the same thing.

Are there any running events coming up?
Locally, the largest running event in Miami is the Miami Marathon, but there are also other important events as the Miami beach half marathon, Key Biscayne half marathon, Halloween half Marathon, etc.

What advice would you give to soccer players since they are constantly running?
Well, running is the perfect cross training for soccer because soccer players run in short bursts of speed. Running long distances will give you endurance which will greatly help.

6 Reasons to eat Walnuts   

These superfoods in a shell are healthier than you think. There are so many reasons why you should be eating walnuts. They are tasty, crunchy and perhaps one of the top reasons is: they are good for you!

Here are 6 reasons to add walnuts to your diet everyday:

1. Muscles
They are the only nut that contains a meaningful amount of protein, a nutrient that is important for building muscles, and repairing muscles after workout.

2. Energy
Walnuts are considered a good source of energy, antioxidants, fiber and other nutrients. They are appreciated by recreational and endurance athletes alike.

3. Nutrition
Plenty of vitamins can be found in walnuts, including calcium, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and manganese, which are critical to an athlete’s nutrition.

4. Brain health
Walnuts are the top nut for brain health not just because of its wrinkled brain-like appearance, but since they have a high concentration of omega-3 fats.

5. Strong bones
They are rich in copper, which is required by the body for bone and connective tissue production. It helps with the absorption of calcium into the bone.

6. Good sleep
Did you know that good sleep can improve speed, accuracy, and reaction time in athletes? Walnuts contain melatonin a compound that helps improve your sleep.

Eliminatorias: El Camino a Rusia

La octava jornada dejó bien en claro que Uruguay pisa fuerte, Brasil sigue ascendiendo,Argentina continúa sembrando dudas y Colombia se ubica firme en el grupo que iría a Rusia.

Una doble jornada – 7a y 8a – que mostró la baja forma de Ecuador y de Chile, mientras que, así es el fútbol, Bolivia, Perú y Venezuela dejan la piel en la cancha con orgullo, aunque ya no irán a Rusia.

Equipo Pts.
1 Uruguay
2 Brasil
3 Argentina
4 Colombia
5 Ecuador
6 Paraguay
7 Chile
8 Bolivia
9 Perú
10 Venezuela

Próximos juegos 6 de Octubre:
Ecuador vs Chile
Perú vs Argentina
Brasil vs Bolivia
Paraguay vs Colombia
Uruguay vs Venezuela


La competencia preliminar de la CONCACAF reparte 3.5 cupos para disputar la fase final de la Copa Mundial de la FIFA Rusia 2018.

Seis son los invitados a la fase final de la zona, donde jugarán a ida y vuelta para definir por puntos como primer instancia, los boletos para el mundial de Rusia.
Estados Unidos recibe a México en la primer jornada, en un juego que se ha convertido en más que un clásico, donde están en juego mucho más que 3 puntos…


Is Coconut Water the Ultimate Thirst Quencher?

Coconut water is a clear, sweet, and refreshing beverage that people in many places of the world enjoy for its various benefits and taste.

Everyone needs to drink enough liquids to keep a healthy and properly hydrated body. As its name says, coconut water contains about 95% water. This is the reason why it is a great hydration beverage for kids and adults. There is no doubt coconut water can hydrate your body almost as well as plain water.

Unlike other kind of beverages, coconut water holds five important electrolytes that are present in the human body. Among which are: magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, and
sodium. Due to its unique composition, coconut water can be enjoyed by everybody, including athletes in all sporting disciplines.

More about coconut water

•Coconut water is great post-workout, because it provides minerals that aid in recovery.
•It is important to select plain coconut water and avoid those with extra sugar.
•Coconut water is higher in potassium than other sports beverages.

Juventus Academy, European Style in Florida

With about 400 children, Juventus Academy has been developing a powerful program in Florida for the past 5 years. A couple of interviews with two of its referents, Stefano Ledda and Christian Driussi.

Text & Photos: Emmanuel Calderón

How did your relationship with Juventus start?
We represent Juventus in Florida and have partnered with the club during 4 years, now going into our 5th year. I started out this business with two other partners. We have around 400 kids with age groups between U-6 and U-15.

How different is it for kids to learn how to play soccer in Italy than in the U.S.?
In Italy, we play soccer on the streets every day. Here, there isn’t as much time for kids to be playing the sport. The only time they do play is when they are here, practicing with us.

What is your favorite thing about working with kids?
Being able to see their hard work and improvement from one week to another.

What has your professional career been like so far?
I played in the Italian third division. At the age of 35, I moved to the U.S.

Did you change your mind as you made the transition from player to coach?
It is a completely different approach. Soccer, in Italy, was very competitive. Now, I feel that my focus is to learn as many aspects and techniques to be able to teach the kids in the best way and as fast as possible.

What are your goals for the next season?
Hopefully, reach 500 kids in our club, and to continue teaching them about soccer and help them grow.

“We offer a European philosophy of coaching which is very good, where we don’t only focus on winning but on teaching them how to really play the game, the rules, and respect”

Stefano Ledda
Age: 41
Origin: Venice, Italy
Favorite team: Juventus
Favorite players growing up: Maradona, Totti, Ronaldo
Favorite food: Pasta

How did your relationship with the club begin?
In 2010, Stefano contacted me since he wanted to open up a soccer business. We had to decide if we wanted to create our own academy or to affiliate with someone else. We found out that Juventus is the best academy compared to other major clubs in Italy.
Are you in close contact with Juventus?
We are in continuous contact with the club. It is a very hands-on project where they want to know what we are doing, what our challenges and achievements are.
Ideally, would the goal be for players from the academy to eventually play for Juventus?
Yes, absolutely. There are different steps in the growth of an academy. We’re still in a very early stage, but even at this stage we already went to Italy twice. The kids experienced a different type of culture and were challenged to participate at international tournaments.

“I believe that soccer is also for the growth of a person when it comes to values, sacrifice, and working hard to achieve what you want.”

Christian Driussi
Age: 43
Origin: Pordenone, Italy
Favorite Food: Prosciutto, and gelato