The name of John Ramos – known to all as “Johnny Ramos” is synonymous of class, success and humbleness. The newly awarded Coach of the Year (East), conveys wisdom and knowledge, as well as a great passion for youth soccer in Florida.
It’s 5 o’clock in the afternoon in Kendall, and John Ramos has just completed his training with the U-18 Kendall Soccer Coalition Team.
The man who transited from the Miami FC to the Spandauer Berlin in Germany, showing his capacity as a defense, now conveys his knowledge in clubs as Albion SC Plantation and Kendall SC from south Florida.
It is not easy being elected “Coach of the Year” in the United States. You compete with hundreds of coaches in three large geographic areas, East, West and Central. So, John is one of the top three in the 2015-2016 season, putting Florida back in the spotlight.
With his wooden board filled with notes and a copy of SoccerPlus under his arm, John answered each question with a calm tone.
How long have you been coaching for?
For the past 12 years I am coaching youth teams in Florida. I Have 10 years in Plantation and two years in Kendall.
Where did you play previously in the United States?
I played at Miami FC, also in Miami Fussion, the Cyclons of Jacksonville, the Boston Bulldogs and Raleigh Capital Express, among others.
Did you play in Europe?
Yes, I played three years with a German team, Spandau, in Berlin, at the German Regional League. It would be like third division.
Which players do you especially remember during your time at the MLS and professional soccer?
Among the ones I remember the most are the Brazilian Romario, the talented Pibe Valderrama of Colombia and Zinho, also from Brazil.
What position did you play?
Always as a defender, central position.
How do you see the players here in Kendall SC?
There’s a lot of talent here. We have guys from different countries from Latin America that live soccer in a natural, intuitive way. It’s something they already have within themselves.
What does it take to succeed in soccer at this age?
Passion. Without passion for the game a player won’t improve, he will not want to be on the court. Talent is important but without passion is difficult to reach your goal, I insist, even if you have a lot of talent.
How do you work in Kendall SC and Albion SC Plantation?
At Kendall SC I train the U-18 team, a very talented team. In Albion SC Plantation we have 30 teams. A total of 2,400 players. 400 in competition and two thousand in the recreational league. We have a partnership with Kendall SC so that the U-18 boys train in Kendall. There is good synergy between the two clubs.
Do you also train other coaches?
Yes, I also teach courses for coaches in all of Florida State.
Do you think there is further development of child and youth football now?
Of course, boys have many more opportunities. But that is also a problem, since the player cannot focus on one path, because he has five or six. There are many tournaments, leagues, and dozens of scouts from colleges and observers. It’s also a lot of pressure.
On the development of soccer in Florida, how do you see the new Miami FC?
I think that if the team has quality, it will have more followers. The Miami FC, now directed by Nesta could have more possibilities.
At the end of the interview, before leaving to fulfill his commitment in Plantation, Johnny smiles when we make two mandatory questions, what is your favorite player today, and what soccer club you admire the most. Without hesitation, says: Messi and Barcelona.