Today we’d like to introduce you to Virgil Perez.
Virgil, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
The adventure started as I was a coach for a club that was closing doors in the spring 2013, leaving the students without a structure to participate in the fall season of that same year. Some of the other coaches went to find a position with other clubs while I decided to run around the clock to start a new club with the precious help of Coach Jose Aguilar. We managed to save the season for some of the kids that were left without a club. The rest is history we are now in our 3rd season, and our highly appreciated Diamonds Program for kids age 4 to 8 is the backbone of the club as we are building from the ground up. We have 3 main programs, the Diamonds League for our youngest players and beginners, our skill classes for beginners and intermediate players that want to learn or improve their skills age 7 to 12, and finally club level for the more advanced and committed players, it starts at 6 years old..
So we are trying to accept potentially everyone that wants to play the game until about 12 years old currently.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t been a smooth road but a rewarding one. Our biggest challenge is field space especially in the West LA area, the pitches are also suffering from the drought.
Building rosters for Club teams is also difficult as we are looking for quality players that can commit to practices and games on a year round basis.
Soccer is a growing sport in the U.S, however, structures, organizations, are not quite up to speed with the rest of the world. There are many different programs some recreational, some private leagues, official leagues on and on and it can be confusing for parents to know where to go. Where in the rest of the World it’s usually one club per neighborhood that use it’s own field.
Los Angeles Soccer Association – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are very proud of our Diamonds League which is a program that starts at 4 years old. Every kid that commits to that program for a couple of years is sure to be Club level ready when they turn 6-7 years old and start competitive leagues. The first 2 teams that we built where all players come from that program are doing have an incredible record even though we are focusing on development over results the way they play is incredible for their age, individually and collectively.
What stands out about them is that they are all pretty leveled meaning that it’s not only a few gifted kids but that our coaching methods had an overall impact on each of them.
We accept all kids under 12 at this point since we are still a young club and as I mentioned before building from ground up. We specialize also in bridging the gap between recreational soccer and competitive, so no kids are rejected from tryouts, we will work with them until they are ready to “graduate”.
We implement different styles of play from across the globe with an international coaching staff, including beach soccer and also Futsal/indoor soccer in the curriculum. Our partners “StreetKingsUSA” are running the futsal program and are recognized worldwide.
We also make sure to develop creativity, sportsmanship and what we call “Soccer I.Q” in our coaching approach because like the late Dutch legend Johan Cruyff said (quote) ” You play soccer with your head, and your legs are there to help you…”
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
It makes me proud when I see that a 4-5 years old on the pitch for the first time, crying for mom or dad, scared to play and by the end the 8 weeks program the same child is up and running, smiling, making moves, scoring goals and having fun. Words of mouth from the parents have been a real support for the club.
To mention a few other, building a good reputation as led me to meet, coach, play alongside Soccer Legends, to have some of the kids featuring in the upcoming Disney Blockbuster “A wrinkle in Time” as extra soccer players.
And overall being in this beautiful town of Los Angeles, enjoying my passion and being outside, can’t beat that.
- Diamonds League: $175/child (8 weeks program) 4 seasons per calendar year
- Skill classes/Futsal Clinics: $20/class (10 session min.) Runs year round.
- Club Competitive: Approximately $1500/year all included
- Address: Location (Not Mailing Address)
Cheviot Hills Recreation Park
2551 Motor Ave. Los Angeles, CA, 90064
- Website: www.losangelessoccer.org
- Phone: 3234793454
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @lasoccerassociation
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/losangelessoccer/
- Twitter: @lasocceracademy