FEATURE: Nosotros Somos VSA
Camp Nou is a pretty awe-inspiring place, the home of FC Barcelona, Messi's playground. It is the hollowed field of some of the world's greats. This is where four players from VSA ended their amazing trip half-way across the world.
This Thanksgiving break saw U10 Valentina Nardone, U11 Maya Bravo, U12 Danis Jacevic, and U13 Aidan Kallal get their passports and head overseas. Their journey did not start with tickets to an All-Star trip to Barca; it all began at this summer’s VSA Team Camp where FC Barcelona ABG scout Antoni Pinilla attended to evaluate and provide feedback for VSA players and coaches. Antoni Pinilla. was so impressed with a number of players that he hand picked a number of VSA players to attend the FC Barcelona All-Star camp over Thanksgiving. All the players spoke of the amazing feeling of receiving the email announcing their selection. Valentina shared the moment saying, “They gave me the letter after my Dad and I came home from grocery shopping. When I saw it, I screamed because I was so excited. My parents recorded me. It was so funny because I yelled, ‘I'm going to Barcelona? Is that what it means?’ I then almost cried.”
Being selected was one thing, but the trip was one to remember. The players spoke in length of all the amazing things they saw, did, and were challenged by. The highlight of everyone's trip seemed to be the Barcelona coaches and chaperones. They were assigned chaperones that made the trip so special. The players said that they always had things for them to do and were very encouraging. The coaches trained them on the Barcelona complex, giving them new things to think about and another professional environment. They were with kids from all over the
world, practicing and competing all week. The players were ecstatic about the 4 All Star games that they got to play in against other clubs and academies. They also got to play a game on the beach!
The trip was not all business as they got to tour the magnificent Sagrada Familia, a church originally built in 1882. The players described the church as gorgeous and the biggest building they have ever been in. The trip would not be complete, though,
without seeing the 1st team in action. They not only saw FC Barcelona play at Camp Nou, they were mere feet away from the multiple time FIFA Ballon D'Or winner Leonel Messi. The game could not have gone better as Messi and fellow superstars Neymar and Suarez all put the ball in the back of the net.
When asked what was the most important thing to take away from the trip, all the players mentioned how a burning passion to play at the highest level was lit. They also described thecommon theme from the coaches: the ball was the star. They said that we are just there to move the ball, let it be the star and put on a show! This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and their lives are forever changed.
FC Barcelona came state side this past weekend to Long Park. The Park was packed with players anxious to train under the Spanish coaches. The players descried learning from the best and seeing the similarities (minus the accents) to VSA style of play and training. We had an amazing showing of VSA players and Coach Nick Rich was on site. Coach Nick spoke highly of the Barca's coaches' professionalism, interaction with the players, and enthusiasm to teach.
No matter what continent we are one, nosotros somos VSA! We Are VSA!