- This is a series of full interviews with current and former college soccer players who have experienced the American training and development process. We ask them to give us their opinions on the current issues impacting coaching and youth soccer in America today.
Jasmin Cardoso, Senior at George Mason University
Learn more about Jasmin by following this link
1. Tell me about where soccer has taken you today. Today, I am a former college soccer player. Fall 2013 was my last season, I was a starter since my freshman year, when I played for New Mexico State University, where we made history by being the first soccer team in that institution. Also, me being the first soccer player to record a goal scoring record as a freshman (at New Mexico State). I was also named to an all WAC conference team. At George Mason I was a starter for three years and a captain my senior season. Also had high scoring points with goals and assists.
2. Tell me about your soccer development (when did you start playing? What made you get into Soccer? Where did you start playing?)
-I started playing at an early age in Mexico, mainly with the girls juggling a ball because boys wouldn’t let us play with them. Once I came to the United States (at age 8) i started playing with friends from the neighborhood then ended up playing travel as a teen. One of the reasons i enjoyed soccer, or started playing, was because of my older brother. His passion for soccer and the time he spent playing and watching it made me like it.
3. What made you fall in love with the game?
- Like i said before probably my brother made me love soccer and as weird as it sounds, the way it made me feel when I played. It is such a good feeling to touch the ball or have the ball at my feet.
5. Did you ever think that the game was pushed on you by anyone?- no, definitely not!
6. How often did you play with your friends, outside of formal training with a team? – Lots thats how it all began.
7. What do you think about players specializing in one sport? Did you specialize?I think that if someone likes a sport and are good at it and dedicate so much time and effort to be the best then i agree with the specialization of one sport. It is one way to demonstrate dedication, aspirations and willingness to succeed in one thing.
8. What do you think has helped you succeed in soccer?- I think my own determination, but mainly the soccer people around me including my coaches and teammates.
9. Did you play on the streets? Or with your friends in backyards (street soccer)? I play everywhere, we usually play in the “streets” or black tops, because they are more accessible to us.
10. What made you want to play in college?-Well one, I am a very dedicated student, always loved doing school work, basically a nerd haha. but knowing that i could get a scholarship for being a student and athlete and be someone, and obtain a degree, pushed me to play in college.
11. Did you play other sports growing up? What percentage total (for example 10% basketball, 90% soccer, etc.).
-I did track- cross country, and also played volleyball but it was a small percentage since soccer has two seasons. Spring and Fall.
12. Tell me about the Lowest and Highest point of your career so far.The lowest point of my career was my sophomore year in college when I had to redshirt as a transfer and had to sit and watch my team play while i was on the bench because of NCAA TRANSFER RULES. Going to the games and not being able to play, knowing that I went to every single practice just like all my teammates, except i couldn’t get a single minute on the field in official games. Highest is probably when i was recruited by the u20 Mexican National team as a freshman in New Mexico State University. It was honor to have been asked to represent the country i was born in.
What we can learn from Jasmine is that she developed a passion for soccer from watching others, her friends, and her older brother who introduced her to soccer. It was all fun and games at first, and she never “worked” at it, she just played and had fun. She never had contact with a “professional coach” until she reached her teenage years and she was recruited to play Travel Soccer. This means she was already an outstanding player BEFORE she joined the Club team. However the Soccer Club gave her the opportunity to sharpen her skills while playing against and training with good competition.
The key take away from this is that she learned to play on the streets by watching, imitating, and practicing the skills. Every parent has the ability to create that environment for their child. You can play in the backyard, inside your house, or with other family members. Once your son/daughter is ready for more serious soccer, they can join a team.