USL-1 Jogo debut…tough decision

It was a relaxing Saturday night and the Gómez family was resting in Frisco; Jogo had briefly stepped out of their place to go fetch dirty football gear from his locker room at Toyota Stadium in Frisco. The date was May 25th, 2019 when we unexpectedly received a text from the FC Dallas Academy Director…to be honest, the time and day of the week were a bit strange but not unique since club communication had always been unsolicited, unidirectional, and unorthodox in general. On this particular night, there was a team void to fill (an opportunity) and thus the urgency to reach out to us late in the evening.

The text was an inquiry about having Jogo play a couple of away games with the USL-1 North Texas SC team in Toronto (Wednesday, May 29th) and in Virginia (Saturday, June 1st) against the Richmond Kickers. It all sounded too good except Johan’s high school graduation (and party) fully overlapped with the second game. His high school graduation (and after party that we had been planning for months) was scheduled for Saturday, June 1st and we were expecting ALL the family from both sides to attend. Since the football invitation involved two away games, the team would not return back to Frisco in between games and thus the decision involved participation in both games or none. The irony of the situation was that the starting North Texas SC left back was graduating from high school along side Johan, creating this opportunity for Jogo. What was Jogo to do? A decision was needed in little time…

Johan and Joana at the Cowboys training facility, 06.01.19 (Frisco, Texas)

When he returned from the stadium, we broke the news to him. He was excited for a moment until he remembered his brother’s graduation. This was one of the toughest decisions Jogo has had to make. Not only did he have to miss what he thought was a decisive DA game (of three games) against a very competitive (and eventual DA national champion) Solar SC side but he most importantly, would miss all the family, friends, teammates being in town for Johan’s high school graduation. As a matter of fact, it was a decision for which he didn’t request our feedback and ultimately was solely his decision. It’s important for up and coming players to understand that these difficult decisions/”sacrifices” are common in the life of an athlete in order to fulfill their dreams. As a family, we supported his decision to play and proceeded to inform the academy director. A couple of days later, Jogo was on a plane traveling with the team to play in Canada the next day against Toronto FC II.

Toronto FC II vs North Texas SC lineup 05.29.19. Image by North Texas Soccer Club

The result was not the desired one (2-3 loss); it was the team’s first loss of the season. Despite the result, the team played well and as a family, we were grateful that Coach Eric trusted Jogo to play 90 minutes and his teammates supported him to have a solid debut. It was time to move on and shift focus to the Richmond game a few days later. The game against Richmond overlapped with Johan’s high school graduation so we couldn’t watch it live.

Richmond Kickers vs North Texas SC lineup 06.01.19. Image by North Texas Soccer Club

The final result was a 3-0 win and the team regained its confidence. Jogo had two solid games; however, after both games, we didn’t know if he would be asked to play again. It really didn’t matter; Jogo had fulfilled yet another goal in his short career and in the process helped the team out. One of Jogo’s fondest memories of that trip was his rookie initiation accompanied by “Old Town Road“. Thank you North Texas SC and FC Dallas for this opportunity.

Jogo after the Richmond Kickers game . 06.01.19 (Richmond, VA). Image courtesy of Chancy Green

Free merchandise

As a token of our appreciation for following and supporting the boys, we will be gifting T-shirts (see pictures below) to the first five folks who fill out the form below. Note: the email address will be used exclusively for communication purposes for the winners.

Rules:

  1. Winners will be determined by the earliest timestamp of the automatically generated email once the form below is filled out and submitted
  2. At the moment, we will only be shipping within the United States
  3. One winner per household
  4. Winners will be will notified via email

Front of the T-shirt with the official “#theGomezway” logo
Back of the T-shirt with the official website

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