Category Archives: U20-MNT

Jogo’s pre, post, and actual game day routines

Athletes approach their respective crafts differently; footballers have their own pre and post-game routines -especially the more experienced ones-; some may have their talismanic rituals. Younger footballers like Jogo are barely developing habits. He is figuring it all out likely based on game outcomes. Today, I will write about his pre, post and game day routines in case anybody finds them helpful. Nothing unorthodox but this is how he prepares for the last pre-season game played on a cloudy 60+ degrees Saturday at 3 PM and what he does afterwards.

Day before

We ate Mexican food kinda late maybe out of convenience and to celebrate my arrival to the beautiful city of Louisville. The food was takeout at Los Aztecas from downtown. Decent portions but a bit pricey. Meanwhile, the club’s social media department continues to be generous with Jogo.

Loucity’s Instagram post 04.16.21 (Louisville, KY)

Game day

He gets up around 9 AM and cooks breakfast for both of us; he makes scramble eggs for me and an egg bagel for him. Right after breakfast, he heads to his room to use the deep tissue massage gun. He refuses help; I guess he knows his body well or he knows how much of a savage I could be when giving massage.

Aduro Sport Massaging Gun

Around 11:15 AM, he runs to the group room to pick up his pre-game meal. He returns home around noon and takes a shower (have to look good for those game day pictures, huh?). He eats most of the pre-game meal, heads to his room for a prayer and is ready to go.

Jogo right before heading to the game 04.17.21 (Louisville, KY)

Right before 1 PM, it’s time for him to drive to the stadium. Exciting times for all of us. It’s the last game of a three-month pre-season but the first with limited fan capacity at home. Fans here are very special and have an appreciation for Jogo. You can feel it. Please know that our family is so grateful for the hospitality and love displayed.

I then walk over to the stadium at 2:15 PM and arrive around 2:45 PM. I did not get to watch warmups but that’s okay. I get to take some selfies and share them with the family.

Most importantly, I am inside the cathedral once again and better yet, I am happy Jogo is playing. All is well.

After a hard-earned victory (2-0) against a quality undefeated opponent, I meet up with Jogo on the field for the obligatory picture and to thank him. Pittsburgh is the team LouCity faced when Jogo made his debut and had a knock. I didn’t realize this game had a subliminal meaning to him.

The Lord gave me the opportunity to see both of the boys become professional footballers. I’m done here!!!

After the brief pleasantries, I exit the stadium and walk back home; he arrives home around 6 PM. He immediately eats dinner and wants to talk about the game. I tell him we must wait the “recommended” 24 hours or until he gets the film. He insists (and I did jot down some notes) so we briefly just go over some general team stuff. Gotta love his passion but more so, his drive and desire to improve. We wind down the rest of the evening watching some MLS and LigaMX games. It’s non-stop football with him.

Day after

Jogo gets up around 8:15 AM on Sunday, eats a banana for pre-breakfast and goes to the stadium for recovery. Since no teammates are using the recovery boots, he borrows them for about an hour. Soon after recovery, he eats his real breakfast while doing some school work (multi-tasking is a gift with teenagers).

Around noon, we go to the beautiful LouCity Academy fields to support the U18s/U19s taking on Ohio Premier in ECNL action. Entertaining game, he sees a lot of familiar faces and introduces me to teammates and staff (mental health recovery is also a must). LouCity Academy wins 2-1 and we then go grab lunch at “La Rosita”. Semi-cheat day eating some delicious tacos accompanied with agua de horchata. All that recommended by none other than Oscar Jimenez.

While we are eating and watching the Miami FC vs LA Galaxy MLS game where some of Jogo’s friends are playing, he informs me that he received game film from the day before and wants to go over it with me. We head over to Home Depot to buy a plant and then back home with a full stomach. Now I have video homework to do for the rest of the weekend.

At 5 PM, he takes about a one hour nap to recharge his teenager batteries. Then around 7:30 PM, he invites me to the gym and goes there to work on some agility drills. He is anxious to work on some feedback he received recently. I decide to work out with him (having a partner in crime is more motivating). We end the day with a light supper (vegetable/broccoli soup) and off we go to bed around 11:30 PM to start another week.

I am so grateful that I get to be with him for a few days. Thank you Hack and Danny but mostly, thank you Lord for allowing me to “see” him one more day. Looking forward to opening day.

You thought it was a bragging shot huh? That’s why we practice 04.20.21 (Loucity, KY)

Note: At the writing of this post on Monday evening, we just returned from shooting/finishing practice at the park. That left leg is dangerous. Until next time #theGomezway.

BTW, listen to the latest Chumchat episode and support Tanner and Johan. Bryce Duke is the latest guest. He talks about his eccentric life in LA. What car does Carlos Vela drive? How about those Sounders players? Did y’all know Bryce played with Noah Beck at RSL academy; he’s great friends with all the famous Tik Tokers. On the pitch, what are his goals with LAFC this year? Bryce is a well-rounded player, silky smooth whose style is similar to that of FC Dallas’ Thomas Roberts but life wasn’t always easy. Bryce is one of the first merch supporters of Chumchat. Enjoy.

Season 3 Volume 6: Bryce Duke

2020 in hindsight for the Gómez’s

As we reflect on what 2020 brought the Gómez, we must first acknowledge the challenges it presented at the global, and national levels. Last year was a very tumultuous year from a health, social, political, and economic aspect but like anything, if you look hard enough, there are always silver lining events throughout the year. Let’s recap some of the most notable events for our family and parallel (especially sports) events around the nation and the world.

December 2019:

Personal

We made the decision to continue Jonathan’s football development at Louisville City FC leaving behind great coaches, friends, teammates. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end for everyone.

On December 31st, Johan injured the 5th metatarsal of his left foot forfeiting his chance to continue his good form displayed in the U20 MNT September camp and compromising his participation in the January camp, the spring season at FC Porto, and UEFA Youth League. It was by far not the best way to start the year; however, the adversity was humbling and it reminded us about the true meaning of patience, resilience, faith and brought us closer together as a family despite the Atlantic Ocean.

January

Personal

January saw the inception of Chumchat. A podcast project initiated by three former FC Dallas Academy friends (Judson, Tanner, and Johan) and current football players.

The podcast has been gradually finding its identity and gaining popularity; it recently culminated a second successful season. Due to its freshness, it is growing at a rapid rate. Tanner and Johan recently joined Sam’s Army’s podcast and explained the project more thoroughly. You will find their podcast interesting if you enjoy news about the FC Dallas academy, the different US national teams (especially youth) and other great successful guests in the world of sports.

Global

On January 9th, the World Health Organization announced that a deadly coronavirus had emerged in Wuhan, China. There are many chapters of this book still being written…

National/Global

On January 26th, the world of sports was shocked with the sudden death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the rest of the crew in a helicopter accident in Calabasas California. The year was not starting on the right foot for the world of sports either.

February

Personal

Jogo was invited to Germany for football trials and he welcomed that opportunity with open arms. Mom traveled to Europe later to meet up with her sister and the boys. An opportunity well-seized by everyone in the family given what was to about to unfold a couple of weeks later…

Jogo and mom at the Werder Bremen Stadium, Bremen, Germany (02.18.20)
National

On February 5th, the LIV (54th) Super Bowl took place where the Kansas City Chiefs (AFC) defeated the San Francisco 49ers (NFC) 31-20 in a display of craftiness by young Texan Patrick Mahomes.

March

Personal

On March 5th, Jogo was announced with USL-C Louisville City. A new chapter in Jogo’s football development is still being written and we are grateful for the opportunity.

National/Global

On Monday, March 9th, the Dow Jones plunges over 2000 points in intraday trading -its steepest decline ever- due to economic concerns with the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus.

Just a few days after we dropped Jogo off in his new home, on March 13th, Breonna Taylor is shot eight times by Louisville police starting a chain of social events (including violent demonstrations) requesting an end to police brutality at the national level.

April

Personal

Coronavirus forces the stressful return home for the boys from their temporary homes and we had a full house once again…albeit for a short amount of time.

May

Personal

Jogo returned to Louisville and started the second pre-season with Loucity in small groups due to Coronavirus restrictions.

National/Global

On May 25th, Minneapolis police officer is videotaped kneeling on the neck of George Floyd until he eventually dies. The video of the incident goes viral with a global impact of unprecedented proportions. The Black Lives Matter movement momentum reaches its climax and had a profound reach in every facet of everyone’s lives.

July

Personal

Jogo makes his LouCity debut and Johan returns to Porto to start pre-season with Porto B. Our nest is back to being semi-empty but we are happy for the boys and of course the undivided attention that Joana is getting.

August

National

The West Coast fires extend to Washington State in what some may say is unfortunately a yearly tradition. The deadly wildfires burned millions of acres and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

September

Personal

Johan makes his debut for Porto B and scores this beauty of a goal.

Meanwhile, Jogo continues to earn playing time with LouCity.

Loucity (4) vs Memphis 901 (1), Louisville, Kentucky (09.19.20)

National

On September 28th, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Final. We still remember when Claudia and myself celebrated the last Stanley Cup Final won by the stars in 1999 the parade in downtown Dallas.

October

National

The month of October witnessed rivalries between the states of Florida and California in two different American professional sports. The NBA’s turn came first when the LA Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in six games. In doing so, the LA Lakers tied the Boston Celtics as the winningest NBA franchise (17 titles) in history tying the Boston Celtics.

Despite what MLB hard core fans and the name itself may imply, the World Series only has national impact (perhaps continental level). Nonetheless, the World Series took place for the first time in a neutral stadium. We were fortunate to have it in our own backyard: Arlington, Texas. The two teams battling it out were the Tampa Bay Rays (AL) and the LA Dodgers (NL). They were not only competing for the MLB World Series but for state bragging rights. In the end, the California team came out on top in six games.

November

Personal

Jogo spent the entire month training abroad. Without a doubt, they were amazing opportunities especially when most young footballers are unable to play in any structured way. Similarly, among rising Coronavirus concerns in Portugal, Johan continued to play full games in his new position which is reassurance that he’s doing it well.

National

Some would say this would be of global impact…and probably so. On Saturday, November 7th, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States among some ongoing controversy.

Global

The football world saw the death of Maradona on November 25th (the day before Thanksviging). Few footballers will ever be as popular and yet polarizing as he once was (and forever will be). The world of football mourned his death globally. His legacy will live forever with us footballers.

December

Personal/Global

On Christmas Eve, FIFA decided to cancel the U17 and U20 Men’s World Cups. It was a devastating Christmas gift for all of those players around the world. At the personal level, we had hopes for both of the boys to continue partaking in the U20 WC cycle in some capacity and that will no longer be the case. C’est la vie mon amis

We spent our first Christmas and New Year’s without both of the boys but unfortunately that’s the life of a footballer and their families. While we are grateful Johan continued playing regular season games, Jogo continued training in Portugal. Priceless development opportunities in uncertain times and grateful that they had competitive continuity.

National

On December 11, the Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization for a vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus. This was perhaps the best news to end the year and a glimpse of hope for 2021.

2021

The pandemic uncertainty has not ceased but it’s encouraging to know that help is on the way. Hope is the last thing to lose and we certainly hope 2021 turns out to be a better year. For now, we can only plan our pathways with the information available; in the process, there will be definitely be twists and turns that will require adjustments. Rest assured that the Gómez will do their part…to control, influence and monitor events for a better 2021. Until next. #theGomezway

Johan signs with FC Porto a year later

In a few days, you will officially start your second season with Porto. As you have witnessed from preseason, the intensity, the craftiness, and in general, the competition is much higher in Porto B than last year’s age-restricted league but you prepared very well during the break. In preseason, you have helped the team by playing different offensive positions, scoring goals and assisting. You tend to minimize your goal and assist contributions because it’s preseason but congratulations on your production nonetheless (as much as I disagree with you on not celebrating preseason accolades). However, one thing we do agree on is that the most important aspect of your upcoming season is that you stay physically and mentally healthy.

Honestly, one of the aspects we love most about the Portuguese league is that it’s not followed by many back home. (Un)fortunately, very few fans really know how to watch and comment on your games. Well, we think it’s a good thing as long as your family is able to. Inevitably, there will be more American fans paying attention to the Portuguese league now that Reggie plays there but for now, enjoy the calmness knowing that the “right” people are always watching your games. As for this new season, we hope it’s nothing like last year in terms of injuries and the start of the 20-21 season is looking more promising. Below are the events that led up to your signing at Porto…

It was June of 2019, the FCD U18/U19 DA team kept advancing deep in the DA playoffs and you continued being an instrumental part of the team. On the other hand, it had been obvious that any path to the FC Dallas first team needed to go through the brand new North Texas SC (NTSC) team and the club started giving you meaningful minutes with the USL-1 team and you started producing there as well. You were concurrently playing for both DA and USL team.

Picture after advancing to the DA quarterfinals

While pulling double duty, it started to be very worrisome that your load was increasing significantly. Sure, the club’s technical and medical staff had never dealt with managing players alternating between the DA and NTSC on same week games but adversity was looming. We were not comfortable how the medical aspect of your health was being managed.

While the desire to stay in the FCD organization was extremely high, there wasn’t really a viable way. A change was inevitable but we didn’t want to just abandon the excellent run that the U18/U19 team was having in the DA playoffs. Now in July and a depleted U18/U19 roster, a new coach, the natural end-of-season injury period and most importantly, players pulling double duty became all factors in delaying our decision to seek out alternative opportunities. Your college coach was always supportive. Thanks Nick.

Injury

In an effort to complete a NTSC roster for the game against Tucson, FCD requested three U18/U19 DA players to fly back to Dallas immediately following their DA playoff game in California and play a 2nd game within a 24 hour window. Needless to say, you sustained a mild injury (hamstring) that took months for full recovery. Witnessing first hand the type of medical oversight convinced us that we needed to move quicker than originally anticipated. A phone call to a family acquaintance in Germany and the first training opportunity was setup for you in the next few weeks.

DA Final

The U18/U19 DA team played the final game with Judson out with a hamstring injury and you considerably handicapped with hamstring discomfort (another interesting decision). The roster was so short and an FCD missed PK in the first minutes worsened FCD’s mood. The game ended as a 2-1 loss.

You flew back to Dallas immediately after the championship game and were on a plane three days later to Germany for some additional last minute agency-found trials. Honestly, when you left, we never thought you would not return home until the Christmas break…and off you went with just a small bag, great attitude, your huge smile and our blessings…

Johan and tear-eyed mom at the DFW airport 07.13.19

German Training Stints

Freiburg:

The first and longest stop was Freiburg. It’s beyond our comprehension how you managed to undergo almost five weeks of demanding German trials with the hamstring pain but you left it all on the pitch. Based on feedback (yours and the club’s), this was by far the best, friendliest, club you visited in Germany. You did preseason in Switzerland with the team and scored in almost every scrimmage you played.

Unknowingly, you opened a door for Jogo #theGomezway. However, although feedback was great, we couldn’t wait to make it work and the international window was soon closing. Thank you Ralph and Vincent for your hospitality. We quickly moved on to the next trial.

Augsburg:

This was another good trial. In fact, what we remembered most was that you really liked seeing Aidan there. Extra motivation having an American “partner in crime“. This is the club where you practiced with the U23s and did very well too. The decision point came when they asked you to play a friendly with them the last day of the trial and unfortunately you couldn’t. The dang paperwork or so were we told. Unfortunately, you didn’t have the documentation they needed from FC Dallas. Bummer. I should have read my own checklist post.

Johan Gomez and Aiden Morris after practice

Nuremburg:

We felt the first two trials had gone well and during this trial, we learned about Porto’s interest. However, we didn’t know whether it’d be the right fit for you or not. The news gave you a much needed emotional and physical boost knowing that they wanted to see you immediately. It had been a long summer of intense competition and five weeks of trials and traveling was taking its toll. This wasn’t a bad trial by any means but somehow the most memorable highlight I have of it was the video below. You attended a professional game in Nuremburg and a great farewell from a beautiful city.

Porto:

You came and you conquered. They offered you a spot within a week of trialing. Your game was more apt to their needs and your development. You were supposed to return home after you signed but the U20 camp kept you in Europe. In hindsight, you made the right choice by attending the first U20 MNT camp in Slovania as you scored your first international goal.

You ended up joining Porto after the third game of the season, without much of a pre-season and with a soared hamstring. Since you never came home after you left in July. I had to take your additional personal stuff to Portugal in late September. Few will ever know the behind the scenes sacrifices, even fewer will ever care, some may just care that you score goals. C’est la vie mon ami.

Training facilities at Olival, Oporto, Portugal (08.31.20)

Mallorca:

Mallorca opened its doors for you from just looking at your impressive stats and some DA clips right after the Porto trial. They made an offer hard to turn down but the Akil Watts situation was fresh. Honestly, Spain would have been excellent for your football profile and maybe still a future option; however, the project at Porto was more appealing at the time.

The other factor that may have influenced Porto’s selection over Mallorca was this statement by Porto’s technical staff:

Going to Mallorca is like driving a Honda, FC Porto is like a Ferrari. Which would you rather drive?”

Porto’s technical staff

Signing:

I remember being at work when you called. It was the sic “bestest” news. I wanted to scream and cry at the same time. Only we knew the struggles (financial, emotional, physical, etc.) to get you to Germany. We knew how important this was to you and we also know that you couldn’t have landed at a better developmental place. Unfortunately (for your family), they signed you right away and we couldn’t make it out there. In hindsight, I should have tried harder. I promise you I’ll be there for the next one…which is the one that counts.

Your Porto B preseason went well. You have been directly impacting each scrimmage. You have become an instrumental part of Coach Rui’s lineup. As you said, scrimmages are just that. As your family, we are proud of your accomplishments no matter how small (or big) so it’s hard to not celebrate your honors. We know you have big dreams but playing for Porto is no joke. Celebrate the small victories son. That said, we care more that you are staying physically and mentally healthy and of course that your are optimizing your opportunities. #Carpediem

Estadio Joao Cardoso: Porto B vs. Tondela. Johan: Goal and assist. 08.29.20

Good luck on the next game and see you soon son. Your family loves you. Nunca olvides de donde vienes ni a donde vas pero siempre paso a paso. #buscalaforma #theGomezway

#theGomezway

Nos da un gran gusto ver a los miembros de la familia pamboleando con sus respectivos equipos. Mientras Jogo anotaba otro gol (se lo anularon debido a un fuera de lugar) contra el equipo nacional sub-17 de Estados Unidos en Florida (tercer juego consecutivo anotando), Johan tuvo una asistencia en el amistoso (debido al paro por la fecha FIFA) del FC Porto. Para culminar bien el día, el tercer Jogo se despachó con la cuchara grande y anotó un “hat trick”. Los goles y las asistencias siempre serán el resultado del juego de conjunto y a veces hasta circunstanciales pero nunca se darán en exceso; hay que celebrarlos mientras se pueda. A final de cuentas, nos fascina que estén disfrutando el “deporte de las masas” tal y como debe de jugarse con alegría y disciplina. Y por cierto, ya falta un día menos para reunir a la familia.

Gol anulado de Jogo Selección de USA sub-16 vs Selección de USA sub-17

Portuguese Quarantine

It’s nothing short of weird being quarantined in a foreign country. Foreign-ish. I don’t really like to use that excuse anymore because I feel like I’m really well adapted, plus Portugal reminds me a lot of Mexico. It gives me comfort sometimes when I’m out and about and certain parts of the city are identical to Mexico. The first couple of days went by so slowly, it seemed like it was a week’s worth of time packed within one day. Our apartment is a good size but I share a room with someone and even just a few days in, I already felt like I was losing my sanity. Thankfully, there was a first team player who happened to get loaned out about a month ago. He happens to be an Argentinian who gets along very well with my also Argentinian roommate. Long story short, he left us his car and his house. We packed up our stuff to stay for a couple weeks minimum and headed over to the crib. It’s looking like it’ll be about a month until we go back to training and that’s if everything goes well. The countdown’s on.

2020-04-21T17:12:00

  days

  hours  minutes  seconds

until

Back to Training (Supposedly)

As I’m writing this, we’re about 23 hours in and this is about as good as quarantine gets. Space away from roommate, space to do my own thing, FaceTime friends and family without overlapping conversations as my roommate screams while playing Fortnite. It’s been really nice. I had forgotten what it’s like to have a little space to breathe. Yesterday we headed to the supermarket, masked up, to stock up on groceries since the only downfall of this is that we’ll have to cook. Thank God that people in Portugal haven’t resulted to panic buying like some people in the states have. I would honestly have no food to live off of if that was the case. The cafeteria where we usually get our food from at Casa Dragao, is closed right now. All my teammates have gone home, and my national team teammates (most) that play in Germany or England got to head back… without having to quarantine upon arrival, so I’m a little jealous. Shout-out Leo (Sepulveda) if you’re reading this, because it’s way worse in Spain and he hasn’t been able to go home so I can’t even complain. He’s been helping me by telling me what to stock up on and what to cook and stuff. That’s the bro. We stocked up on groceries and I cooked my first meal in a while. Easy to make spaghetti. Simple, healthy and always filling. Haven’t cooked in a while and honestly, forgot how much I hate cleaning up after and washing the dishes. That night, I went to sleep kind of late but woke up early the next morning to do the workout Porto sent us, plus, I want to keep my body on the same training schedule time-wise as we’re usually on. I was only going to spend about an hour out there but ended up staying for two because I got a hold of the ball. I could have stayed outside forever with the ball honestly, especially now that there’s nothing to do.

Johan fiddling with the ball 031820 (Porto, Portugal)

After, I finished with some stretches to make sure the legs don’t tighten up too much. I’ve struggled with my hamstring lately so I’m using this time to really take care of it, especially when we’re just sitting around, your muscles tend to tighten and tense up so it’s always good to do light stretches to increase flexibility. Highly recommended for any athlete, and you can do them while watching TV or doing nothing now that you’re in quarantine.

I’ve really been enjoying the space I have compared to normal, but it’s no secret I’d rather be home right now. I talked to the people in charge here but they don’t want to let me go until a date is given for return to play so we’re waiting on the federation to say something. I doubt they’ll let me go back, so kind of just have to deal with it. It sucks because, although I wouldn’t necessarily be able to go out with my friends, at least I would be in my city and with my family. Also, I don’t want to be stuck here if things get worse and it’s summer. Then, there would really be no point in me being here. I have a good relationship with the doctors here due to my past injury and they’re constantly checking up on my mental state, and I’ve never struggled with that (thank God, but if you do struggle with that reach out to someone) but it is weird being here and not playing with the team.

The World’s Most Unforgettable Smile

By the way, at time of writing it’s Ronaldinho’s 40th birthday, he’s one of the greatest of all time and helped a lot of us fall in love with the game with that contagious smile. Let’s honor him by watching some of his greatest moments. Oh and go subscribe to my podcast on YT, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Also, follow us on insta @chum.chat . We’re honestly pretty good for a trio of 18 year old. Give it a listen… you probably have nothing better to do.

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COVID-19 & missed U20/U19 MNT callups

In these times of uncertainty, we sincerely hope everyone is safe, healthy and most of all, enjoying some down time with family. We would like to take this opportunity to share some recent family anecdotes which initially appeared to be disastrous, but are proving to be beneficial. We hope you find them comforting and perhaps they help soften the impact of the current Coronavirus adversities however those may be affecting your personal lives.

One of the hardest things that the Gomez’s have had to adjust to in the past year has been living away from our oldest children (especially Johan). Yes, technology facilitates certain things but you can’t change others such as the time difference. Although both Johan and Jogo left home when they were 16 and 13 respectively, they were both within a manageable driving distance from us (if they ever needed us). Also, we would see them at least once a week and when we did, we were ALL HAPPY; we miss that. Nowadays, we see them once every 2-3 months and it becomes especially worrisome (nostalgic even) in turbulent times like the ones taking place now.

Johan being in a country where the COVID-19 confirmed cases climb up exponentially every day, far away from us, makes us feel helpless. Honestly, it’s a humbling feeling that tests our patience thresholds. Yes, we worry sick about him because in the end “that’s what us parents do best“. On the other hand, Jogo being twelve hours (driving distance) away, seems to be within reach if an emergency comes up but he’s still far. In the end, we trust that the Lord will guide them appropriately.

If you happen to have your children close to you (more so during these challenging times), give them a hug, tell them how much you love them and reminisce about life events with them. Go through old pictures/video together. Not all of us are THAT fortunate right now. Before you know it, your kids will be gone building their own legacy and chasing their own dreams.

I will start closing this post on a positive note. Although football is full of sacrifices as some would say; it’s also full of rewards, ironies and some fortune. Sometimes luck is on your side yet others it isn’t. See, in less than two months, Johan has been called up twice for different U20 MNT camps and guess what? He has been unable to attend either. Some would say, that’s terrible luck (maybe so). For the first camp in January, as you some of you already know, he was injured just days before he was scheduled to fly out to Florida. In hindsight, the unexpected additional down time gave him and his friends time to give birth to another life project: Chumchat and discover perhaps another talent. The second U20 MNT camp (in Portugal) was cancelled a couple of days ago and although Johan was disappointed, he recognizes that this down time will present new opportunities once again. In the end, football is only a small part of our lives right now and we must seize each day. “Carpe Diem” Johan until the next opportunity, then, be prepared.

Last but not least, Jogo was invited with the U19 MNT to Spain for an international tournament. As a family, we were looking forward to enjoying watching the boys represent the US crest simultaneously. Unfortunately, the tournament also got cancelled. While that was unfortunate, Jogo is using the unexpected additional down time to continue excelling in his new high school and familiarizing himself with his new life in Louisville. We try to teach the boys that in the face of adversity, it’s how you bounce back that determines the ultimate outcome and molds your character.

The Gomez’s are resilient to “bad luck”, adversity but most of all, remain hopeful that there will be brighter times ahead of us. For all of you, stay resilient, healthy, and faithful out there. This will inevitably pass and life will return to “normal”. Make the best out of these times. Until next time. #theGomezWay

1 John 5-5

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

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Injury Days

Success is determined by how you handle setbacks

Being injured as ANY kind of athlete is never ever easy. Being injured overall no matter what you do sucks, but being injured as a professional athlete is even WORSE. If you’re like me, you like to do what you came to do, you like to feel productive, and at the end of the day, you want to do your job. Think of it as being a software coder and having arthritis, or like being an airline pilot and having bad vision. For me, this injury came at an absolutely awful time, but like they say… it could always be worse.

I suffered a stress fracture in my left foot in my second training back from the holidays, and on the last day of 2019 as well. Approximately one week before the u-20 camp that I had been called into that took quite a bit of convincing to let Porto release me for. Originally, the doctors didn’t know exactly what it was since it was relatively small(the fracture) but after getting an X-ray they determined it was in fact broken and that I would indeed need surgery. It was a huge blow for me because I was really looking forward to going to camp to prove myself under the new coach just as I had with Tab a couple of months ago. I’m a pretty positive person though, so I looked on the bright side. My Bulgarian roommate had suffered almost exactly the same injury as me and they had let him go home for two weeks… so that’s what I was expecting as well.

At the end of the day, it turns out that since my fracture was smaller, I have a lesser recovery time, thus me going back home would only delay my recovery by the amount of time that I was home. Obviously it’s easier for him to go back home as well because it takes quite a bit of travel for me to get back to Dallas. Anyway, the surgery went well and I’m 2 weeks in now and my foot is healing nicely, but it has been tough having to watch my teammates train and it always gives you a new appreciation for the game that you love. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you truly love something until you lose it, even for just a little bit. My family more than anything has helped me stay positive because it has been tough mentally, and some of my best friends have been there for me as well, helping cheer me up. All in all, injuries are part of the game. This wasn’t my first one, and although I would like it to be, it most likely won’t be my last one either. For anyone in a situation like mine, the best thing you can do, is accept the situation you’re currently in and make the best out of it. Strengthen other parts of yourself and stay positive through the process. Keep your head down and time will begin to fly by. Everything happens for a reason.

Inopportune injury

You may wonder, is there really a time when an injury is opportune? The answer is a bit subjective. As you may remember, a few weeks back (December 7th to be exact), I posted that there were some good news coming our way; I even stated that it’d be good if the news materialized. As it turns out, I may have jinxed it all.

Injuries are part of an athlete’s life and unfortunately by their own nature inopportune. Players knowingly assume the risks associated with the pursuit of their passion and understand that injuries are sometimes inevitable and inconvenient. However, that inconvenience can reach new levels when injuries are accompanied by either “bad timing” or “high severity”. Unfortunately, in Johan’s case, both were present.

For starters, the injury occurred right before the U20 MNT camp in Bradenton, Florida next week (that was the good news from a month ago) in preparation for CONCACAF qualifying in June. “Timing stinks” would be a complete understatement. The injury could have happened at any other time but it had to take place right before camp…sigh. Furthermore, this was not just a muscular injury; it required surgery (albeit minor) which immediately exacerbated its magnitude.

On the bright side, the surgery went well and Johan couldn’t be in better hands. The procedure is going to speed up recovery and it will inevitably be testing his mental, spiritual, and emotional toughness. As a family, we can’t deny how disappointing the timing and the severity of the injury were; however, we know everything happens for a reason. We now have to regroup and figure out “that” reason.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us

Romans 5:3-5

In the end, we know Johan will come out of this much stronger and despite the temporary setback, he will overcome adversity as he has done so in the past. He is in great spirits, very optimistic and surrounded by his loving family, friends and teammates. Be patient son. #somosGuerreros = #theGomezway

Excellent news today

In the midst of uncertainty in some aspects of one of the kids’ football future, it’s great that the other Jogo received excellent news today. Let’s see if anything materializes. As the aphorism would say: “Stay tuned until then”. Good luck against Philly tomorrow Jogo.

FC Porto first family game watching experience

The rainy, windy and cooler weather conditions did not alter the enjoyment of our first family outing watching you play with FC Porto. The game lived up to the expectations; a feisty away game against the team currently sitting in 2nd place: Famalicao. The game, the teams and especially you did not disappoint and we were glad we could witness it. FC Porto had the majority of the possession but in the end, the team who scores the goals wins. The end result was not the desired one (1-0 loss) but we move on, we learn, and we improve. Thanks for this opportunity to watch you Johan; the family could not be more proud of the young adult you are becoming….