Tag Archives: Family

10,000 visits and going

In its first year of existence, we have reached 10,000 visits on our site. Thank you for the continued support to our family. As we embark on yet a new journey with our daughter, we are always striving to incorporate more educational material in a way that relies mostly on our own family experiences supplemented with information readily available online.

We understand that each family’s/player’s football journey is unique but having a repository of family-based football information available, at the very least, should serve as a point of reference that we wish had been available when we started our journey. We want to continue engaging with you via emails, texts, phone calls, and social media interactions. Keep the inquiries coming; we enjoy helping families/players and will always provide you with an objective point of view based on the nuances of our own journey and hopefully those will help build your own path in a more meaningful manner. #theGomezway

BTW, enjoy the most recent Chumchat interview with Thomas Roberts. For those of you who may not know, it’s a podcast that Johan and friends have which is sports (mostly football) centric. In the third season coming up, they will have more footballers making their way to Europe.

Contrast of signing your first pro contract with a big vs small european club

The summer international window closed this past Monday and we continued witnessing an increased exodus of American-developed youth footballers signing with European clubs around their 18th birthday. American-developed footballers are gradually opening doors to the next generation and thus have become very attractive to European clubs as their ROI could be huge and the risk is extremely low. That said, in this post we are not analyzing the various reasons for this trend. Instead, we are going to try to contrast some of the advantages and disadvantages if player/family is ever faced with the choice of signing with a small vs big club (in Europe). Ultimately, it’s very situational but below are some aspects to consider:

Advantages of a bigger club

The name of a big football club can be very attractive to start a European career (especially for youngsters); after all, who wouldn’t like to be part of a regular Champions League participant club? It’s important to note that the club name and its reputation were not built overnight. These are clubs who have been in existence for over a century. For comparison, MLS clubs have been around for 25 years and thus are in their infancy when it comes to name and reputation. Even those MLS clubs which have established partnerships with big European clubs have been very intermittently successful placing players abroad.

Money/budget

Bigger clubs frequently have a larger spending budget and thus pay very generously even for a U19 player. However, it is often said that it’s the second professional contract the one that really matter$ but we also know that young players/families oftentimes seek immediate remuneration due to the immense sacrifices getting a player to Europe. It’s also important to note that some of these American footballers/families are giving up upward of 150k in college scholarship money to play in Europe so they want to maximize earnings ASAP. A higher salary is of course only one perk and there are a ton of other benefits that come with signing with a bigger club.

Individual competition:

Thicker wallets allow bigger clubs to sign more international players at every position. A higher density of international players usually translates into more competition. To be clear: The club is ONLY going to sign an international player who surpasses the talent they can find domestically. If your player thrives with top-notch competition, they will not only love positional competition at the big club but also love the team competition faced by playing in higher profile tournaments as a team.

Team competition:

A lot of the bigger clubs have U19 teams who regularly participate in the UEFA Youth League. It’s a version of the Champions League but for U19 players. Johan participated with 2019 UEFA Youth League Champion FC Porto. He had the time of his life. The 2019 UEFA Youth League tournament is where Gio Reyna gained the most exposure playing with Dortmund U19’s and all of us can see where he is at now.

Exposure:

Playing for a big club is not for everyone; a lot of eyes are normally on the player not just during important tournaments but even during practices. Not all players can sustain this type of pressure in a foreign cut-throat environment.

Coaching:

Bigger clubs tend to have larger available staff: Coach, Assistant Coaches, Dietician, Doctor, Psychologist, Trainer, Translator, Team Manager, Equipment Manager, Media Team, etc. If this is important to your player, it should not be taken lightly. Having a supporting staff dedicated to the player’s needs could be a deal breaker for players who are living by themselves, thousands of miles away, in a different culture and for the first time.

Language classes:

Integration/assimilation of the new club/culture is extremely important. Bigger clubs tend to have resources to dedicate to foreign players. Johan was taking Portuguese classes at least once a week his first year. Although he’s not yet fluent in Portuguese, he can read, and speak Portuguese pretty well. His team and cultural integration has been a success due to this perk and obviously because Portuguese is very similar to Spanish.

Watching games remotely:

For the families back in the states, it’s of utmost importance feeling closer to their player. Bigger clubs can achieve some level of closeness via their social media platforms. Some clubs actually have dedicated English-only social media platforms (Porto does not). Others have an application that allows family and friends to watch all games: U19, B, and senior team. At Porto, we are fortunate to watch most of Johan’s games and we are very grateful to the club for that perk.

Administrative:

Bigger clubs have dedicated staff to do very specific tasks. They have personnel to take care of player/family trips back home, legal matters, housing, etc. This type of assistance is invaluable when going to a new country for the first time. During the start of the pandemic, FC Porto’s travel staff seamlessly worked with us to bring Johan home safely among a lot of uncertainty. Also, most bigger clubs have law firms available to answer legal issues such as visa, payroll, taxes, etc. Visa problems for players are inexcusable from the club’s and/or agent’s perspective. No player should ever have to go through what Christian Cappis recently had to endure.

Advantages of a smaller club

The name and reputation of a football club has a lot of weight on players and parents when making their first pro-contract decisions. It’s difficult to turn away an initial opportunity with a big club but statistically, smaller clubs offer immediate playing time which is extremely important to the physical and mental development of young footballers. There’s no worst feeling for a player playing abroad (or domestically) than getting NO playing time. Similarly, some clubs exist to promote players to the first team and then sell them. That would be a good player player/family strategy to seek a bigger club for the second (or later) contract.

Money/Budget:

A smaller club has a more limited spending budget; their ability to pay a “competitive” salary is limited. Some small German clubs only pay what’s indispensable and necessary to live while playing for a U19 side. For some families, this could be a big factor as they try to justify bypassing a hefty college scholarship back home with an uncertain start of a European career. For other families a smaller initial salary could be a blessing in disguise.

Less individual competition

A smaller budget limits the club’s ability to bring an abundance of players which means less competition for your player. By sheer numbers, less competition translates into potentially more playing time AND learning to play multiple positions. Ultimately, this could signify a faster path to a first team debut.

Team competition:

In Germany, at the U19 level, there’s a competition called Pokal which is a competition among mostly teams from the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. It’s a national “tournament” with less competition, pressure, and exposure than a UEFA Youth League tournament but competitive nonetheless. Some American-developed players may thrive more under this type of environment with less exposure and pressure.

Pressure:

Having played for Bayern, Dortmund, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City/United, Benfica, Porto, etc. is a great resume builder for a youngster. However, those are very competitive environments not apt for every player’s development. It’s very cut-throat. Most players need the security of playing week in and week out and thus signing for a smaller club can be more beneficial.

Administrative:

Smaller clubs have fewer staff members that “do-it-all”. Sometimes, this expedites generic transactions wherein those tasks can face delays/red tape in bigger clubs. Knowing the right staff at a smaller club can expedite a mundane task such as shipping stuff from/to home. We have recently struggled with shipping “stuff” back and forth and to be fair, most of it is due to the pandemic.


In the end, whichever club your player ends up signing with, enjoy it. It’s a HUGE deal. The first one is very memorable but statistically, very few youngsters ever stay with the team they first signed with. There will be more signing opportunities. Everyone’s path is very unique. Seek, build, and enjoy your own journey. The aspects of life learned through this journey are bigger than football. That can never be understated.

By the way, if you have 20 minutes give Chum Chat a listen. This week’s guest is another US developed prospect heading to Europe sooner than later: Dante Sealy. Get to know him a little better. Until next time #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

Una nueva aventura pambolera con Jogo #3

Parafraseando el viejo adagio que dice algo así: “Aquellos que se rehusan a aprender de la historia, están destinados a repetirla“….a través de los años, hemos aprendido muchas lecciones durante la formación futbolera de los chavos. Ahora nos toca empezar con la formación de Joana y trataremos de aplicar todas esas lecciones aprendidas en el pasado para poder potenciar, primero que todo, su gusto y formación por el fútbol. Lo demás, la tenemos muy clara, será fácil conseguir cuando se logra la pasión por “el deporte de las masas”.

Para ser sinceros, el fútbol femenil es muy diferente (aspecto fisico, emocional, táctico, etc.) al varonil. Así que talvez algunas lecciones necesitarán alguno que otro ajuste. Manténganse al tanto ya que estaremos actualizando el blog en esta nueva aventura.

Por ahora queremos compartir con nuestra audiencia algo que se llevó a cabo el finde. El nuevo equipo de Joana ganó su primer torneo competitivo en el cual participaron; sin embargo, el resultado no es realidad lo relevante ya que a veces los resultados son circunstanciales.

Lo peculiar del asunto es que los tres Jogos participaron en el mismo torneo (con el mismo club: Solar) en diferentes años. Asi pues, aunque no fué por opción familiar, por razones del destino, ya estamos siguiendo una formación similar de los tres aun con las cosas en las cuales no tenemos el menor control (los profes escogen los torneos en los que los equipos participan). Al final, sólamente dos de los Jogos terminaron campeonando y el tercero fue finalista al caer en penales. Fué una coincidencia y una bendición que queríamos compartir con ustedes. Fotos adjuntas.

Campeonato de Joana con Solar: 08.09.20 (Mckinney, TX)
Campeonato de Jogo con Solar Red: 08.11.13 (Mckinney, TX)
Campeonato de Johan con Solar Red: 08.14.10 (Mckinney, TX)

La cereza en el pastel sucedió cuando de sorpresa nos llegó una visita familiar al juego del campeonato. La motivación era mayor. Muchísimas gracias Kammie por siempre apoyarnos.

6000 visitas y seguimos pisando fuerte

Muchísimas gracias por su apoyo. Siempre tratamos de incorporar material de corte educativo que se base primordialmente en nuestras experiencias. Esa iniciativa, aunada con información verídica que puede ser encontrada en línea, es una fuente de referencia. Como es bien sabido, la trayectoria futbolística de cada jugador/familia es única; pero el tener un lugar atiborrado de información futbolera familiar, debe de al menos servir como punto de referencia. Y al final, esa es la meta.

Nos da mucho gusto continuar recibiendo correos electrónicos, textos y llamadas de teléfono buscando una opinión del entorno de sus experiencias futboleras. Bienvenidas sean las preguntas; nos fascina tratar de ayudar a familias/jugadores. Siempre trataremos de proveer un punto de vista objetivo basado en los matices de nuestra trayectoria y talvez eso pueda ayudar a mejorar su propio camino (cualquiera que ese sea).

Jogo returns to LouCity

Words can’t suffice to describe the feeling of having hosted you along with your brother at home (your permanent home). It’s a family luxury we voluntarily gave up a few years ago. Silver lining from the pandemia. We are thankful to the Lord for keeping you healthy and safe and also to LouCity coaching staff for their understanding. They value family time as an important emotional pillar of an athlete’s mental well being and development. During your time home, we accomplished so many things. This is how it all went down:

The arrival:

Everything happened so quick. Just a few hours after we booked your trip late Saturday, you were departing from a very empty Muhammad Ali Louisville airport Sunday morning.

Obligatory picture commemorating the Kentucky Derby at the Muhammad Ali airport

As usual, the flight was a short one but to be honest, we barely made it on time to pick you up from the DFW airport. There was little time for pictures but we managed to snap this one.

Maintaining social distancing during your arrival at DFW airport 04.19.20

Just like Johan’s case, the change of clothes was mandatory and immediate after meeting you. We are pros at this now. On this particular day, we were in a rush since we didn’t want your siblings to wake up and find out we were gone to the airport to pick you up.

As soon as we arrived home, it was very tactful of you to go wake them up and greet them. Your siblings were pleasantly surprised and on we went to devour delicious traditional Mexican tostadas that you had been craving. We followed that up with Sunday service. At last, we were complete once again.

Traditional Mexican Sunday brunch like we haven’t had in a while

Child at heart

Off the pitch, most folks foreign to your lifestyle treat you like the young adult you have become. On the pitch, fans treat you like a grown football player sometimes forgetting you are only 16 years old. To be honest, your own family sometimes overlooks that you are still a kid at heart. During your time with us, we were blessed to witness the kid within you again; it filled our hearts with joy. BTW, thanks for allowing me to be a silly kid along with you. We manufactured some great memories albeit brief. Most importantly, we are grateful because we celebrated “El día del niño” (child’s day) yet another year together as a family.

The infamous BMX green devil that accompanied you to Hunt Middle School

We even got to make this fun video. You will enjoy watching it:

A football family at heart

Fortnite and FIFA:

The evenings were full of video games. I tried to learn to play Fortnite to no avail; I promise to do justice to #theGomezway when I pair up with your brother in pursuit of e-cred in your absence.

Somebody schooled us all in Fortnite

The daily trainings:

Not everything was video gaming. Both of you trained every day. You have always been very diligent, punctual and disciplined about training and school; it’s infectious. However, having your brother around served you well to take training to another level. As your parents, we are really proud to see how you continue to grow grit autonomously but most importantly the healthy ways your siblings pushed each other forming fond memories in the process. My favorite family memory was the picnics at the fields after hard weekend training sessions: priceless.

Saturday picnics at the fields were the best with the best company

Chuy: the new member of the family

Thanks for helping us choose a new family member. It was great having everyone around to make this important family decision. You were great with Chuy, he is going to miss the football fetching sessions with you but we’ll make it a point to bring him to you.

A brand new American Pitbull Terrier: “Chuy”

Frisco:

In addition to family, friends are an important pillar of a person’s psychological development. We are glad you took the time to safely visit acquaintances, friends, et al in Frisco. It was evident those interactions “complete” you emotionally.

Mother’s day:

The best part of it all is that you accompanied us to the best Mother’s day celebration yet. Why? Well, because in México, Mother’s day is celebrated on May 10th and this year’s that day was the 2nd Sunday in May (American Mother’s day celebration). We celebrated mom double.

Mother’s day 2020

The departure:

It was a great three weeks but the time came for you to go back. You are so excited to get the season going but some logistics must be worked out first. Be patient. You have been training adequately, doing some Cooper runs (thanks Coach Hack) and will be ready when the time comes. You almost missed your flight because you wanted to get one last additional training session with your ex-teammates.

Excellence. leadership and dedication all around

We are sad you are gone but happy you are now back with your extended family. They will continue to take great care of you but also work you hard. The real grind starts now. Never forget where you come from or where you are going. Know that you are loved.

You’ll be missed…
Departure…

Good Friday and National Siblings Day

First things first. Quick update on the family. Johan (and us) has almost completed the first (of two) week of his Texas State mandated quarantine . He’s shown no symptoms of COVID-19 (and neither have we) and is overall healthy. Unfortunately, he’s found himself a bit bored and has found creative ways to stay busy in his room upstairs. One thing is for sure, he’s found more time to devote to ChumChat. In that front, this week’s guest didn’t disappoint. Give them a listen. The portion about presidential trivia is impressive. BTW, be on the lookout as these young men continue expressing themselves off the field seeking and defining success via their interesting guests.

ChumChat Season 1 Volume 13: Will Swinney

Today though, I write to celebrate Friday. Sure, most days seem like a blur under the circumstances but Fridays do mark the end of a work week for most of us. Besides, it’s not just any Friday, it’s “Good Friday”. Not only do some of us celebrate, Good Friday but today is also National Siblings day. Whichever your beliefs may be, find a reason to celebrate today with your family. As our good friends the Carrera’s would say #FamilyFirst

The rest of this post however is to celebrate National Siblings Day which is a new thing and is gaining more online popularity each year. While Jogo remains away (partying away with the Sanchez family in Louisville), the rest of the Gomez’s would like some time to commemorate this day. We are blessed and fortunate.

Campeonato de USL-1

¡Buena chavos! Jogo, tu participación en la obtención del campeonato resultó fundamental; la asistencia (a la asistencia) resultó en el gol ganador y que decir de la salvada en la segunda mitad que contó por lo menos por un gol y medio.

Sin embargo, el momento de más orgullo en la familia durante esta temporada llegó el día en que ambos Jogos compartieron el campo en Toronto. El tiempo fue efimero pero muy especial.

La familia Gómez siempre le estará eternamente agradecida a la organización del FC Dallas por estas oportunidades brindadas a los chicos. ¡Felicitaciones a los dos por esta temporada tan exitosa! #TheGomezway.

Nutrition and Chumchat

Nutrition is an integral part of one’s health and growth and more so for athletes. Having two young athletes living away from us has presented its share of challenges. As parents, we always want to ensure that our children’s nutrition is adequate for their age and activity levels.

To be honest, both boys have always been very disciplined and have understood the importance of a balanced diet given their lifestyles. However, we know there are way too many food choices available. Even as an adult, it’s hard to discern what’s best for our bodies, that feeling magnifies for a couple of teenagers and this is where they sometimes need our assistance.

In Johan’s case, he currently has no need (or desire) to cook as Porto takes care of that aspect of his life. Similarly, Louisville also takes excellent care of Jogo; however, Jogo loves to cook frequently (more so recently). As you can see from his hobbies, he finds cooking therapeutic as well fulfilling…and this is where we (mom) come in.

See, when they both lived in Frisco (about an hour away from us), their nutrition was easy to manage (and even influence). Mom would cook additional portions that they would in turn freeze, transport to their home and eat at will. During the weekends, the boys would come home and we would just all eat together (all smiles).

Nowadays, we leverage technology to increase Jogo’s nutritional IQ. We not only help him with cooking but also with shopping. I must say, it works extremely well. The videos also serve a secondary purpose as they help us practice my native language. Warning, the video below is in Spanish.

Spanish Rice Cooking: 03.15.20 (Keller, TX)

Remember that carbohydrates are an athlete’s main fuel. Their body changes them to glucose -a form of sugar- and stores them in their muscles as glycogen. A diet rich in carbs is important. In the future, we will be adding more videos about other support methods (ex. grocery shopping) and hints to help young athletes and their families with managing/influencing nutrition remotely. As with anything you do in life, do it with a passion.

Matthew 6:21

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also

In other news, the chums have been doing really well and continue to increase their follower base. This week’s guest was NFL’s Hunter Rentfrow. Give them a listen when you can and susbscribe to their YouTube channel or Spotify. Enjoy

Chumchat Season 1, Episode 10: Talking Shop w/ Hunter Renfrow (Las Vegas Raiders Star WR)

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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