Tag Archives: North Texas SC

Going to football trials, training stint?…checklist of what you may need…Part #1

Gone are the days when all that was needed for a tryout/trial/training opportunity with another club was a ball, shin guards, cleats, water bottle, and a great attitude. The overall objective remains the same: to impress the host club enough to pique current/future interest in you or better yet immediately open up a door.

Check out the lettering on the football. We lost that ball right after this picture was taken on 08.22.20

The key to increasing the chances of success is good planning and nowadays that’s more probable with the proliferation of online information -like this blog. Keep in mind that as the player age increases, the importance of a successful tryout/trial/training opportunity magnifies and the room for error decreases. When it comes to tryouts/trials/training opportunities, second chances are rare (Chris Richards was very fortunate in the FC Dallas setup).

  1. Note: For the sake of this post the terms trial and tryout will be used interchangeably.
  2. Note II: This publication does not detail the technical, tactical criteria a hosting club will be looking for. There are websites who can help with that information.
  3. Note III: The underlying assumption of this post is that the current club is aware (permission needed or not) of your intentions to pursue the trial/training opportunity with a new club. Thus, we are not addressing that process in this post. We could write several pages about our (and others’) experience but we will spare you the details for now.

Before we start presenting additional information, let’s define some terms:

  1. Trial/tryout: An opportunity to train and showcase your talent with another (other than the current club). Let’s call the other club, the host club. Positive outcome from a trial/tryout could result in an immediate invitation to join the host club. Trials/tryouts have no cost to the player or the family (other than transportation to/from host club). A trial/tryout can be either openly promoted by the host club or solicited by the player/family/agent.
  2. Training opportunity: An opportunity to train and showcase your talent with a host club. Positive outcome from a training opportunity does NOT usually result in an immediate invitation to join the host club. Some think of training opportunities as resume builders. Although most training opportunities have no cost (other than transportation to/from hosting club), some could have a high price tag. Training opportunities are great ways to experience the host club culture and learn their methodologies. A training opportunity is normally solicited by the player/agent and can result in a future trial/tryout. Training opportunities are in general more relaxed than trials/tryouts.

There’s so much to share and thus this post will be broken into two parts. The first part will be geared exclusively to domestic trials/training opportunities. Similarly, the second post (coming out early next week) will be exclusively about international trials. The assumption will be that most (if not ALL) the information that is included in the domestic trials post will be applicable for international trials as well. Our boys have participated in both a few times so we have gained some valuable experience and we are hoping you can leverage it.

Domestic trials:

Domestic trials/training opportunities could take place literally across town or across states in the US. Either way, preparation is important. Find out specifics about the event, club, gear and any football unique information that could either give you an advantage or make up for a handicap you inherently have.

Event specifics:

  1. Purpose of the event: Is the trial/training opportunity solicited (initiated by you/agent) or unsolicited (invitation by the club)? As obvious as this may seem, oftentimes, these are setup by 3rd parties (ex. agents, scouts, clubs, etc.) and it’s important to understand the purpose. If unsolicited, is it a training stint only or a trial? The answer to this question is extremely important in your aspirations and expectations as positive outcome may also require a quick response from the family if a permanent invitation is extended. If it’s a trial, expect a a club decision to be made at the end of the duration of the trial.
  2. Duration of trial/training: How long will the event last? If a decision by the club is needed, how soon is one expected and how will that be communicated to you? Best case duration (if the host club likes you) or worst case scenario (if the host club doesn’t). It’s important to understand the duration as it may have an impact on other trials/training opportunities you have already lined up. At the very least, you should know the duration of the event to start planning an itinerary around it.
  3. Itinerary: Depending on the formality of the trial/training opportunity, you should expect some sort of itinerary from the host club. If none is provided, request one (from the club/agent) to have a minimum set of expectations. You will need some form of itinerary to at least plan for transportation to/from the event.
  4. Location: Once you receive an itinerary, create your own itinerary that is tailored around theirs. Allow some buffer as those itineraries are very flexible. Become familiar with the city, transportation, etc. especially if it requires an overnight stay in an area new to you. Also, prepare the necessary gear for the weather of the city where the trial/training opportunity will take place.

Gear/personal equipment information:

Find out what clothing/uniform/footwear you need to wear for the trial/training opportunity. The last thing you want is to stand out for the wrong reasons. Sometimes, the host club will facilitate some gear needed for training/scrimmages/etc. However, don’t assume this will be the case. Also, check the weather ahead of time for the entire duration of the event.

  1. Clothing: Depending on the weather, you may need extra layers. It is important for you to be comfortable. Also, find out the clothing brand the club uses, you don’t want to show up using a non-sponsored brand or the wrong colors (ex. you can’t show up wearing any FC Dallas gear at a Solar tryout -unforgivable-).
  2. Footwear: The host club will not supply cleats, runners or slides; bring two pairs of cleats: one for soft and another one for firm ground. Similarly, bring a pair of runners and a pair of slides to relax your feet.
  3. Other equipment: The host club will not provide shinguards, gloves, etc. In a bind, they may do so but you don’t want to look unprepared at any point.
  4. Recovery equipment: If you use a foam roller, pack a small one. Similarly, pack some strength bands.
  5. Water container: Bring a water container that you can fill up anywhere. Hydration is key but more so during these short, intense time windows. A water container also prevents the need to be buying disposable water bottles.
  6. First aid essentials: Band-aids, Neosporin, Bengay, etc. if allowed on the plane and of course any medication.
  7. Sunblock: Don’t assume anything will be provided or that you can just borrow it or go purchase it last minute.
  8. Hygiene: Bring wipes and/or hand sanitizer especially in these uncertain times
  9. Laundry services: Ask about laundry services or locate a laundry service near the place where you will be staying. Worst case, bring small detergent pockets and wash gear in hotel/dorm.
  10. Notebook: Take a little notebook to write a mini-diary. It will help you remember names, activities and at the very least, years from now, it will bring back memories. Don’t forget to bring a writing utensil too.

Football info:

As stated earlier, we are not going to suggest the technical or tactical concepts that are good to possess. Clubs look at different things based on age, position they are looking for, etc. However, assume that if the host club is willing to give you an opportunity, they have at least watched a clip of you and you have what it takes. The items below are less about the practical football side of the trial/training opportunity and more about the theoretical side of it.

  1. Club info: Do your research on the club: history, if in season, current table standing of the first team, training and playing facilities, coaching staff, youth development, etc. Knowing some club facts always makes for good conversation/ice breaker with other players, coaching staff and establishes your credibility/readiness.
  2. Facilities: If the host club has a stadium, find out its name. If they don’t have a stadium, find out as much as you can about their training facilities.
  3. Coaching staff: It’s recommended to do some research on the coaching staff as well. This will help you assimilate their learning methodology and their expectations of you. If you can reach out to a player who is already part of that host club, prior to your arrival, you will be better prepared.
  4. Players: It’s best to arrive knowing some professional and youth players names. It will expedite the integration and assimilation of the club culture and values. At the very least, it makes for a more comfortable conversation.
  5. Video clips: Watch game film of the host club teams which is readily available online. If you have an agent, request clips or just search YouTube.
  6. Youth development: Are there academy players promoted to the first team? In your age group? Are they playing regularly? Are they playing your natural position?
  7. Positions in need: Are there positions the club/team needs? What is the current depth chart including total roster size and expected signings for the same position? If you don’t get a spot in the position you want, is there a chance you can make it in another position?
  8. Formation: What formation does the current coach play? Is there a style of play/formation the club likes to play? How do you fit in that formation?


  1. Confidence: Introduce yourself to the coaching staff and players as soon as you arrive. Be confident with a firm handshake, make eye contact, but be humble too.
  2. Humbleness: The goal is to impress in many areas but be humble if you have managed to impress. If you perform well, be a good winner but if you don’t, avoid sourness. Enjoy this unique time, smile at all times.
  3. Enjoyment: Be grateful for the opportunity but also display resilience at all times. Everyone appreciates the extra effort. Be a good listener above all.
  4. Active listener: Keep an open mind, it’s likely the host club will do some things differently than your current club. You will learn new ways to do things you thought you already knew how to do. Always be a great listener, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and more importantly keep an open mind.
  5. Punctuality: Be early to ALL team activities. Being early provides an invaluable chance to chat with staff or help out with setup. Volunteer as much as you can. Make sure they really get to know you and not just your jersey number.

We’ll be adding more items to this list. The window for domestic club transfers is mostly open during the summer but in practice trials/training opportunities can happen year round. On the other hand, the window for international transfers is still wide open and because of the pandemic, varies by country. I’ll be posting specific items for international trials/training opportunities later in the week. Stay tuned.

FCD (North Texas SC) vs Sevilla…a year later

Celebrate the little victories…it’s of utmost importance. More so for young athletes who may need constant validation from their family, friends, and peers. In some cases, it’s what keeps them going. The mental aspect needs to be carefully nurtured.

Jogo getting ready to play Sevilla 07.17.19 (Frisco, TX)

This post is exactly about that AND will be very short and sweet. It was about a year ago that both FCD and NTSC played against Spanish giants Sevilla. It was NTSC first ever international exhibition game and Jogo had the pleasure of starting in it. Congratulations Jogo. You shared the field with the likes of Joan Jordan, Eber Banega, Luuk de Jong, Aleix Vidal, among many others…”ballers” of a club that many of us can only dream of watching live. We will be forever grateful to FC Dallas and NTSC for those opportunities.

Sevilla is relevant today mostly because they are the only Spanish club still contending for any meaningful trophies in European competitions. As we know, Europa League finals are their cup of tea and them being part of it is a tradition. What is unusual however, is that there are normally more Spanish clubs fighting for important trophies in the semis and finals.

Last 6 Europa League finals (Spanish and English dominance)

This past Monday, some of those players referenced above played against a strong Manchester United (Europa league winner of the 2017 edition) team in the UEFA semifinal game and miraculously survived and moved on to the championship game once again. Tomorrow, Sevilla will play Inter Milan in the final. Sevilla is by far the underdog but historically, they know how to play those types of games (won 3 out of the last 6 editions). We will be rooting for the Spanish as we feel we have closer ties to them than we do with the Italians.

Jogo going down the flank against Aleix Vidal

As for you Jogo, all we can say is “what an honor it must have been to have shared the same field and have played against some of those ballers”. You have earned that right: stay humble. Keep grinding and learning and never stop dreaming like when you were 4 years old.

LouCity (4) vs SKC2 (1) 08.19.20 (Louisville, KY)

In other related family news, here is the latest episode of Chumchat. A day in the life of a D1 “soccer” player. Enjoy it.

ChumChat – (Season 2, Vol. 3) – Day in the Life of a D1 Soccer Player (English vs. American)

Debut de Jogo en USL-1… decisión complicada

Era un noche de Sábado y la familia Gómez se encontraba gozando de un merecido descanso en Frisco; Jogo había salido momentáneamente para ir a traer su ropa sucia de su casillero en el estadio de Toyota. El calendario marcaba Mayo 25 del 2019 cuando de repente recibimos un texto del director de la academia del FC Dallas. Honestamente, la hora y el día eran un poco raros pero nada únicos ya que la comunicación del club siempre había sido unidireccional, y nada ortodoxa. En esta ocasión, el club tenía un vacío que llenar (una oportunidad) y una urgencia de comunicarse con nosotros ya un poco tarde en la noche.

El susodicho texto era una indagación sobre la posibilidad de permitir a Jogo jugar un par de partidos fuera de casa con el nuevo equipo filial de USL-1 North Texas SC en Toronto (Miércoles, Mayo 29) y en Virgina (el Sábado, 1ero de Junio) contra Richmond Kickers. Todo sonaba de maravilla con excepción de que la graduación de Johan de la preparatoria se sobreponía con el segundo juego. La graduación (y la pachanga que habíamos planeado por meses) estaba programada para el Sábado, 1ero de Junio y esperabamos casa llena de ambos lados de la familia. La invitación involucraba dos juegos fuera de casa ya que el equipo no regresaría a Frisco entre juegos asi que la decisión se tenía que tomar para ambos partidos ó ninguno de ellos. La ironía del asunto consistía en que debido a que el lateral izquierdo titular de NTSC también se graduaba de la prepa se le presentaba esta oportunidad a Jogo. ¿Qué debía de hacer Jogo? Se requería una decisión con poco tiempo para pensarse.

Cuando Jogo regresó del estadio, le dimos las noticias. Como era de esperarse, se alegró muchísimo hasta que se acordó de la graduación de su hermano. Esta fué una de las decisiones mas complicadas que haya tenido que tomar Jogo. No sólo tendría que faltar a un juego decisivo de DA contra un gran equipo de Solar (a la postre campeón nacional), si no que también tendría que perderse la oportunidad de ver a familiares, amigos, y compañeros de equipo que acompañarían a Johan en su graduación. De hecho, fué una decisión que tomó por si sólo. Es importante para deportistas jóvenes entender que en su trayectoria (en este caso futbolística), este tipo de decisiones difíciles/sacrificios son muy comunes.

Jogo ausente en la graduación de su hermano en el STAR 06.01.19 (Frisco, TX)…se venía la tormenta (ver anuncio atrás)

Toda la familia apoyó su decisión y a su debido tiempo le informamos al director de la academia. Un par de días después, Jogo se encontraba volando con el equipo hacia Toronto, Canadá.

El resultado desafortunadamente no fué el deseado (una derrota 2-3); era el primer marcador adverso de la temporada. A pesar del resultado, el equipo había jugado bien y nuestra familia estaba agradecida con el Profe Eric quien había depositado su confianza en Jogo y lo dejó jugar 90 minutos y también a sus compañeros que lo apoyaran para que debutara exitosamente. Después del partido, había que reagruparse y enfocarse en el partido contra Richmond dos días después.

Alineación del juego Toronto vs North Texas SC 05.29.19. Imagen cortesía de North Texas Soccer Club

El juego en contra de Richmond se sobreponía con la graduación de Johan así que no lo pudimos ver en vivo. El resultado fué una contundente victoria de 3-0 y el equipo recuperó la confianza.

Alineación del juego Richmond vs North Texas SC 06.01.19. Imagen cortesía de North Texas Soccer Club

Jogo había jugado dos partidos sólidos. Sin embargo, después de ambos partidos, no sabíamos si a Jogo se le seguiría pidiendo acompañar al equipo ó no. En realidad no importaba, Jogo había cumplido otra meta en su corta carrera y de paso había ayudado al equipo a salir del atolladero. Uno de los recuerdos más memorables del viaje fué su novatada acompañada por la canción de “Old Town Road“. Gracias North Texas SC y FC Dallas por la oportunidad.

El equipo celebrandole la “asistencia de la asistencia” a Jogo del unico gol de la final. 10.19.19 (Frisco, TX). Atención a la cara de Dan Hunt

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.


  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

Johan’s USL-1 Debut – one year anniversary

Yesterday, North Texas SC (NTSC) would have played its first home game of their season at their new venue: Globe Life Park in Arlington. Unfortunately, the pandemic delayed those plans. Just like us last year, we know many families and players were looking forward to that event but the time will soon come. It is probably most unfortunate for those who are aging out or leaving the academy as that exposure was priceless for our boys. When they made their respective NTSC debuts, our entire experience of the next progression of the game changed.

See, today marks the one year anniversary since Johan made his pro-debut with NTSC and although his participation with the team was ephemeral, he loved every moment of it: playing and training with a different set of teammates (including his brother) and coaches, a higher level of professionalism (including coaching), and of course a more advanced level of the game. Here is how that went down.

Departure from Frisco 05.03.19

Although both boys had been practicing with NTSC since pre-season, Johan’s invitation to play (and debut) did not come until the sixth game of the season. It was the first away game for NTSC. The U18s/U19s DA busy schedule (DA season and Dallas Cup participation), the lack of depth at the #9 position with the U18s/U19s and the schedule conflicts between DA and the NTSC delayed his debut.

All things considered, we knew Johan would make his debut sooner or later and were hoping for a home game debut. However, when we received the news about Johan’s inclusion to the roster (expected as we had had a recent chat with FC Dallas technical staff) we were bummed that it was an away game: Greenville, South Carolina. As usual with the club, most communication took place last minute and under normal circumstances that wouldn’t have left much time to buy plane tickets. To be fair, that wasn’t the reason we weren’t at the game. At the time, I was undergoing some medical issues which required hospitalization. That prevented me from traveling. Jogo, on the other hand, could have flown by himself but he was scheduled to be away with the national team.

Instead, we subscribed to ESPN+ immediately after learning that Johan was starting. As you will see from below, it turned out to be a somewhat uneventful game with a fortunate goal by Thomas Roberts in the 17th minute. The whole game was somewhat uneventful with Johan trying to get used to a “new” team with very few opportunities inside the 18th. He almost scored in the 49th minute but honestly we feel that Greenville should have at least tied this game. In any event, the Gomez’s were thankful for the opportunity and knew that more opportunities would come our way since Johan had been doing well in DA.

Greenville (0) – NTXSC (1) 05.04.19 (Greenville, SC)

We didn’t have to wait long for Johan to score. The next weekend, he gave mom the best mother’s day gift he could. His first professional goal helping his team make a comeback from a 1-0 deficit early the second half.

Here is a picture of Johan and proud mom after the game:

Johan and mom post game (with friends awaiting for a memorable picture) 051119

A lot of things have changed for NTSC and Johan in the past year; regardless of the direction each has taken, Johan and family have very fond memories of our time there. More importantly, the friendships will last forever. Thank you NTSC and FC Dallas.

Johan, Bryan, Thomas and Tanner. We fondly remember the car rides home with all of them.

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.

USL-1 Championship

Way to go kiddos. Jogo, your participation during the season, but more so, in the championship game proved instrumental to the victory. The hockey assist resulted in the winning goal and the save in the second half counted for at least a goal and a half. Congratulations.

Overall, the family’s proudest moment of the season came the day when both Jogos shared the field in Toronto. The family will eternally be grateful to the FC Dallas organization for these opportunities provided to the boys. Congratulations to both of you on a successful season. #TheGomezway.

Getting ready to fly to Toronto for their first NTSC game together. Image by North Texas Soccer Club