Tag Archives: TheGomezway

Farewell Loucity and Jogo. We’ll be back soon.

Flying would have been easier (even cheaper actually) but riskier for his and our health. Driving limited our exposure and it proved to be the best decision. We traveled 885 miles to be with Jogo and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

We took every precaution necessary so that we wouldn’t compromise Jogo’s health before, during, and even after our arrival. Driving also allowed us to bring Kammie and Chuy along. We planned it well and the end result was the best evidence. This is how it went down:

Trip to Louisville:

The trip was divided in two parts. Keller to Memphis, TN (about 8 hours) and Memphis to Louisville (about 6 hours). We left Thursday around 4 PM and made it to Louisville Friday around 5 PM. Upon arrival, and as we were unloading our stuff at the hotel, Jogo surprised us silly (Life360 is nice). Coincidentally, the Sporting KC II players were staying at the same hotel.

We found a different city than the one we left back in March. But to be honest, what city is the same now? There are many reasons (social, political, health, etc.) for the change. Every aspect of the town has been impacted especially the downtown area which is where we were staying.

That evening, after a thorough restaurant search and stumbling upon a couple of protests with many restaurants closed (either due to the protests or Coronavirus), we finally found Vincenzo’s. It’s an Italian pearl downtown. The atmosphere was okay -maybe gloomy- but you could tell business was not as usual for a Friday evening. It was important for us to support local Kentuckian businesses and we did just that. Thanks to Jack Harlow (Johan) for the recommendation.

First dinner in town (Vincenzo’s):

We all had different dishes; I ended up having the famous “Ravioli con pollo, spinaci funghetti mascarpone”. Immaculate, savoring dish. Best pasta I have ever had by far. We had some time for pictures afterwards. It was a first good evening in town but we were tired…

Kammie and Jogo at Vincenzo’s 07.24.20

First game:

Saturday morning went by quick…we were jaded from driving and decided to sleep in a little. The time for you to be at the stadium arrived quick; you rode with Napo. It was so encouraging to see close to 5000 fans supporting the team in these uncertain times..a good diversion. The game was what we expected; the first 20 minutes were all LouCity’s, then conceded the next 25. The second half started with LouCity possessing the ball and the goal. You came in around the 70th minute once SKCII had the possession again and LouCity was playing counterattack. LouCity should have had a few more goals. It was so fun seeing you after the game and the fans were incredibly supportive. “Normality” had been restored at Lynn Family stadium that night.

Jogo after the first SKCII game, Lynn Family Stadium (07.25.20)

Sunday morning:

The day started late again with a stroll down the Ohio River to take Chuy for a walk. Meanwhile, the rest of you enjoyed the “Lime” scooters. It was around noon and you had insisted on going for brunch to the “Con Huevos” restaurant off of Frankfort. For a Mexican family used to cooking and eating traditional Mexican dishes. The place did not disappoint; it was better than most Tex-Mex places we have experienced. I had their Chilaquiles. Solid breakfast for the family and good LouCity atmosphere…one of the many club sponsors.

Mini-chilaquiles at Con Huevos 07.26.20


Monday and Tuesday went by in an uneventful manner since we made our hotel room our office for the week. The morning Starbuck’s breakfasts were priceless. It was great to be able to work remotely without a single glitch but the highlight of our day was always being able to see you every day after practice.

Ready for the work week 07.27.20

There were no plans. Lunches, dinners, and evening activities were all improvised. Our menu consisted mostly of past recommendations from LouCity staff. It didn’t matter; the most important thing was being with you.

Joana and Jogo trying to beat their PR, Humana Park (07.29.20)

Second game:

For the second game, we decided to drop you off. Well, you actually drove us all to the stadium. It was good to experience arrival to the stadium from your point of view.

It was great seeing you start this game in front of these amazing fans. Unfortunately, the game didn’t start they way we all wanted. The team played well, sometimes the ball just doesn’t want to go in. In the end, SKCII executed a counterattack and ended up winning the game. It happens. It’d be worrisome if the team didn’t generate scoring opportunities but those are present. As usual, the team statistically outplayed SKCII but it’s important to finish those chances. That will come. We have no doubts.

Mom and Joana after the 2nd game against SKCII 07.29.20
All touches clip courtesy of @watke (we owe this guy big) (07.30.20)


You are surrounded by your new “away-from-home” family. In our minds, there is no doubt you are in great hands. On the football side of things, you are also at the best possible place for your emotional, technical, tactical, and physical development Jogo. We have said this before but would like to reiterate it: “You are in awesome hands, make the best out of it”. The family (including fans) at LouCity are kind but passionate. You will gradually earn their respect. We were speechless how some approached you at the end of the game. #Weareinittogether

Jogo’s full family away from home, Royals Hot Chicken (07.31.20)

Return trip:

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to say hello to everyone but we’ll be back in the future. For now, here we go, we embark on 885 miles of a journey back to Texas with one less passenger but with our emotional tank full again…thank you Louisville: our second home. #theGomezway

Debut de Jogo con el primer equipo del FCD

Escribimos esta publicación con algunos sentimientos encontrados. Por un lado, algunos de los jugadores del FCD y miembros del cuerpo técnico, están viviendo una situación muy complicada (tanto mental como física) en sus carreras. Sepan que los tenemos en nuestras oraciones (especialmente a los ex-compañeros de Jogo -amigos-, profes, etc.) esperando su pronta y total recuperación. Dios es bueno y los verá salir de esta.

No podemos ocultar nuestra tristeza al saber que no veremos juegos del FCD pronto; sin embargo, nos alegra saber que tanto jugadores como cuerpo técnico ya han empezado a enfocar energias en materia extra-cancha. Solidarizandonos con ellos, creemos que nostotros también le daremos un giro positivo a nuestra perspectiva y hablar de otras cosas. Nota: Esta nota la tradujimos ya empezado el torneo y la verdad de las cosas es que los partidos son una lagrima; el torneo es una verdadera burla y bueno, creemos que el FCD no se esta perdiendo de mucho mas que de la actividad.

El año pasado, el mismo equipo de FCD que ahora se encuentra en su octavo día de cuarentena, fue el mismo que le otorgó la oportunidad de debutar a Jogo. Siempre estaremos agradecidos con la organización del FCD, cuerpo técnico (Mikey Varas específicamente) y los jugadores que apoyaron su debut (Thomas Roberts y Bryan Reynolds). Sepan que estamos orando por su completa y pronta recuperación. Así es como todo sucedio…

Mientras la temporada productiva de U17s (2018-2019) de DA de Jogo llegaba a su final a manos de sus archi-rivales y eventuales campeones nacionales: Solar, el equipo filial de North Texas SC (NTSC) le presentaba algunas oportunidades. El aprovecharlas gradualmente llevó a Jogo al juego en contra de Lansing donde tuvo dos asistencias (ver abajo). Al término de ese partido, su futuro futbolero empezó a cambiar…

Primeramente, Jogo fue nombrado al XI ideal semanal por primera vez y más beneficios se derivarían después de esa actuación.

XI ideal semanal después del partido de Lansing donde Jogo tuvo dos asistencias and completó 90% de sus pases

De igual forma, las prácticas con NTSC continuaron más frecuentemente. La confianza de Jogo se fué por las nubes. De hecho, tal vez erroneamente, asumió que al siguiente juego (depues del partido con sus dos asistencias) en contra de Greenville, iría de titular. Sin embargo, el Jueves de esa semana, el profe Eric, en la cascarita preparatoria, dió el cuadro titular contra los substitutos y Jogo iba con la banca. Sin decir algo, Jogo jugó con los substitutos y se puso a jugar.

Seguimos en el proceso de traducción de la nota….paciencia, paciencia…por ahora practiquen su Inglés y leanse esa 🙂

Y ahora, te encuentras más feliz que nunca


Johan’s home, now what?

First of all, we would like to acknowledge and thank the outpouring of love and support we have received the past couple of days from folks all over. It’s been pleasantly overwhelming and much appreciated and it’s in moments like these that our bonds become stronger. We can’t thank you enough. If we haven’t gotten back to you personally, we will very soon. It’s been a physically, and emotionally draining week.

BTW, some of you have inquired about Jogo. Yes, he is away from us but doing really well (emotionally, mentally, and physically). He’s been busy wrapping up his online high school classes. LouCity has taken excellent care of him; we are in constant communication with their staff and they have been nothing short of amazing. Sure, we are not worry-free by any means but he is well-taken care of and “within” a driving distance should he need us. The time to see him again will come soon but that will have to wait…especially now. Anyway, here is where the Gómez’s are now on this Palm Sunday…

Late last night, Johan safely arrived to Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) international airport after multiple stops in Europe and the US. He left Porto on Friday and made it home on Sunday (looong trip). As excited as we were to welcome him, we needed to take extreme safety measures to ensure his well-being and of those around him. Kudos to my sister-in-law who is a nurse by profession and led the way in the protocol to follow upon his arrival at the airport. The key to a successful “welcome” at the airport was preparation.

The preparation

We were always very optimistic that the flight would turn out a success. However, that was only part of the trip. There were a lot of unknowns as soon as he landed in DFW and we needed to be ready for the worst-case scenarios. We had to be certain that once he made it out to the terminal and/or home, his (and ours too) safety would be paramount.

  1. Attire: We prepared a new set of clothing (including different shoes) for Johan so that he’d change into that right away at the airport. Short of taking a shower at the airport, the point of doing that was to isolate and seal all his personal belongings ASAP (including his carry-on bag). This included providing a brand new set of gloves and mask. Johan’s only request was “just don’t make me look like a clown with your selection of clothing”. I’m not sure we achieved that but at least he was safe.
  2. Cars: We also prepared two cars to take to the airport, one car would be used by him to drive himself back from the airport and use for the next 14 days while the other would transport the rest of us safely back home.
  3. Medical attention: We found a medical facility that would see him upon his arrival to DFW. Given his flight arrival hours and his uncertain symptoms, we arranged a virtual visit for him in addition to any medical attention he would receive at the airport.
  4. His bedroom: We permanently moved Joana downstairs. Johan would remain in his room upstairs at least for 14 days regardless of his symptoms (or any state mandates). If need be, he would have access to the entire second floor gradually. Needless to say, Joana was ecstatic to move rooms closer to us.
  5. Supplies: We stocked up his room with supplies that we thought he’d need for the next 14 days including some food/water, medical and personal hygiene. That also included disposable silverware to avoid the possibility of infection. BTW, Johan and his pet turtle “Buddy” will have a lot of good conversations in the coming days. Chumchat with Buddy next?
  6. New home rules: It’s hard to tell Joana that she won’t be able to be close to Johan for the next 14 days so we basically told her that we are all in separate quarantines. Johan stays upstairs and we stay downstairs. New house rules effective immediately. Only one person delivers food to Johan: Mom.
  7. Family: We had “surprise” plans to go visit family next weekend. Those plans will now take second priority.

With all the precautions above, the time came for him to land in DFW and we made our trek out to the airport.

The arrival:

Johan was exhausted from a flight that literally lasted 36 hours. The initial welcome was somewhat strange. In fact, what I’m about to describe is very unorthodox and in some ways comical. Pick up the bits and pieces that are useful especially if you need to travel soon.

Johan right after his 36 hour trek with quarantine paperwork he was handed at the airport

First of all, even though all of us made the trip to the airport, I was the only one who got off the car(s) to “welcome” him at the terminal. Yes, as soon as I saw him, I wanted to hug him but that wasn’t going to happen. Instead, the welcome consisted of a set of delineated instructions for him to follow before going home. Apparently, he had been given a similar set of instructions (6 pages) after landing by DFW airport personnel. See below:

State of Texas Mandatory Terms of Self-quarantine (page 1/6)

I took three 13 gallon trash bags with me to the terminal. Since we asked him to change clothing at the airport, the first empty bag was to put his current garment. The second empty bag was to put his carry-on bag. The third bag had a slew of clean/new things. Clean clothes, shoes, new mask, gloves, car keys, money, etc. (a la Chapo Guzman).

Johan after changing clothes at the DFW airport 040420


Johan had some initial concerns about driving back home because he was so tired, jet-lagged, it was late at night, cold, dark; and let’s be honest, he doesn’t really drive in Porto. However, it was imperative that he drove home by himself. We led the way home at a speed of 50 mph and since it’s a ghost town out there, 25 minutes after we took off from terminal E’s garage, we were home. As soon as he arrived home, he put away the trash bags in the garage and everything was ready for his medical consultation.

Adhering to social distancing in a cold, empty parking garage

Medical consultation and feast back home

He proceeded to his room and his medical consultation lasted about 30 minutes. He was only asked a few questions regarding his trip. In Atlanta, he was medically screened meticulously because of his trip origination (and layovers); he was asked about his whereabouts for the last 2 weeks. However, since he was experiencing no symptoms, they said there was no need to test him at this point. They emphasized that we need to monitor him closely for the next 5 days.

As soon as that finished, he took a prolonged, relaxing (accompanied by Drake’s music) bath. After that, we then had “food” (dinner/breakfast) ready. He had requested a home-cooked meal so Claudia went all out and made him Mexican street tacos. He devoured 10 delicious ones. As he wrapped up the food up in his room, we finished watching Season 4 of “Money Heist/La Casa de Papel” and went to sleep right after that. We were all very exhausted but happy, really happy.

Condiments not pictured here

This morning we all woke up very late to face day #1 of our quarantine. So far, we are all symptom-free but it’s only been a few hours post exposure. We had a healthy and delicious omelette each.

First breakfast: Omelette

As we are getting ready for our “Palm Sunday” virtual service, I remembered that my sister (avid church goer), who has always shown an unconditional support for the boys, had interviewed Johan just the day before he left Porto. At the time, she didn’t really know that Johan would be traveling back home. We sometimes limit that type of information to try to shield family members from stressing out about our uncertain football related adventures (Jogo also found out last minute…thank you Mike). J/K

The pre-flight interview:

Below, you will find an interview that my sister Blanca, journalist by profession, did with Johan. Kudos to her, who worries sick about our boys, when honestly she has bigger fish to fry. Credit where where credit is due; she is the master-mind of this website. We love you sis. BTW, happy birthday tomorrow. You are a special kiddo. I don’t tell you that enough. As for the short interview below, beware, the interview is in Spanish.

Johan’s interview prior to his trek across the pond

The promise

In our culture, it’s very customary to make promises (mandas); they a type of religious offerings. When making a manda, an individual calls on a saint to bring his or her case to God so that he can intervene and solve a problem. Mine was a bit different but I did make a promise to myself that if Johan made it home safely, I would shave my head, so that’s coming up later today…..thanks again for all the love an support; we hope you continue to find value in reading us. Until next time #theGomezway

3000 views on our site

We want to take some time to acknowledge the frequent positive feedback we receive on the content of our site; in a very short period of time, we have registered over 3000 (why is the number 3000 so significant?) views. Thank you all and please keep interacting with us to make the content more targeted, informative and useful to all of us. In the end, it’s not about the numbers but rather about the impact (quality vs quantity) our content has on football families. Our goal will always be to contribute to the betterment of the sport in this country by sharing our coaching, refereeing, playing, but most important of all, parenting football experiences. We are grateful we have this digital space to do so. BTW, the next post will be a continuation of the Agent vs Scout post from last week. For now, cheers and thank you once again.

Also, if you have a few minutes to spare, go give these chums a listen. This week’s episode did not have a guest but we hear Chris Richards is their next guest. Good job Johan et al.

MAST Super Group Champions

The tournament did not start well for the team. However, anybody who knows a thing or two about out of town soccer tournaments knows that playing the host team for the first game is always challenging. You end up playing against their crowd, their fields, their weather, their rules, etc. You then factor in the long flight 24 hours earlier, returning from the holiday break, a fragile roster with depth issues and all bets are off. I must say, the scoreline (1-3) for the first game was deceiving. For those of us who watched the game, it had its moments of decent FCD soccer with SIMA gold elite (SIMA from here on) playing very direct and using their speed to create the more dangerous chances overall. It is important to note that going down 0-1 in the first five minutes of the match (on top of my pretexts given above) against a top quality opponent is like ice-skating uphill trying to come back. At the end of the match, the boys and the coaching staff quickly shifted their focus to the second game…

The quality of soccer improved in the second game against Valencia and the coaching staff finally learned their rules (ex. unlimited substitutions and reentries permitted). Furthermore, FCD did not fall victim of overconfidence and there were no early forced substitutions due to injuries (incredible player management by the club on the eve of a U20 MNT camp). Also, Valencia plays a different brand of soccer so it was easier to stick to a ball possession plan. Overall, Valencia was supposed to be the opponent to beat but my guess is that this was not their “A” team. I find it interesting that a Spanish team would fly 11 hours to come play a “meh” tournament in the middle of their season (according to their schedule, they are supposed to play a regular season game in a few hours). Anyway, the final score was a tie with us conceding a soft goal in the winding minutes of the match for the second consecutive game. We really could have used those two points to secure a smoother pathway to the championship game but hey, live and learn…

Given SIMA’s dominance in their first two matches, it was a “do or die” situation for FCD’s third game against Esporte Clube Jacuipense . On paper, the Brazilians appeared to be the least known and most flexible opposition and that was indeed the case. FCD had the majority of the opportunities with our GK and defense having very little to do throughout the game. FCD went up on the score in the first half with a PK and closed the deal in the second half off of another set piece. 2-0 was the final score and that in conjunction with the continued dominance of SIMA (undefeated in the first three matches) setup a must see rematch for the “championship” game between SIMA and FCD.

Keeping the score tied at zero in the first 20 minutes of the championship game was of utmost importance in order to start playing our game (possession and mental); however, that was almost achieved until a soft PK call was given to the host team around the 10th minute. After going down 0-1, our team realized that PK calls were going to be soft and we ended up benefiting from two in our favor; one of our players is a master of that art. The game quickly turned more intense and aggressive with players on each team earning a red card and some yellows earned in the process as well. This was a battle not just against SIMA, the crowd, the fields, but their long winning tradition. SIMA had never lost this tournament in the 9 years they had organized it. Good job players and staff for the collective and individual hardware…it was a “good ride”. Thank you.

Porto 4 Setubal 0 (Taça de Portugal)

Arrival to the stadium did not go as planned…that happens when you travel with the Gómez’s sometimes. To be fair, the kids made it to Estádio Do Dragao right at kickoff (5:30 PM) on their own via subway (kuddos to them); however, it was Claudia and myself who were 16 minutes late to kickoff. For most people, a 16 minute delay to a football game isn’t the end of the world, but for my type-A personality, it kinda was.

The back story behind our being tardy to the game isn’t simple but in summary, the rainy evening played a role and a forgotten Mexican flag (see below for explanation) did too. In the end, we witnessed four nice Porto FC goals: Mbemba, Favio Silva, own goal and Marega. In the process, we managed to spend some quality time…a family luxury we haven’t been able to afford in almost 6 months.

As far as the game went, Porto FC was never in danger of losing this one; the 22,000 fans present enjoyed the victory but for us, being close to the ultras and taking pictures while creating more family memories was of utmost importance. We were determined to have fun. The highlight of the day took place when, upon spotting the Gómez’s huge Mexican flag and as previously arranged by Johan, Jesus “Tecatito” Corona, came over, greeted us and gifted us his playing jersey. ¡¡¡Gracias Tecatito!!!. The drenching rain that coincided with our walk back home was perfect. It’s nice to get to be kids (with your own kids) every once in a while.

Nike Friendlies

We have mixed feelings about your participation tomorrow. While we know the game is a great opportunity for you to showcase your talents, we worry that today’s injury (but most importantly the challenges this past week) may hinder your performance. We trust the Lord and your judgement that you will know when your body is unable to perform. However, having been in your shoes before, the heat of the moment can offset any pain that you may be experiencing. Please know that we are so proud of you and that no matter how the game goes, we will be back home supporting you and figuring out what the next logical steps will be. Love you son. Your family.