I think what trumps everything else about this story is that Jorge Flores works hard – that’s how you get to the highest level. It’s true though - there are so many good players out there who never get their shot, how do you get yours?
“Everything is bouncing his way,” said the Serbian coach (Preki). “He worked hard for those bounces.”
This story does show that if you work hard, and take chances, trying out for teams or doing things you normally wouldn’t do, you're more likely to get to where you want to be. The same old refrain: follow your dream. Travel to a play for a new team if you have to, go to soccer camps, take that extra step to move yourself to the next level.
Really, it’s about challenging yourself and not staying in a stagnant environment. Don’t play for the same club year after year just because your friends do or your friends dad coaches the team, go to the best club where you’ll learn the most and play against the best players. That’s the short cut – play with better players or even older players. Play with players who’ve played at the highest level – play or be coached by pros.
One of the longstanding criticisms of soccer in the United States is that too many Latinos fall through the cracks and do not make it into the talent pool of national team programs. Academics are often a hurdle for college, money is an obstacle in playing for clubs, and sometimes outside influences — gangs, the need to work, becoming a teen parent — soften a player’s desire. The United States federation has taken steps recently to diversify its youth programs, and M.L.S. clubs have begun to look beyond colleges for homegrown talent, but the subject is a hot-button one in the soccer community.