Top Row (Left to Right): Coach Juan Carlos Montes, Santiago Rodriguez, Juan Carlos Velasquez, James Andrade, Tristen Lopez, Hamley Pacheco, Yaris Maravilla, Coach Luis Hernandez, Sergio Cortes Jr., Omar Elias, Yather Gonzalez, Coach Miguel Villa Bottom ...

Top Row (Left to Right): Coach Juan Carlos Montes, Santiago Rodriguez, Juan Carlos Velasquez, James Andrade, Tristen Lopez, Hamley Pacheco, Yaris Maravilla, Coach Luis Hernandez, Sergio Cortes Jr., Omar Elias, Yather Gonzalez, Coach Miguel Villa Bottom Row (Left to Right): Jacob Harcavi, Daniel Munoz, Damien Lucero, Carlos Montes, Allen Gonzalez, Marco Pu, Gabriel Robles.

Teams like this don't come around often.

During the pandemic and around a time that was full of uncertainty, the U14 Southern Homestead Boys Soccer team came together under the guidance of Coach Carlos who stopped at nothing to make sure the boys felt purpose and a sense of belonging.

At that time, the Miami Dade soccer league was shut down due to the pandemic, so their only option was to participate in the Broward league. Despite the ongoing pandemic, the boys got to work and focused on building chemistry and further developing their skills as a whole.

In no time, their commitment started paying off and they quickly began to see heir hard work at play, literally. Their dedication and determination to succeed was showcased at every game and tournament they entered, leaving it all on the field.

Underserved communities always have negative stigmas tied to their residents.

Adversities are consistently present throughout the lives of many youth in these areas, but those that have the opportunity to participate in a team sport are able to view life outside of the box they are predisposed to fit into.

Even as a part of a successful athletic organization, fields to practice and play on, gear and overall funding are all hard to secure. In spite of the challenges presented to them, these kids (who are mostly all 2nd generation immigrants) alongside their parents, do what they need to do to honor their commitment to the team and represent the city to the best of their ability even when steady funding isn’t at their disposal. Whether that’s early morning local games, fundraising every other weekend or traveling all over the state for tournaments, they are ready and willing.

In July 2021 the boys moved into the U15 age group and continued to excel, his time under the tutelage of Coach Miguel Villa, with Coach Carlos stepping into the Assistant Coach role. Since then, they have won six tournaments including the Weston Cup twice in 2021 and then again in 2022; Enigma Cup - May 2021, 1st place; Miami Cup - July 2021, 1st place (qualified to play in  Madrid Cup August 2022); Palm Beach Cup - October 2021, 1st Place; Weston Cup - February 2022, 1st Place; Presidents Cup - March-April 2022, 1st Place.

This summer, the U15 Southern Homestead Boys Soccer team is representing not just Homestead but the state of Florida in the Southern Presidents Cup Finals in Frisco, Texas, with an opportunity to play for Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina should they win.

Additionally, having won the Miami Cup last year qualified the team for a trip to Spain for the Madrid Cup in Fall of this year.

It goes without saying that these young men are a great example of how hard work and dedication pays off no matter the circumstances.

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