BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Valley players making it big on the world stage, at least that is the goal behind a new initiative to get Brownsville soccer athletes to play professionally in Spain.
They call it a strategic alliance to seek out the best soccer players in the Rio Grande Valley.
Today, community partners, along with Mexican soccer organizations and special guest, Joaquin del Olmo, a former top Mexican soccer player and consultant for Real Oviedo of Spain, announced a plan to create an initiative that could one day take valley talent to Spain, and into professional soccer.
“There’s always going to be talent. We want to give them an opportunity. For the kids, it’s not just about playing the game. We have to show them that there’s values, and make sure they’re strong mentally,” says Jaoquin del Olmo.
Their goal is to create exposure to athletes that would otherwise go unnoticed. In the process, they propose establishing a professional team in Brownsville. According to FresaMex, one of the organizations behind the push, it’s a project that’s been in the works since 2015. With local talent already in their sights.
“Coming from the valley. Many players, we get stuck at the high school level. that’s the highest we go. Getting to this level is a big accomplishment not just for me but for the city because i’m opening doors as well,” says Fernando Barrientos, a current Real Ovideo player.
“I think it’s an awesome idea because there is a lot of talent here. There is a lot of players that should be going to that level,” says Gerrardo Valley Jr. a prospective Real Ovideo player.
In Brownsville alone, soccer players at the school districts that win state titles, now community partners, are optimistic in the future of the sport.
“We want to make more than just a school. We want to make an academy that fosters strong values and search for talent,” says Gabriel Ramirez, a coach for Grupo FresaMex.
Grupo FresaMex says they’ve been trying to establish a league in Brownsville for the past 4 years. Once local partners commit to an agreement they believe they can have a program fully running in less than a year.