Teen Lady Footballer and MYS Grant Recipient, Jamie Lau

As a two year participant in the My Yute Soccer Teen Mentor program, we are proud to introduce Miss Jamie Lau. She is also recently awarded the 2017 Kaleb McYates Memorial Grant for her efforts to deliver a MYS mini camp in Malawi this Spring.

Who is she?

Jamie is a junior at International High School in San Francisco. 

What's her position on the pitch? 

She plays attacking midfielder. 

When did it all begin? 

Jamie began her career in soccer where she grew up, in Oakland at the age of six.  Her parents introduced her and her two sisters to the game. She reflects on that time, "Without any knowledge of the rules of the sport, I immediately became attached to the action, excitement, and simplicity of the game. The significance of a team effort made the game both interactive and engaging."

What teams did she play for? 

After two years of playing with the Piedmont Soccer Club, she joined East Bay United Soccer Club, along with her sisters, and continues to play competitively with the league. 

Who's her favorite player? 

Abby Wambach is Jamie's favorite player. 

What are her greatest moments as a player?

"When I was goalie at a U-10 State Cup and I scored the winning penalty kick!" 

Jamie joined My Yute Soccer as a Teen Mentor, along with her older sister, Brianna, in 2015. Jamie has grown to be a leader in the program and she actively encourages other teens to consider MYS in their volunteer work. As she wrote in her application, "My Yute’s mission inspires me share my experiences with others, and pass on my knowledge to open up their worlds."

It's clear that soccer, excellence on and off the pitch, and giving back are all part of the Lau family tradition. We are so proud and luck to have Jamie on the My Yute Soccer team! 

Lady Footballer and MYS Volunteer, Vanessa Touset

We knew that Vanessa was passionate about the beautiful game: "Futbol. Soccer. Football. However you want to call it, it is in my veins. It is a part of who I am, who I was." But did YOU know she was a Puerto Rican National Team player?

Who is she? 

Vanessa is a counselor and therapist, recently earning M.A., Counseling, Saint Mary's 2015. 

Although a torn ACL keeps her from playing soccer, she stays physically active. While she discovers new sports and activities, soccer will always remain a part of her. 

What's her position on the pitch? 

Vanessa was a forward initially then transitioned to attacking midfielder.  Right before college, she started developing into an outside defender and was recruited for both positions by different Division 1 universities.  

When did it all begin? 

At the age of three, Vanessa's mom tried to get her into swimming. When she saw the boys playing soccer inside the Dale City recreation center, she told her mom,  “I want to do that.” So, she did– for the next 35 years!

What teams did she play for? 

University of Minnesota 1995-1999

North Bay Wave 2010-2011

Puerto Rican National Team 2010-2011

Who's her favorite player? 

Growing up, Dania's favorite player was USWNT member Carla Overbeck. 

What are her greatest moments as a player?

Vanessa says there are two contenders for her greatest moment as a player: "Winning the Big Ten or Coming back to soccer after a severe injury at the age of 34 to play internationally for my father’s country of Puerto Rico and ending my career playing against the Mexican Women’s National team in Mexico."



Lady Goalie and My Yute Soccer Volunteer, Julie DeJarlais

Of course we have a lady goalie to feature for this year's International Women's Day 2017. Julie, also known as DJ, is one of those goalies who always has your back AND knows how to score a goal when she's out on the pitch. I know because I had the good fortune of playing with her. 

Julie is a champion for kids from soccer to fire fighting to raising funds for programs. When My Yute Soccer campers sign up for goalie clinic, they get to learn from a skillful player with a big heart and an top notch work ethic!

Who is she? 

Julie a San Francisco Firefighter who LOVES the outdoors! She also truly enjoys working with kids, especially when it comes to the amazing game of Soccer!!

What's her position?

In her younger days, she would play striker–any side, but of course, she preferred center. One day her youth coach asked her to jump in the net because there was no one to play Keeper. According to Julie, "Apparently, I was a natural. Yep, GOALKEEPER it is!!"

When did it all begin?

Julie became fascinated with the game as a child when she saw children bouncing a ball off their heads while camping across Europe with her family. She was hooked.

What teams does she play for? 

She says there are too many clubs to remember but here's a brief history.

Walnut Creek Soccer Club 80-89

Las Lomas High School 87-89

San Diego State University 89-94

San Francisco Nighthawks 96-98

Favorite Player?

Toni Schumacher, a goalie for the German National Team. 

Greatest Moment?

It was on the U-18 WC Club Team, State Cup tournament at Cherry Island in Sacramento, playing her team's arch rivals, the Bay Oaks, and her biggest rival Keeper.  Here's Julie, setting the scene–

"It was the first half, windy as all get out...I punted the ball from my 18 it bounced at her 18 and then into the upper V of her goal as she touched but missed the ball....I scored a goal from my goal!!!! Couldn't believe it! My entire team dog-piled me!!"

Lady Footballer and My Yute Soccer Coach, Ana Rivera

Honoring International Women's Day 2017, our second feature in "lady footballers" is Ana Rivera. She is a My Yute Soccer volunteer coach who has played across borders, both literally and figuratively.  We are so fortunate to have her on our team! Enjoy this profile and #BeBoldForChange! 

Who is she? 

Ana Rivera is a is a futbolista who wears two flags across her chest.

What's her position on the pitch? 

During the week in the United States she was goalie for her high school team in San Diego  and during the weekend she was a sweeper for Baja California. 

When did it all begin? 

One of six children, almost all of whom play the game, she was surrounded by futbol. As the only daughter, she had no choice than to be at the field, soaking up the skills on display. 

Every Friday she would cross the boarder to play in Tijuana. Playing on both sides really reminded her of the privilege she had. In the United States she was always granted a grass pitch. Whereas, in Tijuana, the pitch was never known– it could be a dirt field, a modified synthetic grass field, cement or grass.

What teams did she play for? 

After moving to the bay area for school, Ana played for Chabot College Women's Soccer as goalie and center midfielder, where she was voted captain both seasons.

Most recently she played for was the Lady Pirates, taking the 2016 summer championship.

Who's her favorite player? 

Tobin Heath is one of the players she still admires. 

What are her greatest moments as a player?

"Whenever I took penalties and SCORED!"

Ana is currently finishing her bachelors degree of Global Studies at CSU East Bay. She is also coaching for East Bay United. We look forward to this summer's My Yute Soccer camp when she will "pretty please" coach our littlest footballers–the 7 year olds! 

Lady Footballer & Sport Liberation Educator, Dania Cabello

In honor of International Women's Day 2017 and the #BeBoldForChange campaign, we are featuring profiles of lady footballers in our community. 

Dania Cabello is the founder of Futbolistas 4 Life at the Life Academy of Health and Bioscience.

Dania Cabello is the founder of Futbolistas 4 Life at the Life Academy of Health and Bioscience.

Please meet, Dania Cabello.

Who is she? 

Dania Cabello is a futbol artist whose participation with the beautiful game continues to grow and deepen with time.

What's her position on the pitch? 

While she used to play attacking midfield/forward she is now most comfortable playing non-competitive, freestlyle soccer to the sounds of her favorite music.

When did it all begin? 

Dania began playing at the age of five for Oakland's Rockridge 49'ers. 

What teams did she play for? 

Dania is currently playing with Left Wing Futbol Club and Oakland Street Stylers. But check out her history! 

UC Berkeley 2002-2005

Santos FC do Brasil 2006

Bay Area Breeze 2011

Who's her favorite player? 

Growing up, Dania's favorite player was USWNT member Staci Wilson.

What are her greatest moments as a player?

When Dania was eight years old, her dad came to one of her games and told her, before the start of the match, to score two goals ....and she did. At halftime he told her to score three more....and she did. Dania shared with a chuckle, "That was the only time in my career I would score five goals in one game."

FUTBOLISTAS 4 LIFE is a documentary about teens in Oakland, California, who campaign to transform their barren playground into a soccer field. 




Another Kind of Redemption Song - Embracing Differences through Soccer

Redemption Song - Spike Lee

In light of the current state of affairs and in honor of #BlackHistoryMonth, I want to share a story that, in many ways, is representative of our mission and vision at My Yute Soccer.

"The first historically black college to win an NCAA title should’ve been the 1971 Howard University soccer team." That's how the introduction to this documentary, "Redemption Song" begins. But, it's not necessarily the winning and losing of a team that is most palpable. Rather, it is the filmmaker's ability to peel back the layers–where a myriad of a cultural differences lie within the social construct of race. And, when mixed with dreams and hope, those differences, more often than not, foster harmony, paving the way for success. As former Howard student Rock Newman says in the film, “This wasn’t just about a soccer championship. This was black excellence.”

Adversity and education go hand in hand for many immigrants who aspire to build vibrant, successful, and prideful lives in the United States. The men who played on the NCAA Division 1 Howard University 1971-1974 soccer teams came from many different countries to pursue a high quality university education. At a time when soccer was not a very popular sport in the U.S., they were also able to share their passion forthe beautiful game with each other and the wider NCAA community. I am inspired by this film. It is a reminder of why and how I came to be Co-Founder and Board Member of My Yute Soccer (MYS).

MYS is on a mission to provide access to a diverse socio-economic and cultural environment through the sport of soccer. Our coaches represent eight different countries and our campers come from anywhere between eleven and eighteen different zip codes throughout the East Bay. Reflected in MYS is all the wonderful richness of languages,foods, accents, humor, and world perspectives that are intertwined with the competition and styles of play that filled my childhood. That sense of abundance propels our initiatives and binds us together as we envision communities embracing differences through soccer.