Casady Mens Soccer’s Luis Lopez (‘22) has been playing soccer since he was eight years old. He has been practicing with the Olympic Development Program (OPD) and is the goalkeeper for Casady Men’s Soccer team. He manages to balance this intense training and school throughout the year.
Although he is an extremely talented goalkeeper, Luis hasn’t always played the position. In fact, he originally started out as a defender. He then moved to playing in the midfield. One day, when his team was playing in an indoor game, their goalie got injured. Luis played as the substitute in that game, and for the rest of the season, he played as the team’s starting goalie.
In the transition from midfield to keeper, Luis had to train rigorously that entire summer. At first, he didn’t have goalie gloves, so he used to practice with baseball gloves. Said Luis, “My competitiveness and will to fight drives me to get better.” Further, since he always played with older kids, he was able to develop his game, and it made him a better player.
Luis’s favorite thing about the ODP is that out of everyone who plays club soccer and US youth soccer, this program really gets the best players who are all on the same level. Since everything is at a quicker pace and more “explosive” at that level, it makes the games more entertaining. He says that the key to balance school and training is to pace yourself.
As a major role on Casady’s soccer team, Luis performs at a high level every day, but he still manages to amuse his teammates and friends off the field as well. He is a good example of how to balance working hard and having fun. Luis’ work ethic is what has gotten him so far and allowed him to play for ODP and other similar programs.