MSYSA Spotlight with Director of Coaching and President of Pachuca FC USA Julio Zarate
This week’s edition of our Club Spotlight is with Pachuca FC USA. We spoke with Pachuca’s Director of Coaching, Julio Zarate, to find out how the club has been handling the pandemic.
Pachuca was founded in April 2008 and is affiliated with CF Pachuca in Mexico. Our partnership with the professional team allows us to send players down to Mexico and trial with the club. We have 25 former players playing professionally. We have sent many players down to trial for clubs in Mexico and we just had a player signed in South Africa. As part of our partnership with Pachuca, they send their scouts to Maryland to look at our players.
Despite our partnership, we are committed to developing players in Montgomery County. We focus on players from low-income families to allow them to receive scholarships to play in college. We not only want them to become great players, but we want our players to have the foundations to succeed in life. We offer as many scholarships as we can and try to keep our club fees as low as possible. To overcome the financial shortcomings within our community, we do a lot of fundraisers.
The corona virus has affected our families, many people are unemployed because of it. Through the pandemic, we constantly checked up on our families to see how they were doing financially. After the pandemic hit, 70% of our players weren’t able to pay the full fee, but they still paid some money to the club. However right now it isn’t about money, it is about giving players direction in life.
In June, when players were able to safely return to the field, they were overjoyed to be a part of the club community again. For some of our players that live in housing projects, soccer is all they have, so they need to be on the field to escape that environment.
Another aspect of our club is that we stress players’ academic performance. In the past, we’ve had players that have been good enough to play at Division I schools, but were rejected because of their grades. To ensure this doesn’t happen anymore, players must show their grades to coaches and staff to be able to play. We want every player to be in good academic standing to best position themselves to be recruited for college.
At Pachuca, we don’t focus completely on winning; character and development in life is most important. We constantly have former players come back to not only coach players on the field, but also mentor players in their life outside of soccer. This is a testament to the strong community that we have built internally and externally.