Transcript: Mentoring and Development with Gabriel Farfan

Podcast episode 21: 3.31.21 


Interview with Gabriel Farfan

Taylor: [00:00:00] So I am super excited to have Gabriel Farfan who played professional soccer across North America. , his successful career took him, from the under 17 youth national team all the way to, , playing division one soccer at Cal state Fullerton. , after two years, he was able to play and to decide to go pro and he'd be able to go and play with Liga MX side cup America.

[00:00:27] After a couple of years with them, he returned state side and signed with MLS side Philly union and was able to play the MLS, , for the next few years and then was able to retire now in, in 2018, , and is  Move into a very successful post-planning career and is in several different ventures.

[00:00:49] But what really brought him to my attention is his venture called the soccer dream that he's doing with his twin brother, also an ex professional soccer player, which aims to promote youth soccer, and provide invaluable knowledge to the next generation from expos players, coaches, and experts. Gabe, thank you so much for.

[00:01:10], joining us and welcome to the podcast.

Gabriel: [00:01:11] Yeah, no, thanks for having me always a, always a pleasure to meet up with, with like-minded people and people that are doing big things in the soccer world. But but yeah, as far as my career, I think you've got it covered. The only thing that, the only thing that I think was a little bit off was you saying like, I, I decided, or I made the choice to go pro, but it wasn't like I didn't have any options.

[00:01:35] It was like, I was just taking a big risk. It's not like I decided, Hey, yeah, I'm going to go sign with this team. It was like, no, I'm going to go try out with teams. And hopefully something works out in the, with those trials. 

]Taylor: [00:01:48] . Tell me a little bit more about what was going through your mind. What, what made, what made you make that decision? Because again, I guess you could have come back, right? I mean, you were only two years done with college, so you could have came back and tried to maybe finish out your 

[00:02:03] college career.

Gabriel: [00:02:04] Yeah. The, the only tough thing with that is I mean, it was a big risk because my family, we don't come from money. And so for us, it was like, Hey, if you leave school, you're going to ruin, you're going to be ineligible in the NCAA to go back to school. So there was no chance of getting a scholarship. So in my head it was like, Hey, I either just double down, I take a big risk, go try out for teams.

[00:02:29] And with the possibility with in the back of my mind, knowing like, Hey, it couldn't work. It could possibly not work out. And I could end up having to work a normal job. For me, I don't think soccer is not a normal job. I mean, it's, it's a beautiful sport. It's awesome. It's something that I've always loved to do.

[00:02:48] So for me, it wasn't, it wasn't a job. And, and so realizing like, Hey, I might have to get a normal job and pay for school and not being able to play with a soccer team at that school. If things didn't work out on this journey of trying to make it, bro. So, so it was, it was a big risk, but at the same time, like my other, my other thoughts were well, Hey, I'm, I'm never going to be this young.

[00:03:16] I'm never going to have these opportunities to go on trials again, because obviously in the soccer world, once you get to 20, 21, 22, I mean you're considered old. So, and it's, it's tough for people to understand because if you talk to anybody, they say 21, man, that's super young, but not in, not in a, a soccer players career.

[00:03:36] So. It's it's easy to just say, Hey, you know what? Like, I'll just wait for the next opportunity. But what if that next opportunity never comes? And, and so for me, it was just a bunch of things that I weighed the pros and cons and decided, you know what, for me, it's worth it. I'm willing to take that risk and willing to deal with the consequences, whatever happens and make sure that I'm, I'm doing all that I can to fulfill that dream.

[00:04:06] But also knowing like, Hey, it could not work out in the end. 

Taylor: [00:04:12] , you have to have courage is sounds like it's like, if you're, if you're going to make this leap, if you're going to, if you're going to go all in I understand that.

[00:04:19] You have to go all in. You can't have like, okay. Like one, you know, you can't be like halfway going into it. Like you have to literally push. And do you feel like that was instilled through you, into you, through your parents? Was it through your coaches? Where did you have that, that courage, that, that say that belief in yourself to say, Hey, I wanna, I wanna make this, I'm gonna make this.

[00:04:43] I'm going to make it happen. Like I'm going all for it. No matter what the consequences may be. 

Gabriel: [00:04:48] Yeah. I was, I was extremely fortunate with my upbringing just because and I always say we, because me and my twin brother, we pretty much lived the same exact life. And I mean, we grew up together. We were each other's best friend.

[00:05:02] We were each other's biggest enemy. We were each other, like, we, we were also just like extremely competitive. We held each other accountable. And, and so for us, that was a big thing. But also having. The supportive parents that we did was unreal. I mean, they would drive across the country to take us to a tournament.

[00:05:23] They would go pick up five of our teammates to, to drive them to training. And like three, four times a week, they would do anything possible. Do any type of fundraiser to raise the funds for us to go to a tournament for our teammates to go to a tournament. So, I mean, with, with those types of parents and then seeing how hard they're working, it also gives you this responsibility, like, Hey, they're doing all they can to help me achieve my dream.

[00:05:48] So I also need to repay them by taking it seriously and not taking it for granted that they're, they're busting their butt every day, trying to just give us the resources that we need to, to make that dream come true. 

[00:06:02] Yeah, I mean parents and that's the kind of same thing with my, with my soccer career.

[00:06:07] Like my parents sacrifice tremendously for me to be able to play in and to give me that opportunity. I mean when I was younger, it was like my mom driving me to all these tournaments. And then as I got older, it was my dad being able to pick up, pick me up and take me to these, see different tournaments, different showcases, stuff like that.

[00:06:26] So it's, you're absolutely right. It's like being able to appreciate what they're, what they're doing and I'll be completely honest. I didn't necessarily always appreciate. What for you was, it was having, I mean, obviously having your, your twin brother, did you guys always have that appreciation for what your parents were doing or was it kind of like you, when you were older looking back at and you're like, Oh my gosh, like that's not normal.

[00:06:49] What they did for us. Like this is. You know, they created a lot or they let me have a lot of opportunities by the sacrifices that they've made. 

[00:06:58] Yeah. So back then, as a kid, I definitely realized like, Hey, my parents are doing a lot just with driving and I would see other people's parents and they wouldn't be put in nearly the amount of effort to, to give them the same resources.

[00:07:11] So I knew in the back of my head that there, that we had extremely I mean, supportive parents. So that was one thing. But even knowing that, now that I look back it's, it's way more, I'm so much more appreciative now. Now that I'm more aware of other people's situations and what they achieved and what they did and things like that.

[00:07:31] So, yeah, I mean, I w we were extremely grateful, but now we're, we're even more grateful. 

Taylor: [00:07:40] Yeah, it's just that, that age, right. When you start getting older, you can kind of start realizing like, Oh, and you start getting more responsibilities in your own life, or you start, like you said, you, you know, you just had a child, like being able to then like, say like, Oh wow, I have, I just, they did so much.

[00:07:58] And I had no idea about how much they really did and, you know, just being extremely grateful and thankful for that. That's that's really good. That's really awesome. 

Gabriel: [00:08:08] Yeah. I mean, I talked to people, I love hearing people's stories and where they come from and, and their, their families and stuff like that.

[00:08:16] And I mean, every time I hear about someone's story, I always think like, wow, like I had it really good. I had things really, really good. So yeah, I'm, I'm forever indebted to my parents and, and the amount of sacrifice and effort that they put towards, towards giving us these, these resources. 

Taylor: [00:08:34] Absolutely.

[00:08:35] Well, going back, I mean, well, I guess we can stay here. You know, obviously your parents were, were a big part of your weird development. You know, absolutely. You said that your, your twin brother was your, the guy who pushed you again, who you're extremely close with. You also grew up in California, which is kind of a hotbed for soccer, right.

[00:08:55] And you were, you know, I think I, I, I did some research that you were part of, one of the top club teams, youth teams kind of growing up, but you were playing for obviously state championships played for, for one of the top teams. How do you feel like playing on one of those top teams?  Tell me,  did it set you up for success down the line?

[00:09:16] Do you feel like it was the coaches or do you feel like it was more. The individual work that you and your brother were putting in? 

Gabriel: [00:09:24] Well, there, there there's so many factors that go into you like taking that next step in your career. And I definitely think club plays a big part in, in you getting far in the game.

[00:09:37]Because at the end of the day, if you're trying to make it to let's say, play in college, or you want to make it to play professionally, the one thing you need is exposure. And exposure isn't necessarily playing for the best team. I mean, it also could mean playing more because the more you play on whatever, a different team on an ODP team, on a club team, on your high school team, the more chances you have of someone being in the right place at the right time.

[00:10:04] And scouting you because I can't tell you how many times I've heard these insane stories about, Oh, I was kicking the ball at the park and I was just trying my hardest just by myself. And, and someone just happened to be at the park with their little kid and they ended up being a scout and I got to try out from it.

[00:10:21] So one of the biggest things I always tell people is like, you're you, you're too busy looking for opportunities, focus on development, focus on things like that. And, and the opportunities that will come. Yeah. 

Taylor: [00:10:35] That's huge. Yeah. And I, and that's what I try to stress to the players in my program as well.

[00:10:41] Like understand that, you know, you can only control so much, you can't control, you know, like you said, who's going to see you. You can't control necessarily. Who's going to be watching your games, but you can control how hard you work. You can control what you put into it. And I think. I know for my career, I spent too much time worried about what opportunities, what options am I going to have instead of worrying about, okay, what can I do to be better than I was yesterday?

[00:11:09] And I felt like if I spent more time doing that, I would have been a little bit more successful. You know, rather than trying to focus on who's, who's watching me now, who's, who's gonna be at my game. Who's going to be doing this. Who's going to be doing that. 

Gabriel: [00:11:23] Yeah, no, I mean, you say that, that you were, that you were that way and you always want to look for opportunities.

[00:11:30] I think everybody does. I mean, it's not, I'm not saying that that I did everything perfectly or, or that I just focused on my development, but I mean, I would also look for opportunities as well, but I also think that sometimes it's wasted energy and that energy you could put towards development and that development will create more opportunities.

Taylor: [00:11:50] Yeah. I love that. I love that. That's a great, that's a great quote. So, I guess kind of moving, moving forward in a little bit in your career you know, you obviously played for the under 17 national team. Tell me and tell our listeners a little bit about that experience. How did you get into get on the national team radar?

[00:12:11]And what was it like to be, because I know I did have a couple of friends who were part of the, the under 17 national team set up and, and were able to stay at IMG. Tell us a little bit about that and, and maybe some of the difficulties that were part of that, being able to having to leave home. Cause obviously you're from California going all the way to Bradenton, Florida is, is quite the, quite the sacrifice at a young 

Gabriel: [00:12:34] age.

[00:12:35] Yeah. So, so this actually is correlated with your last question about a club, but we started playing in bigger tournaments. We were, we were performing really, really well as a team and. And so we started playing against better opposition. And so we, we won state cup, won regionals and ended up going to to nationals, I believe the U for teenage.

[00:12:57] And so once you're playing at that level, you start realizing man, like we're playing against the best of the best and we're holding our own, we're doing, we're doing really well. And that's when these big, these big Scouts like, like the national team are out there because I mean, technically it's the cream of the crop.

[00:13:13] It's the, you're going to find some pretty good players at these tournaments. So the national team, the under 17 national team ended up speaking with our club at the time. And they were going to have a camp in San Diego where our club was from. So we ended up playing some scrimmages and from performing well in those scrimmages against them is when we got called to the under 17 national team.

[00:13:36]So. For us. And it's crazy because we come from San Diego and we didn't know too much about the soccer landscape at the time, especially in the U S I mean, we come from a Hispanic household and we knew all about Mexican soccer, but to be honest, we didn't know anything about the MLS. We didn't know anything about the under the under 17 national state.

[00:13:56] We had no idea that there was a U 17 national team. So when they told us, Oh, you're going to play against these guys that are your age, that are the best in the, in the country. We were like, what? Like, there's a, there's a national team. Like there's, there's 20 guys that are considered the best. So for us, it was eyeopening.

[00:14:12] And, and then we would hear things like, Oh, they're sponsored by Nike. They have the best training. They have this, they have that. And we're like, Oh my God, this is crazy. This is like, this is where we want to be. And so after performing against them and doing well, we got invited. And to us, it was just like, man, this is a whole new world here, but.

[00:14:31] To answer your question about the sacrifices. It is, it is a big sacrifice to, to move. I mean, our, our parents, our family all stayed in San Diego and we moved to the other side of the country with our teammates. And I mean, it's at the time you think like, Oh, this is rough. We have a bunch of rules. We have a bunch of things.

[00:14:50] But in hindsight, man, the resources that we had, you can't compare to them. It's, it's insane. The things that we were offered and the things that we were lucky to have there. 

Taylor: [00:15:01] Yeah. Oh, I can, I can only imagine, like, and kind of going off of that, like having, having that opportunity at, at a young age to just kind of literally have soccer, it's not necessarily your only responsibility, but it's like your main responsibility.

[00:15:19] Right. And, and to have that opportunity and to have that chance and to have all these resources that kinda at your disposal You know, it has to be kind of, it kind of has to make you, if you weren't thinking about pro as a legitimate opportunity, it kind of makes it think like, Oh, pro is, if this is what pro, if this is a taste of pro, like this is something that I want  more of, you know?


 Gabriel: [00:15:45] Yeah, yeah. For sure. Once you get a taste of it, you think Man is alive. This is what I've always dreamt about. Having these resources playing against the best of the best, because for me, that was the biggest thing is day in, day out we're training and playing against the best, what are considered the best 20, 30 players in the country.

[00:16:03] And so you're going to get better playing with playing with the best. And and so for me that I think that's the strongest resource that we had was the environment and the competitiveness and, and the sole focus on soccer. 

Taylor: [00:16:20] Yeah. So do you have any, any, any good stories from, from that time or any, any players that really stood out to you?

[00:16:28] You're like, Oh wow. This, this guy, you know, whether it be his work ethic, his talent, this guy was somebody who I really kind of, I learned a lot from our coaches. 

Gabriel: [00:16:39] Yeah, for sure. But it's, it's tough. There's, there's not one guy that stands out because if you, if you name like work ethic, I could tell you a name.

[00:16:46] If you tell me like technical skills, I'll give you a name. You tell me vision, like even names. So like, there's, there's a ton of players that that I could give examples for. And I mean, anything you could imagine from. Like somebody who was an underdog that wasn't rated very high to, it ended up playing really like at the highest level because of their work ethic or because of their perseverance, because that's another thing, some guys have gone through some crazy stuff and they're, they're able to push through, they're able to push through.

[00:17:18] I can also tell you examples of people who were there in that environment that we were, that we consider ourselves lucky to be a part of, but that they couldn't handle it because they couldn't handle being away from family. Or they got, they got just way too homesick and just couldn't, couldn't bear with it.

[00:17:34] So, I mean, yeah, it's crazy because it's not for everybody for sure. But. If you're able to handle it. I was, again, I was extremely fortunate because I had my twin brother, so it's not like I was crazy homesick. I had a little, a little slice of home with me and I had my best friend who played on our club team in San Diego as well.

[00:17:56] So for us it was, it was literally like a boys trip for a couple of years. Yeah. So we and then just the guys that we've met, it was literally like, everyone has the same goals once you, once you're surrounding yourself with like-minded people, it's like, Oh, wow. Like before I was just like hoping and praying that one day I would, I would make it pro now, like all these guys are talking about how prior guys in this program had made it pro.

[00:18:21] So it becomes more of a reality. Yeah, 

Taylor: [00:18:24] absolutely. So what made you, and, and maybe at that time, you know, after that national team experience, what, what helps you guys make that choice to go. So kind of go back and again, I'm not necessarily super familiar with in Southern California, but how far is, is Cal state Fullerton from, from San Diego or from your family?

Gabriel: [00:18:46] So Fullerton is about two hours from San Diego. But it's crazy. There's, there's so many factors that went into that too. Us choosing a college because at the time we were, the whole point of the residency program is to, is to prepare for the under 17 world cup. And so it's two years of preparing for it and along I mean, along those two years, you don't have much time to either go back home or to, to visit colleges.

[00:19:15] So, so we weren't allowed to take official visits to colleges, especially if they were on the, on the West coast, because it would have taken up to three days to go. And so at the time we, we had actually verbally committed to Cal Berkeley and. And then after we actually took our visit there and just ended up not being our vibe like Southern California is way different from Norco and to us, we were like, it was to a point where, okay, we've been away from home.

[00:19:42] We're still, we're only 17 years old. We want to be a bit closer to family, want to be a bit closer to friends. So we ended up deciding to sign with with Cal state Fullerton and, and yeah, we, that was another thing is we were really young because with the residency program, you graduate high school a year early.

[00:20:00] So so we were, we were 17 in college, so it's yeah, it was just, it's just different than a lot of people's journey. 

Taylor: [00:20:09] Yeah, absolutely. So you played there, you know, I was reading on your bio from, from there that like you've lived up to the hype, came in did extremely well, you guys played pretty well.

[00:20:24] What, what made you decide again? I know we talked about this a little bit earlier, but after those two years, like, okay, I'm, I'm ready for the next step. I'm ready to take this to go all in and to make this decision to to go for, you know, go, go for my poker career and what made you decide? Cause I know you ended up With Liga MX with Cub America, correct?

[00:20:45] Yeah. Yeah. What made you, I know you said you, it's not like you had a bunch of options, but you were just, what made you decide like, Hey, I'm, I'm going forward. This is where I'm going to try to go and, and pursue my, 

Gabriel: [00:20:54] my dream. So the main thing was I found out that I was on a short list for getting offered a contract in the MLS.

[00:21:03] And then when I dug a bit deeper, the feedback that I got from the Scouts in the MLS was, Hey, we think you're doing a good job, but you're not testing yourself against the best opposition. It's not the best conference. It's not the best college that you're playing for. So we want to see you against the ACC ACC teams.

[00:21:25] We want to see you playing against just, just better opposition. So for us, that was like a big moment where I was like, okay, well, if we want to realistically make this a dream. And a dream that comes true. We need to be doing these things. We need to be playing against better opposition and showing that we can compete at a higher level.

[00:21:44] And so, so then it just became like, Hey, you know what I mean, are we going to do this? Yeah. All right, cool. Let's let's just make sure that we do it to the best of our ability. 

[00:21:56] Okay. So yeah, so then it was like, Hey, are we going to do this? And. Or like, yeah, let's, let's do it, but let's make sure that we make it worth it. Because again, we know the risks and we know that nothing's, nothing's a hundred percent, nothing's guaranteed and we're, we're giving up this scholarship.

[00:22:14] We're giving up our education and in the back of our head, we always thought, well, you know what, if we, if we try to make it work, it doesn't work out. I mean, we always have the option of going back to school, but we're going to have to work for it. We're going to have to go get a job, pay for it and figure it out after.

[00:22:30] But for us, it was just a risk that we were willing to take 

Taylor: [00:22:35] and, and getting that feedback I think is huge too. Right. Like having the feedback and saying, Oh yeah, you guys are good. We know you're on our radar. But we want to see that you're fully committed. We want to see that you're trying to do your best to make sure you're prepared.

[00:22:50]I'm sure that gave you guys some confidence to say like, okay, I'm not just out here. All this training, all this work that we're putting in is not going unnoticed, right? 

Gabriel: [00:23:00] Yeah, definitely. I mean, it's nice to obviously, for them to express somewhat of interest in you and tell you, Hey, you're on a short list, but at this at the same time, it's not like those players were making a ton of money.

[00:23:12] I mean, I think, I think at the time people were making like 30 something thousand a year. So at the same time, you have to factor that in and be like, Hey, is it worth it to give up the scholarship and give up your education to sign for this amount of money? As much as a lot of people say, Oh, you shouldn't do things for the money.

[00:23:32] I mean, it's a big part in life and, and you do need to take it into account. Yeah. And 

Taylor: [00:23:37] just even going down that vein, like you have such a short career, really, if you look at it, like even if you're able to play top flight football for like. You know, 10, 15 years, that's only 10, 15 years of your life. And that's on the high end.

[00:23:55] That's all you're going to be making for your soccer career. And then after that, you gotta be thinking, you know, what are you going to do for the rest of your life? 

Gabriel: [00:24:02] Yeah. And that's, and that's the risk you take. I mean, obviously you could start out making that you could end up making millions. You don't know, but it's, it's all dependent on your performances and other factors, but again, it's, it's just, it's part of the fondest part of the, it's just like any other, any other job.

[00:24:18] I mean, if you sign for, for Microsoft yeah. You could work your way up and become a manager and ended up killing it, but they could also say, Hey, you know what? Like we found another developer that's a bit smarter than you. So, so see you later. Yeah, 

Taylor: [00:24:33] absolutely. It's tough. I think it's tough at any Korea.

[00:24:35] Absolutely. So any good stories, any, any stories you would want to share from the, those trials experience, like those experience where you're trying to You know, going again, I've read your, your, your story about what was happening at you and your brother when you guys went and trial that Pachuca, I mean, if you guys want to, if you want to tell that story that's I thought that was pretty interesting.

[00:24:55]But if, if you have any good stories that, you know, kind of, kind of sheds light on, you know, that, that whole trial 

Gabriel: [00:25:02] experience yeah. That'd do I, could, I could, we could talk about this for literally the next two, three days. Cause I have so many, I went to so many trials and got rejected so many times, so I have a ton of stories, but specifically with that Chuka I think we're 18, maybe 18 years old, went on trial with like their under twenties and we got there and it was just difficult.

[00:25:24]I mean, we were confident in our, in our abilities, but dealing with stuff like the altitude is no joke there. It's, it's super high in altitude and, and we were struggling the first couple of days. It was like, Oh my God, I can't breathe right now. Like. Literally my heart's about to rip out of my chest because it's just, it's just a grind.

[00:25:43] And then we're playing on these terrible fields that you can't even get the ball down. There's just pot holes, everywhere and dirt and grass. And, but it's just, I mean, you can't make excuses cause these guys are, are doing the same thing. It's not like it's, anything's different than, than than what the local players are playing with.

[00:26:00] So we, we start training, we start playing and, and right away, I started thinking to myself, I'm like, do I haven't gotten the ball like I'm wide open. And for some reason I just haven't gotten it. It was crazy. And then it just became more and more apparent, like nobody was passing us the ball. Cause then I was like, Oh, well, Michael hasn't really done anything either.

[00:26:20] So I was like, this is weird. And again, we thought like, Oh, maybe this is just in our head that we're not getting the ball. Maybe we're just delusional or I don't know. And. The coach ended up calling us, calling everybody in and just said, what the F are you guys doing? You guys better pass it to the Americans.

[00:26:39] Like you guys you guys are making it super apparent that you're not passing it. And I mean, I don't know what your deal is, blah, blah, blah. And so after that we started getting it a little bit more. We were able to show a little bit of what we had and but yeah, it just shows like it's not, it's not this little sport anymore.

[00:26:56] Once you, once you go to other countries or once money's involved and contracts are involved, I mean, it's literally a doggy dog and. I mean, if, if we go in for a trial, I mean, they feel threatened because we're taking their job. Like that's our sole purpose. There is to earn a contract and buy us or in a contract, it could mean that one of them will get dropped.

[00:27:16] So it's not, it's not an easy, like happy go lucky environment. It's, it's literally this, like, it could be a hostile environment. Very, very few times have I found players that were welcoming that were like, Hey, come. Yeah, that's awesome. Where are you from? It's always, Hey, what's up? Yeah. Where are you from?

[00:27:35] Oh, cool. And then that's our whole conversation. And then once you play for a couple of days and they start seeing, Oh, well man, this, this guy, he's, he's pretty good on the field. You start earning their respect and then they want to talk to you. And they're like, Oh, so yeah. Tell me about where you're from.

[00:27:50] Like, wait, are you here? Are you here on trial or did you already sign? Because for them, I mean, they want to know about that too, because it affects their, their lives. Yeah. 

Taylor: [00:28:01] Wow. Yeah. That's I think what stood out to me from what you just said is just like the fact that you have it's no, one's going to give it to you.

[00:28:10] Right. They're going to force you to earn their respect on the field, like, cause they know that, okay, this guy, you know, he's, they're essentially looking at, he may be trying to take my spot. Right. So for you, you have to kind of just go out there and, and to really, I guess it kind of speaks on, on the mental side of it.

[00:28:29] Right. And, and the mentality that you have to have. I mean, I'm sure it's nice to have your brother there. And again, you know, like you said, you guys are like two peas in a pod, you guys kind of go together. You know, did that make the experience easier? Did that help that kind of seal your guys are steel yourself to be able to go into these different environments?

[00:28:48]And what did you have to have on, you know, what kind of mental fortitude did you have to have to be able to kind of set you up to be able to be successful in, in these, these different obviously difficult, difficult places? 

Gabriel: [00:29:02] Yeah. So Michael and I went to most, I would say like maybe 75% of trials together.

[00:29:09] And then he decided to go back to school because things weren't working out, he transferred to UNC chapel Hill and I decided to keep grinding and keep trying out with teams. But yeah, it was different. When I had him by my side at a trial, just because we could talk about random things that, that went down or, or, or talk about whatever the practice session or talk about, whatever it may be.

[00:29:34] And when he wasn't there, it's difficult because you don't have somebody that understands what was going on. To to confirm what you're thinking. Because for me, a lot of times I'm like, why did I, like, how did I perform? Or what did I do wrong? What can I do better? And with us, like, we're, we're extremely open.

[00:29:52] So if I said like, Oh, you should have pass it in this situation. Like you, you didn't lift your head up or whatever it may be. I didn't have that. So, and then just having the comfort of being like, all right, I'm not alone. I'm not in a different country because it was difficult when I was going to places like Germany, where the guys just wouldn't talk to you and right away you think, Oh, well, it's, it's a language barrier at school, like there.

[00:30:19] And then three, four days later, once you, once you've been there for almost a week, you hear them speaking English like, Hey, you've been doing good. And I'm like, Do you spoke English this whole time and you just haven't, you haven't just said what's up or I haven't said a welcome, like what's wrong with you, but yeah, it's, it's it's way different, but you just have to, you have to be strong.

[00:30:39] You have to be, obviously you have to believe in your abilities because nobody else is. They're telling you, Hey, you're doing a good job. Hey, you're doing, you're doing great. Hey, you know what? Like you're looking good out there. I mean, you literally have to just tell yourself, Hey, I belong here. I'm going to show these coaches because it's a, it's a small timeframe for you to prove that you need to be there.

[00:31:02] I mean, let's say a trial ends up being sometimes it's a day that they allow you to train. Sometimes it's a week. Sometimes it's a couple of weeks and I mean, it's not a lot of time for you to convince a coach, Hey, I should drop this other player and sign him because he's worthy of it. Yeah, because it's not just a spa, it's literally money and it's it's contracts.

[00:31:24] It's things like that, that come into play as well. Yeah. 

Taylor: [00:31:28] I had a quick question on the contract side. So when you say drop another player, so are these contracts like you think of you think of like MBA, like those contracts are guaranteed, but if you, I don't, I think MLS like there now I know for a long time, those contracts were not guaranteed until a certain date when you're going overseas or you're going down to Mexico.

[00:31:50] Are those contracts guaranteed or are they like, we can cut you pretty much at any time? 

Gabriel: [00:31:56] No. So in other countries, normally it's guaranteed, but when I say drop, I mean, like they'll either send them out on loan. They could send them out a loan. They could just mutually. Terminate the contract. They could, at the end of the season, let's say that player doesn't have a contract.

[00:32:12]For the following season, they could just not renew their contract. So there's, there's different ways, but in other countries, it's, it's always guaranteed in the, in the us and the MLS it's I don't know how it is now, but when I was signing when I was playing in the, in the MLS, it was normally semi guaranteed.

[00:32:30] So like you mentioned, you make it to like June 1st and then you're guaranteed throughout the end of the year, but you could be cut from March any anywhere till, till whatever may may or June. I forgot the exact day. There has to 

Taylor: [00:32:46] be a lot of stress coming in. Cause like, w when does preseason start? I mean, in February, and we could talk about your, I guess your time at MLS.

[00:32:54] So after you finished trialing, you then moved to Philly. I know your brother got drafted there too. So is that how you guys kind of got that connection to go play with the union? 

Gabriel: [00:33:05] So, so the reason why we had the connection was because our coach with the under 17 national team was the assistant Philly.

[00:33:13] And so he knew that we could play so that he ended up they cause he was assistant. So the head coach and the assistant ended up drafting the gr drafted Michael, but it was after I had already talked to the assistant and told them, Hey, this is my situation. Like I'm out of a contract and at the end of the year.

[00:33:33] And so, so the assistant told me, Hey, you know, I, I know you can play. I've seen you play, obviously I've coached you in the past, but the head coach hasn't seen you play. So I can't offer you anything you need to come in and prove to the head coach that you can play. So it's on a trial basis. So for me, I was going in thinking like, all right, well, I need to earn my spot.

[00:33:53] And when we had made the arrangement for me to go to preseason, that's when we found out that my brother got drafted there too. So it was, for me, it was like, well, damn, now are now I definitely need to do this because how awesome would it be for both of us to play on the same, like to live out our dream and planning on the same exact team in the MLS.

Taylor: [00:34:14] That's huge. Yeah. I mean, and how, how was it? Cause I think you guys were the, and I don't know if there's been any other like twins or any, even any other brothers who have played on the same team in the MLS. So how, how, what was that like for, for you to be able to, like you said, live out your dream and.

[00:34:34] Tell me a little bit about, cause I remember watching you guys both play for fairly cause I remembered Philly was, was like a pretty new franchise in the, in the league when you guys were both coming in. But yeah. Tell me a little R tell us a little bit about what that, what that was like to kind of live out that dream with your brother, 


 Gabriel: [00:34:50] Man. It was, it was the best, like some of my best memories are in Philly, just because, I mean, we both know the story about, Hey, you know what, like, dude, we've, we've literally been working towards this, our entire life, all the work, all the blood, sweat, and tears that we've put in over the years. Like, I mean to go through all that together and then to be like, now we're playing on the same exact team together is, is just mind blowing.

[00:35:16] So for us it was, it was awesome for our, our families to go visit us. It was easy. It wasn't like they would need to go to Mexico to, to watch one game and then go to North Carolina to watch another like. They could come in and and stay with us and watch whatever a month's worth of games. And, and they didn't have to take two trips, but it was just, I mean, it was, it was an amazing feeling, just knowing that like our whole family is rooting for one team we're out there sharing, sharing the field together.

[00:35:47]He's, he's getting awards, like I'm getting rewarded for my performance is like, it was, it was awesome. I mean, you can't, I don't know. I couldn't think of a better situation to, to play. Like my first I call it my first like, official contract, but I had signed in Mexico before that, but it was a youth, it was a youth contract and I never debuted.

[00:36:11] So to me, I don't consider it like an actual contract. Yeah. But this was the first time that I was experiencing like first team minutes and, and getting playing time on a regular basis. So. Having him right by my side. It was awesome. Yeah. So you've played 

Taylor: [00:36:28]Yeah. So you've played  in the MLS, I think what'd you say like four, our five years and then you moved and then you moved back to league MX, right?

]Inside. Tell me what team that you, you ended up signing for down in the beginning. Max. 

Gabriel: [00:36:43] So the team so they, they changed their name a couple of times, but basically the Jaguars, Chiapas and Jaguars. And and so I ended up going on loan there from Chivas USA. When I was playing in the MLS, I went on loan for six months because they had an injury and needed an outside back.

[00:37:00] So, so I fit the bill. They ended up paying for me to go on loan. And so I went on loan for six months and for me. I, I just, in my head, I thought, you know what? This is a trial. Like, I'm going to treat this as a trial for it's a six month trial. And if I do well, they'll sign me to a permanent deal because my MLS contract was, was about to expire.

[00:37:22] And I went down there and in my head, I was like, all right, I'm going to do everything possible to stay here. And I mean, I went down there and I did really well and, and ended up achieving that. I ended up getting a three-year deal with that club after, after being there for, for not even a season.

[00:37:40] Yeah. 

Taylor: [00:37:40] That's awesome. Yeah. And I guess real quick, kind of distant To kind of divert. So what, what's the big difference between those two weeks? Like, do you feel like you know, league MX is more technical or more tactical focused or Ms. MLS is more like athleticism and build, like what, what do you think the difference was?

[00:37:58] Or you feel like you felt, did you feel like you you were more comfortable on an either league? 

Gabriel: [00:38:04] Yeah, I felt more comfortable in Mexico because I'm a more technical player. I'm not, I'm not the biggest dude. I'm not the strongest guy. I'm not the fastest guy, but I think will always set me apart in the game was my technical ability.

[00:38:16] And, and that's what the game revolves around in Mexico is everyone, everyone being technical. And I, I was, I mean, I have that tenacity as well, so I, I have that like strong work ethic and. I wouldn't say that there's a lot of lazy players in Mexico, but at the time there wasn't a lot of guys that were like killing themselves on the field.

[00:38:40] And for me, I was just always willing to do that work. And, and so that paired with my technical ability, I think it just worked to my benefit and in the MLS is, it was just a different, a different vibe. It's I mean, everyone was taller faster, stronger than I was. So it's, it's trying to make that technical ability and vision and soccer IQ stand out because you don't have to be the tallest, fastest, strongest guy to, to, to shine on the field.

[00:39:07] So it was me trying to try to show that, that I know how to play the game and not just I'm not just this like physical specimen. Yeah. Yeah, 

Taylor: [00:39:17] absolutely. Okay. So you decided after after many years, so how many years did you ended up would you consider your, your career? 

Gabriel: [00:39:28] Oh, from 2011 to 2018. 

Taylor: [00:39:32] Yeah.

[00:39:32] And that's a lot of. A lot of trials, like you said, you're like, there's a lot of trials. I went on a lot of tryouts. So what made you in 2018 decide like, okay, this is because again, you weren't, I wouldn't consider you old when it could. I mean, obviously we, if we go off age 21, you know? Yeah. You're, you're technically old, but I mean, early, early thirties, right.

You're deciding, okay. It's time for me to kind of transition. What made you make that decision or was you, were you kinda like, okay. I didn't really have a 

[00:40:02] Gabriel: [00:40:02] choice. No. So that was, I was 29 when I stopped playing and, and it ultimately came up to, to me not being able to play, I had injuries like crazy throughout my career.

[00:40:15]Again, I could talk it a week about all the injuries that I had while I was playing. But in 2000, the end of 2017, I had a back surgery cause I had a couple of fractures. I had a, like, they had to remove one of my discs and just crazy stuff like that. The year before that I had a facial fracture fractured like three bones in my face had to put a metal plate in there.

[00:40:37]So the right before my back surgery, I tore my quad, like 14 inches. Yeah. So, so after like all these things that I don't know, you just get to a point where you have to decide like, Hey, do, is it worth it to play another couple years or do I think, Hey, I'm just going to be grateful for the career I had.

[00:40:57] And I mean, I want to be able to kick the ball around with my kids at some point. Like, I don't want to be crippled the rest of my life because I was just trying to live the dream for an extra two or three years. And at the time I had achieved everything that I wanted to achieve with, with soccer. So.

[00:41:15] There wasn't like this, this crazy desire to stay. Obviously I love the game. I love it more than anything, but at the same time it was like, Hey, let me weigh the pros and cons. And for me it just, the cons outweigh the pros in that, in that situation. I mean, I have still the rest of my life to live and I don't want to ruin my body over, over a couple more years.

[00:41:39] Yeah. And that's, I'm sure 

[00:41:40] Taylor: [00:41:40] that's a, that's a very tough decision to make, because again, like you said, you've, you've, you love this game. You've put in so much time, so much effort into it. And having to make that decision of saying, okay, you know, being able to weigh it and say, okay, is this worth, you know, you know, kind of crippling the rest of my life or is it just time to kind of be grateful for what I had?

[00:42:02] And then now it's, it's time to move into a new season 

Gabriel: [00:42:04] of my life. Yeah, for sure. It's definitely a difficult. Situation. Like I was, I was blessed that I had that option. A lot of guys just are forced to just say, Hey, you know what? Like you can't find a team anymore. You're done. And so it was nice for me to just say, Hey, I'm at peace with my, with my trajectory, with my career.

[00:42:27] And now I know it's time for something else. And another, another big factor in, and just hanging the boots up was my thoughts. Or it's like when I was a kid. So if I, if I was being realistic, I was going to play another like two, three years. Maybe like if, if I was lucky and at the rate I was getting injured, I would have been injured a lot of that time.

[00:42:52] And so for me, I thought. How, like how messed up is it for me to take up a spot on a, on a team when that could go to a younger kid who was like, trying to live that dream? Because I think back when I was a kid, I mean, I would've been, I would have died for, for a spot on a professional team. And I mean, knowing there was, let's say a player that was getting injured the whole season.

[00:43:14] I mean, I'm not making that team because he's still there. And so obviously thinking in that mindset, I was like, well, I don't want to be that guy. That's taken up a roster spot, like making money when I could give like this dream to a kid where wherever he is or wherever he's at in his career. I'm just basically like using up a roster spot for no reason.

[00:43:36] Yeah. And I 

Taylor: [00:43:37] . The fact that you started thinking about the next generation, right. . What would have I won putting them yourself and a younger players shoes who is trying to break through and that kind of forms, I guess, at least for me, it looks like it kind of informs what you're doing now, which is being able to mentor the next generation, being able to, to provide them with that actual perspective of saying, Hey, this is what it's like to play professional.

This is what it's like to play division one. This is what it's like to play professionally. You know, I guess tell us, where does that, where does that desire to help out that next generation come from? Where was that from? Something that maybe you, you act when you were younger or is it just because like, you just felt like this is what you were kind of called to do, or this is what you have a really interest to be able to do.

Gabriel: [00:44:29] I think that goes back to just, again, all of us learned it in school, like the golden rule, like teach others or like treat others how you want to be treated. And for me, again, like I, if I meet anybody, I treat them how I'd want to be treated. And so I may be a janitor I'm going to teach, I'm going to treat them the same as I treat the president of the United States.

[00:44:48] Like I really don't care. And, and so something like that, like, I, I think back to like when, when I was a kid and I mean, it's easy to just say, Hey, you know what? Like I'm going to live the rest of my life and do whatever I want. But I mean, I want to be able to give back to, to like my younger self or give back to like the next generation.

[00:45:11] And because there's a lot of things that I feel like kids are hoping and aspiring to be, but there's, it's, it's a steep learning curve. There's a lot of things that, that I went through that I could prevent someone else from going through. Whether it's like getting down on yourself or someone like dealing with not making the, a team, some, someone dealing with choosing a college, someone dealing with like getting rejected from team after team.

[00:45:37] Like I know so many people, a lot of my friends that grew up were good players. And then they got rejected once from a team. They didn't make it. And they were like, Oh, well, my career is done. They told me I wasn't good enough. But imagine if they had a player that was mentoring them or guiding them and telling them do that, that's nothing like as one team.

[00:45:56] I mean, there's, there's 10, 15,000 other teams that, that you could try out for, you can make, and all you need is one to give you a chance. And then you take advantage of that team and, and the opportunity and the sky's the limit. 

Taylor: [00:46:11] Yeah. And I think that's huge. And having someone, it kind of minds, you know, the old quote that says, like, you can't be what you don't see, right?

[00:46:19] Like you need to see like someone who is, who is there, who is doing it. And then now they're, if they're turning to you and saying, Hey, I absolutely, I had, I went through the same thing. I had 10, 15, 20 teams. That said that I wasn't good enough, but I had one team that took that gave me that option who gave me that opportunity, like you said do you have, did you have anybody in your, and again, I guess, do you have anybody in your, in your career or when you were going through, you shared a locker room with there?

[00:46:52]That was kind of like that mentor, that guide for you, who kind of was able to say, Hey you know, keep working, keep, keep going, keep grinding. Like you, you have an opportunity to do something special. 

Gabriel: [00:47:04] Yeah, I was, I was lucky because I think from a young age I realized like I don't have a lot of experience and I'd always, I'd always clean to the veterans and the captains or whoever, and talk to them just about, almost about their lives, about whatever.

[00:47:21] And it always like blossomed into a friendship where they'd give me advice or, or I would just, I mean, they would lead by example and I would just realize like, Hey, you know what? They've, they've had a super successful career. I should probably emulate them. I should take their habits and copy those as well.

[00:47:37] So every team I was on, I, I found somebody that I looked up to and I would learn from them. And so it was literally every single team that I played on. I could think of, of someone that, that I respected immensely. And I learned from, in that like mentor guidance role. Yeah. 

Taylor: [00:47:58] So do you have any, any tips or any habits that you wish that you would've learned at a young age like that somebody gave you?

[00:48:05] Like, I dunno, I, I did hear your, you and your brothers talk about like introverts and how they can be great leaders as well. And he, I think your brother talked about Brian Carroll and just how he did not lead necessarily by you know, be the one who was yelling, but he was the one who, this was a quiet leader who would take somebody to the side, say something to them.

[00:48:25] And then from there be able to kind of like, just kind of go back to being, you know, himself just being, doing things the right way. Is there any buddy who told you something. When you were, you were playing and you're like, Oh man, I wish I knew that when I was 13 or 14, 

Gabriel: [00:48:42] not specifically like any, any words that, that I wish I would've known, but just, I think more so habits and more so like, like we going back to development, like instead of, instead of trying to being, instead of trying to be better than your teammate, like try to be better than your yourself yesterday.

[00:49:03]Just improving your own because it's easy to, to say, you know what, like I'm not, I'm not as good as, as whatever this guy on my team or I'm on the bench right now. Like this, the guy playing over me is better. So it's easy to do that, but imagine how much better you would be if you just said, you know what?

[00:49:22] I'm okay. I'm on the bench right now, but I'm going to work on just getting whatever 1% better every day, and that's going to accumulate. And I mean, you're going to see that it's not going to be overnight, that you, you see this huge difference and this huge increase in your abilities. But over time it'll definitely compound and you're going to end up seeing the reward.

[00:49:43] Yeah. And so just like, I think it's, I think it's more so like little, little habits, bits and and just different mindsets that you need to have. Like, another thing is finding a way of motivating yourself. Like for me, motivation was number one, always like I always, and I think it's being aware of your own personality and your, what, what takes with you for me?

[00:50:06] I use everything for motivation. So if you put me in any scenario, I would use it as motivation. I would find some dumb way of using it as like, Hey, you know what? Like, I'm going to use this as fuel. I'm not gonna use this to like, get me down. So, so a, a coach, let's say for instance, like in, in call, I heard so many people say like, Oh, they're cause they'd always say they for me and my brother, they're not gonna make it pro they're.

[00:50:33] They're not going to do this. They're there one time we heard the only thing they'll, they'll only amounts of being Sunday league players. And so for me, like I welcome those kinds of things because it could, I would use that as fuel. Like I loved hearing things like that because in my head I'm like, Oh, all right, I'll show you.

[00:50:51] Like, I'm not going to say anything right now, but down the road, I'll show you that that's not true. And so whenever you're training, whenever you're playing, whenever you're. Your running fitness. Like, I always have that in the back of my head and I'm like, dude, this guy, like, I can't let him be right. I can't, I have to prove him wrong.

[00:51:09] And obviously it was for myself, like my dream was to be a professional, but that was literally like pouring more gasoline on it and being like, you know what, like, there's no chance I'm gonna let that guy be right. Like I have to do this. Yeah. So you 

Taylor: [00:51:22] already had that desire. You already had that, like you said, you already had that flame kind of burning bright, but because they were saying these comments, they were saying these things, you were like, okay, no, that's just going to fuel me.

[00:51:33] I'm not going to say anything on the outside, but that's just going to make the fire inside me. Dislike, grow, 

Gabriel: [00:51:38] grow, grow. Yeah, for sure. And I think it was just a part of my personality as well, because I'm the most stubborn person you could ever come across. And so if somebody tells me something like that, like, Oh, you're this you're that I'm like, don't tell me what I am or what I'm not like, ah, that's not true.

[00:51:53] And like, who are you to tell me? Yeah. So I don't know. I think it was just a matter of, of figuring out like your personality and what works with it and and using it for good, because I, you could also, someone could, could care about what other people say and I mean, you have to recognize that and be like, okay, I have to combat this with something else.

[00:52:17] Like I have to reset my mindset and, and, and whatever, find motivation and other ways find motivation and whatever, writing your goals down or whatever it may be. But yeah, I think it's just awareness awareness in, in what works with you and what doesn't. 

Taylor: [00:52:33] So speaking of what works for you and what doesn't, I thought something was pretty interesting that I heard from one of your podcasts that you'd rather, when you said you talked about making bets with yourself.

[00:52:45]Can you tell the listeners a little bit about the bets that you would make yourself? Cause I never heard. The the, the, what you would do to keep yourself motivated or keep yourself, like you said, accountable. 

Gabriel: [00:52:58] Yeah. So I I'm like the biggest joke. If you ask any of my teammates, like I was the number one guide playing jokes or playing pranks on people in the locker room.

[00:53:06] So like for me, and so I love doing like funny things and, and it just, again, it's awareness. So I know this thing, like, I, I think it's hilarious when, when when people have to like do dares and stuff like that. And so, so I would play these games with myself and, and say, you know what? Like, cause I was always decent.

[00:53:26] I was always good at fitness. And to push myself, I'd say, okay, let's say there's a situation where I've been running fitness or whatever. We were trying to get the two miles and under whatever 1130, 12 minutes I would tell myself at, let's say the, the sixth lap So a mile and a half, I'm looking at the clock and I'm like, Oh, I'm on pace to get 1130.

[00:53:52] Well, in my head, I mean, it's easy to coast and just say, Oh, well, I'm going to make it under 12, but it's difficult for you to say, I'm still going to keep on, on pace because this is when your legs are burning. Your, you have this like foggy brain and you're just like, man, this is difficult. It's, it's starting to be a grind now.

[00:54:10] Yeah. And so in these moments, I think is when people step up like these leaders or people that achieve big things are able to just block out that whether it's pain or whether it's just that, that personality that comes out where you're just like, Oh, I'm fine. I'm coasting like uncomfortable. And so I'd always want to get better.

[00:54:33] And so I'd make these bets with myself and I would tell myself, okay, if I don't get it in under 1130, I have to do this, like, and so I would tell myself, like I have to Oh my God, I'm trying to think of one that I could think of off the top of my head. I would. So one of them I actually always did was if I don't make it an under 1130, I have to run an extra lap, which like at the end of two miles, the last thing on earth I'd want to do is have to run another minute.

[00:55:05] Like have to run another like 10 yards. So I'd tell myself like, all right, if I don't make it an under 1130, I have to do that. Like, and it's literally, I'd make like a bet with myself and if I didn't make it, I would run it just because like the next time I know how terrible that felt. And I'd push myself a little bit more and just say, okay, you know what?

[00:55:27] Like, I don't want to run that extra, the extra lap, or if I If I lose the ball four times today, I have to go and I have to do whatever a hundred passes. Like let's say I would set up like two cones or set up like a mini goal and get like whatever a hundred yards away or whatever. I would say, all right, if I don't hit that cone or I'm going to have to do it like a hundred times, if I don't keep the ball for four times, or if I lose possession four times, I'm going to have to go do X, Y, and Z.

[00:55:58] So I would just find these like dumb things that, that I would tell myself and, and that way I, it would just hold my hold myself accountable. Another big one was I hated when we were doing fitness and other guys would cut corners. So I always told myself, like, if I ever cut a corner, like I have to do the whole fitness program over again.

[00:56:19] And so just little things like that, that, I mean, It's anybody else it's like, okay, what's, what's the big problem. I cut whatever an inch. I cut two inches, but those little things add up and there they add up in a negative way, not in a positive way. So it's just, again, it just goes back to awareness. And for me, like I had to do these things because if not, it was easy to coast.

[00:56:42] It was easy for me to get away with like, let's say an, a fitness, because I was always fit. I was always in the top 10% of runners. Well, it was easy for me to just say, Oh, well, I already, already did my job. I'm in the top 10% anyway. So it's, it's difficult to, to push yourself when you're there and you're already like at the top, but I mean, that's, that's, what's going to go a long ways in your career.

Taylor: [00:57:05] Yeah. So what would you, and I think those are, those are great, great things to do. And it's like You talked about the awareness of what works for you and what understanding like okay. For, for somebody else, you know, they would be fine with cutting corners. So that'd be fine with just being in the top 10%.

[00:57:23]But for you, you were saying like, I need, I need something for myself to be, make sure that I'm always doing my best. So what would you say to, to parents are even even more, you can say, maybe to coaches who want to try to instill this in their players, like how how do you get everybody motivated to, to kind of be that high achiever to have that type of what really kind of came to my mind when you were saying this stuff was like copay's Mamba mentality, right.

[00:57:49] Having that, that mentality of like. I have to, I have to be the best I have to. I had to be kind of a beast. So what would you say to parents who want to instill that in their, in their, in their players or maybe for players themselves, or even coaches who want to kind of instill that environment into their teams?



[00:58:07] I think it's a matter of sitting down with them and, and just reiterating like, Hey, what are your goals? Okay, well, you want to make a pro okay, well, this is what it's going to take and making like a game plan, because there's every kid that plays you, soccer says, Oh, I want to be a pro. I want to be a pro.

[00:58:25] I want to be a pro, but very, very few are putting in the work that you need to, to get there. And so I think it's important to sit down and just say, Hey, look, these are the types of things that it takes to, to get there. And if, if you really want to, if you really want to do it, you're gonna, you're going to sacrifice some things you're really gonna put in that work to get there.

[00:58:46] But if you don't, you're not going to do it. And so. I think it's just being realistic with yourself and saying, Hey, am I willing to put in the work? If yes, then. Awesome. That's great. That's a great dream to have, but if you're not willing to put in the work, then you clearly don't want it that much. So I think it's difficult because I definitely think there's things that you can do to, to help push players.

[00:59:11] But I also think they need to have that like internal desire to get there and that passion and, and but again, like figuring out your motivation, I think is really, is really a big, big factor in it because it's not always going to be easy. Like I'm not going to say that things were always a hundred percent clear and I always knew I wanted to do this.

[00:59:33] And I was always putting in the work. Like, I mean, no trajectory is going to be like this. It's always going to be, you're going to have your ups. You're gonna have your downs, but, but trying to weather the storm and, and trying to. To carry on with the momentum when you have it going is, is big time as well.

[00:59:50] Yeah. 

Taylor: [00:59:51] And that kind of dislike, you said that trajectory, that kind of reminds me of, like, I don't know if you've seen that graphic online. What, what you think success is, is just like the straight line up. And then what actual success is. It's like you go down and you have a pitfall, you go up and then you come back down.

[01:00:04] Like, you're just like, that's a great thing for soccer, but also I think that's a great thing for life. Cause like you're going to have ups and downs. You're gonna have peaks and valleys and it's all about how you respond 

Gabriel: [01:00:16] to that for sure. Yeah. I mean, like you said earlier, I mean, you want to control what you can control.

[01:00:21] Cause there's other factors that, that, I mean, you have no say in, or no matter how hard you work, you, you could have a coach that just doesn't like you or you don't fit in their system, but again, like how you respond, you control your development. It's easy to say, Oh, this coach doesn't, it doesn't like me or I don't fit in a system.

[01:00:40] And so. Just whatever I'm going to do the bare minimum. It's not, it doesn't make sense to try my hardest, cause it doesn't really matter in the end. He's not going to play me anyways. Well, you need to have that mental fortitude to say, you know what and the vision to say, Hey, this coach, isn't going to coach me forever.

[01:00:58] And if I'm just over here soaking, or if I'm over here just doing the bare minimum, I'm hurting myself more than I'm hurting him because he's going to have his job next season. But me, if I stay stagnant, if I just do the bare minimum, like I'm not going to get better. If I'm still trying, I'm still busting my butt on the field.

[01:01:16] I mean, I'm going to get better. Even if I'm not playing games in training, like training every day will help a ton. And so one season from, from having a bad experience, you could take it two different ways. You could say, Hey, you know what? Like I don't like this coach and have a bad attitude about it.

[01:01:34] And, or you could say, you know what? I don't care about the coach and. I'm going to do this for myself. And I think that's a, it takes a really like strong-willed person or really like mentally strong player to do that. 

Taylor: [01:01:50] Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, that's getting pretty close to the end, but I want to say, I appreciate it.

[01:01:57] Thank you so much, Gabriel. I, I appreciate you getting on and it was awesome to kind of be able to talk to you and to learn about your About your background, but also what you're, what you're doing now and kind of your thoughts on, on development, thoughts on being able to, to overcome and enter persevere and having the right attitude?

[01:02:15] I think it's, it's, it was really beneficial for me and I know it's gonna be beneficial for our listeners, but I do want to ask, is there anything that you would like to share with the listeners or anything that you would want to, to kind of tell what, what you're doing a little bit? I mean, maybe you can plug your podcast or talk a little bit about your, your Facebook group, because I think you're doing awesome work there.

Gabriel: [01:02:36] Yeah. So, so again, we're just trying to give resources to kids that, that have the, the dreams of helping her, the dreams of playing professionally one day. I mean, again, we, when we were playing club or before we went to the other 17, 17 national team, there was a lot of things that we had no idea about. And so.

[01:02:55] Once we, I mean, it's nice for us now because we've been through every single, like level of the U S pyramid. So we've been from Leary, a YSO to Y YMCA to to everything you could imagine. I mean club college professionally semi-professionally. So it's nice for us to have some insight into that.

[01:03:15] And so if we could help any kid shorten their learning curve whether it's like things that they have to focus on or, or things that they could do better to, to get their, their development going I mean, we're always, we're always happy to help. So yeah, we started this, this mentorship program where we're, we're talking to kids and, and giving them resources.

[01:03:36] We have an awesome network now, since we played in so many places in so many different teams. So we're trying to get all the people that we think are the best that we had exposure to throughout our plan careers and just basically passing on our network to, to the next generation. So they have the resources that they need to, to achieve what they want.

[01:04:00] Yeah, that's huge. And I think that's, and you guys talked about the importance of networking in one and one of your episodes. So again, like having. Kind of like having you guys as mentors to be able to help them out and say, Hey, this is, this is what we've built up already. And here you go. And like being able to, to offer that to the next generation, I think is, is really admirable and it, and it kind of speaks to a lot to your guys' characters and what you guys are trying to do.


[01:04:24] yeah, I think so for me, I think mentorship is one of the biggest things in the world. I mean, one of the most important things that's like utilized because for me, anything new, I, I, I want to try and do any, any industry that I want to venture into. The first thing I do is read a book. And it's usually like an autobiography or something like that.

[01:04:46] And it's my form of mentorship. Like I want to take their experiences and I want to learn from them because I don't want to commit the same mistakes that they did or, or let's say like entrepreneurship, we're starting this this mentorship program. I mean, it's a new industry for me. So for me, the first thing I did is I went to go look for for a mentorship program.

[01:05:06] So now I'm a part of a group of entrepreneurs. So we can learn for the one from the ones that have already done it before, and we could learn together like as a group. And so for me, I think it's important first to, to build a community. And this that's, what we're trying to do is to have a bunch of like-minded people, because it's, it's a long road and it's difficult.

[01:05:26] And having people by your side is, is gonna help a lot to push you when you're down. And so, yeah, we're just trying to build just a company that provides resources and. And that puts out good concept, like valuable content, because I think it's, I see a lot of content out there and it's, it's very like surface level stuff and we want to put like impactful and really valuable information that we've gathered throughout our careers.

Taylor: [01:05:55] That's huge. And I think one of the things that, that stuck out to me from what you just said, like, like you want to have the structure in place, right? You want to be able to kind of learn from those people are, I shouldn't say structure. Maybe you want to have that support in place for you. Like, you know, whenever you're going into something new, you want to go.

[01:06:16] Go to somebody who's kind of been through it already, whether it be business, whether it be in whatever you're pursuing, even in soccer, you want to have somebody who's been through all that stuff for you. And here's now being able to, to help you, who's able to say, Hey, this is what you can do. So you learn from my mistakes and, and to be able to have that support system and kind of build that support system, I think is, is super valuable.

[01:06:41] Right? And I think it's, it's, it's something admirable to be able to kind of take and kind of look at. And again, for me, for myself personally, I I do the same thing. I tried to be able to go in and try to read as much as I can. But also, like I said, like reaching out to mentors, reaching out to people who I know who have been on this, this journey of trying to help youth players who can then be able to give me their advice and what I can be doing.

[01:07:06] And. Like you said, give valuable giving meaningful information out there so that they really understand like, okay, you, this is what you want. Like, this is what you need to expect. 

Gabriel: [01:07:18] Yeah. Yeah, no, for sure. I mean, and the, the most important thing with mentors is, is realizing it's not just you asking them questions.

[01:07:26] It's not just you, it's not just them knowing everybody or knowing everything. It's literally them. Just guiding you in a way that, that they know is a bit beneficial because they have a little bit more insight than you, but also making you think for yourself. I think that's, that's the most important thing.

[01:07:44] It's, it's literally teaching them how to think or teaching them, giving them these tools or giving them these frameworks so they could work things out because you're not always going to be there. There's going to be situations where things are down, whether it's in a game and they just gave three bad passes in a row.

[01:08:02] Well, you're not going to be there to, to say, Hey, you know what? Pick your head up. It's not a big deal. Like look onto the next one is giving them, them, Frank, these, giving them these frameworks that let's say like, You know what, okay. You made a mistake. That's fine. Like making mistakes is perfectly fine.

[01:08:18] As long as you learn from them, just don't let it happen again. Like analyze that, ask yourself questions. Why did I lose the ball? Oh, is it because my, my left foot, my plant foot was, was too far back or I wasn't balanced or I tried to, to flick it. And there was a guy I wasn't aware that there was another dude over here.

[01:08:36] So it's, they're just these little frameworks that I think that we've learned from all the, I mean, we've had the benefit of playing with world cup winners. I've been coached by two world cup winners. I've so like these things add up and you start learning and picking and choosing all these, these awesome things that these guys have experienced.

[01:08:57] So being able to. I can gather like frameworks from these, like the best of the best. I mean, it's, it's awesome to be able to say, Hey, you know what? I can pass these along to, to the next generation. That way they don't need to wait another 15 years to learn it. I mean, they're doing it from a young age and implementing these frameworks so they could, so it could be put to good use and it'll it'll boost their, their chances of going pro or just living out their dreams, whether it's playing collegiately or, or whatever it may be.

[01:09:29] Yeah. 

Taylor: [01:09:31] That's awesome. I appreciate it. Thank you so much. And I know that's that you guys are going to be successful because that's your guys' goal. Your dream is to be able to help. And like you said, be able to help these players have that structure, have that those frameworks as they were going to be able to help them in the future.

[01:09:49] So I appreciate all the time. I appreciate all the info. I know I learned a lot and I think it's going to be super beneficial. So I appreciate your time. 

Gabriel: [01:09:57] No, no problem. Thanks for having me. It was awesome. Yeah. We'll Oh, absolutely. 

Taylor: [01:10:00] Absolutely.