SoCal Player Chooses to Play in Atlantic Coast Conference

Roman Martin, a midfield playmaker from San Diego, recently committed to Wake Forest University.  Martin, who plays for the Nomads U18 Academy in the USSF, has just recently returned from Croatia, where had spent the summer training with the U19 program at GNK Dinamo Zagreb.

When asked about his decision, Martin indicated that a big part of the draw was the brand of soccer that is played at Wake Forest.  “It is an attractive attacking style  — on both sides of the ball – and that fits the way how I have been taught to play,” said Martin.  “Coach Vidovich also has a great track record of producing results and getting the most from his players, and that was important to me”

photo

At 6’1” and 160 lbs, Martin is viewed as a versatile player that can play higher up the field in a playmaking role or in a defensive role in the midfield or along the back 4.  In addition to training at Dinamo Zagreb, Martin has also played extensively in Brazil and Europe.  In the two previous summers, Martin played over 70 games for two different Brazilian clubs in Spain, Portugal, England, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Martin currently attends the La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego and graduates in June of 2015.

Brazil and American Football

When you think of sports in Brazil, soccer is the first thing that comes into your mind.  Well, over the last few years there has been a huge underground development of American football in South America. Brazilian players such as Raiam Santos (University of Pennsylvania, punter), Heron Azevedo, (Wide Receiver, Pacific University) to name a few, are playing for their National Football Team – in Brazil.

Neymar Raiam

Brazilian soccer superstar Neymar, with Raiam Santos, former Penn punter and current TV analyst for Brazil

Raiam a former  kicker from San Diego High School in San Diego, California and current Kicking System student, played for the sprint football team at University of Pennsylvania.

“There has been a lot of news about the World Cup in Brazil this year, but American football is picking up steam and I see a bright future for our leagues,” said Santos.  “I could never have imagined kicking for my country’s national football team, it was never a discussion, the NFL has enormous popularity now and I can only see that growing.”  Raiam will be announcing NFL games in Portuguese on TV starting this fall.

In January 2012, Brazil played its first game in national soil, and beat Chile 33-0 in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. In April 2014, Brazil played Uruguay at Estadio Charrua in the capital city of Uruguay, Montevideo. Brazil won 49-0. Azevedo was the game most valuable player with three touchdowns.

There are about 3,000 registered American Football players in Brazil. Coach Dan Muller chose the eighty top-performing players from the two local leagues Torneio Touchdown and CBFA. These eighty players took part in a three day training camp in São Paulo, Brazil in 2013. Only forty-five players were called to represent Brazil in Montevideo in the 2014 exhibition match.

Traditional soccer teams in Brazil such as Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Corinthians, Santos, Coritiba, Botafogo and Portuguesa have started their own American Football teams.   Each team is allowed to field two Americans (most of them play quarterback and have college football experience).

What does the future hold?

Brazil will play against Panamá on January 31st, in 2015. Winner will have the right to represent the Americas at the 2015 IFAF World Cup in Sweden.  The local federation expects a sold-out crowd at Estadio Rommel Fernandez, their 32,000-seat national stadium. USA, Canada and Mexico already qualified.

Currently Brazil has two kickers in NFL: Tennessee Titans’ Maikon Bonani and KC’s Cairo Santos (2012 Lou Groza Award winner)

 

Portuguese Translation

 

Quando você pensa em esporte no Brasil, o futebol pentacampeão é a primeira coisa que vem a sua cabeça. Bom, o futebol americano tem se desenvolvido debaixo dos panos na América do Sul inteira nos últimos anos. E o Brasil parece ser o núcleo do crescimento desse esporte na região. Jogadores brasileiros como Raiam dos Santos (punter da University of Pennsylvania) e Heron Azevedo (wide receiver da Pacific University) estão jogando pela seleção nacional… sim, no Brasil. Raiam é aluno do Kicking System há 8 anos, desde quando era kicker da equipe varsity da San Diego High School na California.

Ele seguiu sua carreira na University of Peynnsylvania. “Quando estou fora do país, todo mundo me pergunta sobre a Copa do Mundo de futebol no Brasil mas o futebol americano está bombando por aqui e vejo um futuro muito próspero para a liga local do nosso esporte”, disse ele. “Nunca me imaginei vestindo a camisa do meu país em um jogo internacional. Fora isso, a popularidade da NFL no Brasil é enorme e o céu é o limite”. Raiam vai comentar jogos da NFL e e de College Football na TV pela segunda temporada consecutiva, começando em setembro. Em janeiro de 2012, o Brasil jogou sua primeira partida internacional dentro de casa. A Seleção ganhou do Chile de 33 a 0 em Foz do Iguaçu, no sul do país. Em abril de 2014, foi a vez de viajar para o Uruguai e dominar os anfitriões em pleno Estadio Charrua.

O placar final foi 49 a 0 e Heron Azevedo foi escolhido o melhor jogador da partida graças a seus 3 touchdowns. Há mais de 4.000 jogadores federados de futebol Americano no Brasil. Em meados de 2013, o técnico da Seleção Danilo Muller escolheu os oitenta melhores jogadores das duas principais ligas do país – Torneio Touchdown e CBFA – para participar de um training camp no interior de São Paulo. Dali saíram os 45 jogadores que representaram o Brasil no amistoso em Montevideo, Uruguai.

Equipes tradicionais de futebol como Flamengo, Corinthians, Vasco da Gama, Botafogo, Coritiba, Santos e Portuguesa já reconheceram o boom do futebol americano e criaram suas próprias equipes. Todas elas, com exceção do Coritiba, participam do Torneio Touchdown. Cada equipe pode contar com, no máximo, 2 atletas americanos. A maioria deles joga de quarterback e têm experiência no futebol universitário da NCAA. E o futuro? Brasil jogará contra um mata-mata contra o Panamá dia 31 de janeiro de 2015. O vencedor do jogo levará a última vaga do continente americano para o a Copa do Mundo IFAF 2015 na Suécia. A federação local espera lotação máxima no Estadio Rommel Fernandez, arena nacional com capacidade para 32.000 pessoas na Cidade do Panamá. Estados Unidos, Canadá e México já estão classificados. Atualmente, o Brasil tem dois kickers na NFL: Maikon Bonani no Tennessee Titans e o vencedor do Troféu Lou Groza 2012 Cairo Santos no Kansas City Chiefs.

 

 

Hawaii Football Kicking Camp, August 20-27th, 2014

The Kicking System has announced a football kicking camp during the week of, August 20-27th, 2014. Throughout the week TKS will offer private and group kicking lessons in the island of Kauai.

IMG_0310

National Kicking Coach, John Matich, coaching Portland HS kicker, Owen White

“We are pleased to offer another kicking camp outside of California, we love coming to Kauai every summer and offering our professional kicking services. Once again, expect high level instruction that includes cutting-edge kicking techniques, mental preparation, dynamic warm-ups, and flexibility programs,” TKS, Director of Kicking, John Matich.

Just recently, TKS held their annual Summer Kicking Camp in San Diego, CA. With an established kicking program, TKS has become know nation-wide as the elite academy for kickers and punters to train.

“We are prepared to build relationships with our students and guide them through their entire kicking career from Pop-Warner to the professional levels. The are not gimmicks here, just solid results. We enjoy developing a system for each student and pound in the fundamentals,” John Matich.

Please schedule in advance as there are limited spots available.  See you in the island!

About The Kicking System
The Kicking System is a football & soccer kicking academy based in San Diego, CA. For over 10 years, Kicking Coach John Matich has been working with pop warner, high school, professional kickers and soccer players from across the nation. The Kicking System has helped place more than 60+ high school athletes to colleges nationwide. Coach Matich a former Boston College and professional kicker is nationally recognized and has been featured in the San Diego Union Tribune, Scout.com, and numerous publications across the nation.  The Kicking System approach to unique in that we provide a patient, disciplined, professional environment in which students thrive and make tremendous improvements.

Roman Martin, a U.S.-based player, try-out with GNK Dinamo Zagreb this week

TKS NEWS

by Carleton J. Brown

Roman Martin, a U.S.-based soccer player, was called in for a try-out with GNK Dinamo Zagreb.

Martin has played internationally with several different Brazilian clubs, including having played over 70 games in England, Spain, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.

photo

Roman Martin, a U.S.-based soccer player, training with GNK Dinamo this week

Martin is the product of the youth development program at the Nomads Soccer Club in San Diego, California. Widely known as a midfield playmaker, Martin is 1.85 meters tall. In addition to his attacking prowess, Martin has a reputation as a formidable defender, bringing a big physical presence to the middle third of the field. Martin, who is 17 years old, is currently training with Dinamo’s U19 team. “It’s a privilege to train here with Dinamo Zagreb,” said Martin. “I understand and respect the long history of player development that has occurred here. No matter where you are from, that’s a big draw for any young footballer.”

The Zagreb-based club is commonly thought of as one of the leading professional clubs in Europe. What is drawing increasing attention, however, is the club’s success with its youth development programs, as well as its global reach. Players like Martin from the U.S. understand what it means to be part of the tradition of excellence at Nogometna Skola Dinamo.

The club is credited with producing a long list of big name stars like Luka Modric (Real Madrid), and recently the 17-year old sensation Alan Halilovic (FC Barcelona), among others.

Other Media Background:

http://www.socceramerica.com/article/53357/nomads-martin-invited-to-join-brazilian-club.html

http://www.soccernation.com/roman-martin-shines-in-europe-cms-4643

http://www.soccernation.com/san-diego-soccer-player-roman-martin-makes-a-splash-overseas-cms-3193

Recap: TKS Summer Football Camp July, 2014

Not even the rain, lightning and thunder kept the campers from going out and kicking this past weekend here in San Diego, CA. Over 20+ kickers came together for a TKS Summer Kicking Camp.

Students came from all over the United States and internationally. TKS had students from all corners of the country which included Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Oregon.

IMG_0242

Davey Last, University of San Diego kicker, works with TKS Campers

Nick Sloan, kicker for the Naval Academy, Davey Last, University of San Diego kicker and Ethan Swerdlow, former punter from Lafayette College were on hand to help coach the younger kickers.

“This was the best quality kicking camp we have ever had,” said TKS Director John Matich, “the professionalism and quality instruction from our coaches was outstanding, the campers definitely tapped their knowledge bank. This camp exemplifies our direct goal of having high quality instruction in a positive atmosphere.”

Owen White, from Central Catholic High School from Portland, Oregon was the camp MVP. Own won the field goal competition from 53 yards and gave a great push to the college kickers by making the finals. Nick Sloan, earned the title by kicking a monstrous 55 yard field goal.

IMG_0310

Owen White from Portland, Oregon, about to hit his 53-yard field goal!

“We really enjoy working with each individual student and family and guiding them through the process. We cherish our relationships as we foster our students to become the nations best kickers and soccer players.  By continuing with our private training and small camp settings, we can guarantee you no kicker stands alone.”

Owen White kicked a 53-yard field goal to win the kicking competition. Will Dwyer, TKS Camper, flew in from Boston, Massachusetts to attend camp. Will attends the Governors Academy one of the oldest prep schools in the country, founded in the 1700’s.

Bill Spinney, from Explicit Fitness (xplicitfiness.com), in Mission Valley was on hand to put the campers through a demanding functional based dynamic warm-up.  Campers performed stretching, functional core work, and joint integrity exercises prior to kicking.

The Kicking System is planning their next kicking camp for September 28th in San Diego, CA.

About The Kicking System

The Kicking System is a football & soccer kicking academy based in San Diego, CA. For over 10 years, Kicking Coach Matich has been working with pop warner, high school, professional kickers and soccer players from across the nation. The Kicking System has helped place more than 60 high school athletes to colleges nationwide. Coach Matich a former Boston College and professional kicker is nationally recognized and has been featured in the San Diego Union Tribune and numerous publications across the nation.  The Kicking System approach to unique in that we provide a patient, disciplined, professional environment in which students thrive and make tremendous improvements.

San Diego Summer Kicking Camp – July 27th, 2014

Former Minnesota Vikings kicker and the second leading scorer in Boston College football history  John Matich, announced today that The Kicking System will open their National Kicking Camps on July 27th, 2014 in San Diego. Matich and his professional staff of football coaches will host the one-day Kicking Combine and San Diego Kicking Competition.

Coach Matich and The Kicking System have gained a reputation among many top college football programs as the most elite football kicking development system in the country.

For more information or to register to participate in The Kicking System, contact John Matich at 619-994-2364, or via email at john@kickingsystem.com.

 

 

 Brazil Versus Croatia: Match Preview

Croatia-Flag TKS Staff Writer

On the opening day of the 2014 World Cup, the Croatian national team goes into Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo as heavy underdogs. As the host country, Brazil is favored in the opening match at 11-1 odds and will be playing in front of an expected home crowd of 65,000.

But the pressure may very well be on Brazil.  Although only drawing from a country of 4 million people, Croatia will field a talented, veteran-laden squad with nearly 1,000 caps among its players — and a lot to play for.

The Balkans have been hard hit by flooding from cyclone Tamara in recent weeks, and the Croatian players are expected to take the field on Thursday buoyed by a ground swell of emotion about all that their countrymen (and the region in general) are going through.  On top of that, the Croatian side benefits from a rich legacy in football and a strong commitment to player development from its professional teams.  For example, Croatia is one of several successor countries to Yugoslavia, which had a rich history of international success in football.  In fact, it is because of their longstanding success in football that Yugoslavia’s national team (or the Plavi) ironically became known as the “Brazilians of Europe.”  Now, the great soccer traditions of that country are being carried into this year’s World Cup by Croatia and Bosnia–Herzegovina.

Croatia, in particular, has a recognized history in player development.  Its leading professional club, GNK Dinamo Zagreb, is widely regarded as one of the top youth development programs in Europe.   A series of big name stars have come through Dinamo’s youth system, including Luka Modric who plays in La Liga for Real Madrid. Modric will be the triggerman for Croatia in the opening match.  Paired with Sevilla’s Ivan Rakitic in Croatia’s midfield, Modric will be key if Croatia is to be successful in denying the Brazilians possession of the ball.

Another product of Dinamo Zagreb’s youth system is Eduardo da Silva (Shakhtar Donetsk).  In an interesting backdrop to the game, Eduardo is Brazilian born and made the move to Croatia to join Dinamo’s youth program.  Eduardo took up citizenship in Croatia in 2002 and is expected to see substantial action against Brazil due to the one-game suspension of Bayern Munich’s Mario Mandzukic, who received a red card in Croatia’s last qualifying match against Iceland.

Beyond Dinamo’s representation on Croatia’s side, their current U17 team is heralded as the best in Europe.  Other top professional clubs have taken notice. Most recently, FC Barcelona agreed to a deal to sign 17-year-old Croatia international Alen Halilovic from Dinamo Zagreb for an initial £1.8m.

Dinamo’s reputation in player development extends beyond Europe as well.  It has been reported that 17-year-old, U.S.-based Román Martin has been linked to a move to Dinamo Zagreb this summer.  Martin is a product of San Diego’s Nomads Soccer Club and will be enjoying his fourth stint overseas this summer having formerly toured Europe with two different Brazilian clubs. Other American players have garnered interest at Dinamo as well.  The draw of playing overseas continues to be the opportunity to be exposed to player development programs where there is an established track record of producing results like GNK Dinamo Zagreb.

When the opening match of the 2014 World Cup kicks off on June 12, no one should be surprised by the quality of play on both sides of the ball.  Croatia will field a team with not only depth and veteran experience, but also one of the best midfields in the World Cup. If Croatia can protect against the pace of Brazil on the wings, the opening game of the World Cup presents an intriguing early match up.

Flash News:  Set to take the field for Croatia in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup, Ivan Rakitic is reportedly set to sign with FC Barcelona. Rakitic, who was rumored to have fallen out of talks with his current club Sevilla, is now supposed to sign a long term deal with the Catalan club. Other clubs such as Athletico Madrid and Real Madrid have also expressed interest in the Croatian midfielder.  But FC Barcelona seems to now be front runner for Rakitic’s services as a potential replacement of Cesc Fabregas.