Mike Potempa exchanged experiences and met new soccer talents
Mike Potempa, director of the Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy – recognized as the best high-school level soccer program in the US – came to PUCRS Sports Park earlier in December. During his visit, the former soccer player and coach checked out the structure and the new talents of Orlando City Soccer School (OCSS) in Rio Grande do Sul. In the USA, Montverde Academy and the Orlando City Soccer Club have a strategic partnership in education.
In Potempa’s view, having education and sport put together in the same setting becomes a philosophy of life for the US youth and he hopes this becomes a reality in Brazil too. “Sport is an opportunity for life, it helps develop people”, adds he. As for OCSS at PUCRS, it grabbed his attention that teachers and coaches are willing to learn more about new coaching methodologies. “We want the Porto Alegre program to mirror the Orlando program in terms of the activities carried out. I enjoyed the energy and passion for soccer and for kids here”, complements he.
His morning tour included a meeting with Orlando City Soccer School teachers and PUCRS professors to exchange experiences. The main topics addressed were discipline and the awareness of the importance of sport in school life. “In the USA, Orlando City sees the Porto Alegre project as a very good opportunity. It is something new to Brazil as it is educational in nature. The director’s visit has shown us how unique this initiative is”, says Pedro Viana, representative of OCSS in Rio Grande do Sul.
In the afternoon, Potempa attended the sessions of the Performance category. The youth aged 16-21, in addition to having soccer practice, have instruction in English as they learn technical skills and techniques to improve the physical conditioning. This is also a good opportunity for these kids to study abroad, as they can get admission into US universities if they keep a good performance at Orlando City Soccer School. “We’re very proud to have Potempa here. He knows a lot and can make a very meaningful contribution to the personal and professional growth of the kids”, says Márcio Müller, coordinator of PUCRS Sports Park.
The methodology and training schedule of Orlando City Soccer School were scientifically developed in the USA and are the same as those that are used in the first team. Teachers and coaches have been carefully selected and trained in view of the standards required for both the youth and professional leagues of the USA. The training venues are equipped with state-of-the-art structures, quality and safety.
More about Mike Potempa
Mike Potempa started his career as the main coach of the Montverde Academy Boys soccer team in January 2010. In 2012, under his direction, the team was recognized as the best high school-level soccer program in the US by MaxPreps.com. The program of Montverde soccer academy has helped more than 150 undergraduate athletes and awarded them with scholarships and sports grants for colleges and universities all over the country.
As a player, Potempa represented the Team USA in the FIFA 1995 World Cup under 17, in Quito, Ecuador. He was the first male soccer player in the history of the program to be recognized as an academic and athletic All-American in the same year. As a coach, Potempa has worked with more than 20 student-athletes who eventually joined the Major League Soccer and overseas. He is an experienced English and Essay Writing teacher at Academia Montverde, where he has served as Director of Athletics.
The History of Orlando City Soccer Club
Founded in 2010, Orlando City Soccer Club is based in Orlando, Florida (USA). In 2013, it was bought by Brazilian entrepreneur Flávio Augusto da Silva. On Nov 19, 2013, the club was announced as the league’s 21st franchise. It joined the Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2015, along with New York City.
On Mar 5, 2017, Orlando City Stadium opened its doors for the first time. More than 25,000 spectators watched Orlando City beat New York City FC 1 – 0. Right after the opening, the stadium was home to a qualifying match for the Men’s World Cup in the USA, and to the finals of the National Women’s Soccer League in 2017.