Hello and welcome to our TOCA Blog Series that focuses on our coaches and their journeys to TOCA! Today, we would like to highlight coach Ricardo.
Ricardo González, originally born in El Salvador, is one of our most popular coaches. After training in Florida and going to school on scholarship, he took his talents to Chile to play soccer at a professional level, and from there things began to take off.
“I moved to Chile in South America, that’s where my parents were living at the time, so I moved back with them. I played with two teams,I was 18 at the time so I played U19. I did a tryout [for] Huachipato, a first division team, so I played U19 with them. Audax Italiano, I did a tryout with them. When I was waiting for that trial, I was contacted by an agent from Spain, [and] he said ‘come over to Barcelona’. We had a few talks, and then I actually did.”
Despite getting an offer from Audax Italiano after going to Spain, Ricardo decided to stay and play in the Spanish fourth division. After two years at a very high level, he decided to continue his journey playing and training around the world. In 2018, he made the move to Vancouver, BC.
“I also played with Cap (Capilano University) for two seasons. That was also a very good experience, the first college soccer experience for me. It has been very exciting.”
As an attacking midfielder, a few modern day soccer players stand out for coach Ricardo.
“From today’s game, one of the players I identify with is Kevin De Bruyne. I really like how he finds pockets of space and he’s very good at identifying runs and making key passes. Bruno Fernandes is another one. I really liked Isco when he was playing at his best with Real Madrid. James Rodriguez was another one. There’s been quite a few that I’ve really liked over the years. At the moment, Kevin De Bruyne is the player I like the most. I also like Neymar a lot.”
When it comes to TOCA Training, Ricardo shares a similar opinion to many of the customers, as he knows he would have loved the specific skill training that the centres offer for development.
“I know that it can have a big impact. Just the factor of the repetition and then if you get the right coaching too, you can’t really match it anywhere else.”
Other than the training itself, something TOCA strives for is development not just for soccer but for character, and the goal-setting, driven culture definitely connects with Ricardo and what he most enjoys from coaching.
“I just like the fact that here we can really impact people’s lives and help them achieve their goals. Knowing how important we can be in a player’s journey is extremely rewarding.”