We sat down with Villarreal Las Vegas Academy Director Jordan Greenway as the academy opens.
Please tell us about your soccer background.
My father is from Malaga, Spain and I grew up watching Spanish ‘fúbtol’. At a young age, I was taught the Spanish way of playing soccer. As a midfielder, I modelled my style on the greats: Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and Sergio Busquets. I played on competitive youth club teams in my home city of Los Angeles from six to 18 years old. During my high school years, I was playing simultaneously for my high school team and my competitive youth club team. In my second year of college at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), I singlehandedly created UNLV’s first club soccer organization. This involved founding the legal organization, hiring coaches, recruiting players, and serving as the player captain for the club. This year, I created a new 4th division American soccer organization called the Students of Las Vegas Futbol Club (SLV). Because of the professionalism I showed to the league, I also was recruited by the United Premier Soccer League (4th division) to serve as the Conference manager for the entire state of Nevada.
Explain your vision of coaching to us.
My vision is to bring the Spanish style of ‘fútbol’ to our club. I believe American soccer lacks the quality and style that kids in Spain are accustomed to. My father grew up in Spain during the Johan Cruyff era of ‘Total Fútbol’. He instilled these methods in me and shaped the way I play the sport. It was always frustrating to be coached by Americans that had no understanding of these methods. Now that I have the opportunity to start an academy, I want to change how Americans coach and play. I am honored that Villarreal CF has given me the excellent opportunity to do this.
What made you decide to partner with Villarreal CF?
There are very few teams in the world like Villarreal CF that have developed mature international academy systems. Unlike most clubs, Villarreal CF has shown to me that they have much more involvement and truly care about the success of their academies. In the conversations I have had with them, I have been impressed by the professionalism, and enthusiasm to help us succeed properly. I am honored that such an important world class team is giving us this opportunity.
What will set Villarreal Las Vegas apart from other soccer academies in Nevada?
Villarreal Las Vegas will:
- be the only European professional academy in all of Nevada.
- offer superior proven coach and player training.
- offer the opportunity to play in Spain.
- offer the only organized path for players to be scouted by a professional team in Spain.
What opportunities will Villarreal Las Vegas give to young boys and girls in the community?
For the first time, the boys and girls of Las Vegas will be able to train with and compete for an official European professional soccer academy. Through this club, they will learn the Villarreal CF style of ‘fútbol’ from our Spanish trained coaches. Furthermore, they will have the opportunity travel to Spain not only to see and learn top quality soccer, but also experience the country’s beautiful culture and language.
What are the long-term goals for Villarreal Las Vegas?
I believe that the long-term goal for Villarreal Las Vegas is to become one of the strongest academies in the entire country. As a club, our players are of the utmost importance. Whether they are striving to play in Europe, or just want to play college soccer here in the United States, we want each academy player to enjoy the game and have the opportunity to have a bright future in soccer.
For more information about Villarreal Las Vegas, contact email@example.com or (+1) 702–879–9940.