The Road To Becoming a Pro Soccer Player
Youth player turned professional soccer player Ariel Lassiter trained at San Diego’s Albion SC for five years. There is no magic wand, no special potion but a lot of hard work and great training pays off.
Developing a player from a young hopeful to one who signs a professional contract is a long road and a big accomplishment. It takes dedication on behalf of the player to reach the goal of becoming a professional soccer player. The youth soccer coaches developing the player have to be knowledgeable and experienced. And, those around the player have to be supportive and encouraging.
Ariel (20 yrs old) is currently playing professionally for GAIS. Commonly referred to as Grönsvart (Green Blacks), is based out of Gothenburg, Sweden, the second largest city in Sweden. After signing with GAIS, Ariel was offered a 2-year contract with NIKE and has gained interest from the Costa Rican U23 National Team Coached by Pablo Cesar Wanchope. He is also being watched very closely by Tab Ramos with the U21 US National Team squad.
The making of a player is complex and unique to each individual person’s own attributes and natural talents. Ariel Lassiter was a talented youth soccer player with a dream of becoming a professional and the personal determination to turn a wish into real life.
Of course, the dream became a reality because of hard work, but often making dreams happen requires more effort than one realizes. For second generation pro soccer player Ariel Lassiter, following in the famous footsteps of his father Roy Lassiter was a dream worth all the work. Roy Lassiter has held the all time record of most goals scored in one single MLS Season – a record that was only equaled by Chris Wondoloski in 2012. A prolific goal scorer, Roy Lassiter was a great role model for his son’s ambition.
While having a successful father may have its advantages, it can also add a lot of pressure for a young player. This is a pressure that never bothered Ariel who grew up knowing he just wanted a ball at his feet and had the urge to score goals.
Noah Gins, Technical Director at San Diego’s Albion SC is proud of Ariel Lassiter’s accomplishments and determination. Gins, who trained Ariel Lassiter for several years said, “Ariel came to Albion SC and when he was a U14 youth player. When he came to our club, we knew he was a very special player. Ariel had an understanding of the game that was years ahead of his age.”
“The thing about Ariel is he is pure instinct around the goal and was one of the best finishers in the country in his age group,” said Gins.
Roy Lassiter appreciates how Gins helped his son develop into the soccer player he is today. “Noah Gins was a great coach for Ariel and really pushed him to see how far he could go,” said Lassiter.
Was life always perfect for this talented youth player? Every player has his or her challenges and Ariel Lassiter had his. “Ariel was always an outstanding technical player but he was very small and a bit timid of the physical aspects of the game,” said Gins. “In the years with Albion SC, Ariel really developed all aspects of his game, mentally, physically, and tactically.”
Roy Lassiter agreed with Gins and said, “Ariel was always a finesse player and didn’t grow until he was older. He was a late bloomer. When he was younger, he didn’t get too involved in the physical aspects of the game. When he came to Albion SC, all the players were bigger than he was.”
“When it came to the physical battle, Albion SC helped him overcome his anxiety and concerns about the physical aspects of the game,” said Roy Lassiter.
“Working with Noah Gins helped Ariel become the player he is today. Coming to Albion was a good move for Ariel. I had been trained Ariel from the age of two years old until I released him to Noah. I always wanted him to just enjoy the game,” said Lassiter.
A proud dad, Lassiter senior recalls when he coached his son before coming to Albion SC to train. “My time training, developing and coaching Ariel was priceless and I enjoyed taking his strengths and making them better, while also working on the areas that were not polished yet. I was very proud when Ariel pushed onto the professional level. It is what he always wanted and expected from himself and to see him do it now is very rewarding,” said Lassiter.
“It was Ariel’s decision to become a professional soccer player. I never pressured Ariel to be like me – my desires were always for him to be better than me, if he wanted to do this.”
What will the future hold for this player to watch? “I will expect to see Ariel playing for our National Team and/or Costa Rica National Team and really excelling as a professional,” said Gins.