Installment #2 of "20 Questions with ..." where we ask ten soccer-related questions and 10 personal questions of some of our DYSC coaches, trainers and volunteers.
Next up is U11 Boys Trainer, Rui Amaral:
How did you become interested in soccer?
Since very young when I lived in Portugal, my grandfather loved a Portuguese team called, S.L.Benfica. In the 60’s they had a soccer player called Eusebio. Also known as “Pantera Negra” or “Black Panther”. So my grandfather always used to tell me about how amazing Eusebio was, how much he won for Benfica and how Eusebio helped Portugal climb to the top of the world of football.
How long have you been playing/coaching?
I always played soccer since I could walk, but organized soccer, I started playing when I first got to United States Of America in 1998. I was 11 and started to play for the Danbury Dragons from the P.A.L. After that I played at D.H.S. I only played 3 years, but those 3 years I played Varsity. Coaching, I started couple years ago, one of the best things I have done in my life. I love everything about it.
What teams/clubs have you played/coached for?
I first played for the Danbury Dragons, when they were part of the P.A.L. High school I played for Danbury High School. Now I just enjoy playing with friends in Men’s leagues around town. Under coaching so far, I have volunteer and help out with the U11 girls (Danbury Twisters), 1 season U10 girls, 2 seasons U10 boy’s (Outlaws and Enforcers) and now I’m moving up to U11 boy’s with the boy’s I just coached the past season.
Do you have a special pre-game routine or superstition?
I don’t really have any routine, but in one week if I have multiple games, I will use the same pair of soccer sox, unless I have a bad game. In that case I put them to wash and I use a new pair.
Did you play sports other than soccer?
At a competitive level I have not. But with friends I enjoy playing tennis, volleyball, of course beach soccer. Also with my dad and uncle I enjoy going hunting, fishing and go to the range for some trap shooting.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration would have to be my grandfather. He always told me to go for what I wanted. He also taught me a lot of things for future in life. Also he is the reason I am so much into soccer and follow S.L.Benfica. He was a great man, and I hope one day to be just as great as he was.
What has been your proudest moment on the field?
My proudest moment of the pitch as a soccer player would have to be my junior year at DHS. A game against Staples in the first round of states. The whole game we were getting outplayed by them, we were able to hold them to a scoreless match and go into over-time. Then 15 seconds into the first half of the over-time, I was able to score what we call a “garbage goal”. Out of a cross the goal keeper drops the ball and I was right there to tap it into the back of the net. Wasn’t my prettiest goal, but it meant a lot.
What has been your most embarrassing moment on the field?
After a rough sophomore season at DHS, we came to our last game and it was at home. Against a team we should not had a problem winning. It just happens that we lost. It was a cold rainy night game. The coach was very upset, so after the game he took us to the middle of field and told us to sit. After yelling at us for a couple of minutes, the coach told us to take off our uniforms, because we didn’t deserve to wear them. We had to walk out of the field in our underwear. Some of us had extra cloths, others did not. Most embarrassing moment on the pitch for me without a doubt.
Do you have a favorite professional soccer team? Player?
I do have a favorite soccer team, it is S.L.Benica. One of Portugal’s biggest and best clubs. I do cheer for other clubs such as Real Madrid. As a favorite player, I would have to say Eusebio. I do admire other players such a Luis Figo and of course Cristiano Ronaldo. All three are great players who done a lot for Portugal. CR7 might actually be Portugal’s best player ever, in my opinion. CR7 to me is the most complete player in the world, he does it all at a high level for many seasons consecutive.
Do you have any advice for kids who want to go further with their soccer skills?
My advice would be to follow your dreams no matter what people might tell you. Play as much soccer as possible and as much as you want. With friends, parents, sister, brother, who ever, just keep playing. Soccer not only will make you grow as a player, but also as a person. Just remember to always have fun.
What do you do in your off time?
On my off time I enjoy hanging out with friends, do some yard work, family gatherings, hunting, fishing and of course some pick up soccer with friends.
Is there a talent you wish you had?
No I like the kind of person I became. Maybe if I had a little more soccer skills wouldn’t be a bad thing, but I like what I became so far.
What did you want to be when you 'grow up'?
As a child that love soccer, I always wanted to be a professional soccer player. As I grew older I decided I just wanted to do anything that would make me happy and would give enough to have a great family and leave some time to coach and play some soccer.
What is your dream job?
Dream job right now would be, manager at a bank. Pay’s very good and it is a nice, clean job. Good in the hot summer days and even better in the winter cold days.
What's on your MP3 player?
I don’t own a MP3 player. Not very much into music, but I do listen to some things. In the car, I usually have the radio on the Portuguese radio station to listen to the Portuguese soccer league soccer report.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I don’t know if this would be considering a guilty pleasure. But I like to have the best of everything. So if it’s not the best I will search until I get it.
Where is your favorite vacation destination?
My favorite vacation spot would have to be Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was one of my first vacations and I love it. It’s a relaxing, fun, great weather, great people. Also it’s capitol of mini golfing, which is a fun exciting time with family.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what one thing could you not live without?
I would have to say, probably a soccer ball, to enjoy the beach and pass time. Or also a fishing pool to get me something to eat at the same time enjoying another fun sport.
Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to hang out with for a day?
I would really like to meet and hangout with Eusebio, hear some of his stories from when he won the champions league for Benfica in 1960 and 1961. But also I would like to meet Cristiano Ronaldo, see what his day to day life if like. See what his training sessions are like and what he does when he is away from the pitch.
What is one interesting thing people may not know about you?
This is a hard one I believe most people know me very well already. But one thing that not everybody might know about me is that I don’t know how to swim. Embarrassing I know, but I just never learned as a young kid, and now just have not tried it. I probably should though.
Thanks Coach Rui for sharing with us!