Juan Zamora is a 17-year old, Grand Rapid’s West Sider who first learned to play football at 3 years old when his dad, Juan Zamora Senior, bought him a soccer ball and showed him how to dribble.
Today, Juan is one of the fourteen hand-picked male athletes of the U.S. Youth Futsal team.
“The next day I received an email and it said “you have been selected to be on the team.” It was midnight and I ran downstairs and I told my parents. I woke them up and they were happy.”
Futsal is the official form of indoor soccer, a five on five game, played on an indoor court with hockey sized goals. Games are 20 minutes per half.
He says the national tryout was long and it included him traveling out of Michigan to tryout with players from all over the United States.
“I am the one that talks the most, and since I play in the back I see everything that is going on so I direct the team in what to do. I will shoot the ball from anywhere. I take risks.”
He says he owes his success to his family.
“My family is very supportive. They have been supportive since I was little. There were times when I was little, I didn’t want to keep playing, but my parents kept on telling me to keep playing.”
So, for now Juan will keep playing and representing the U.S Youth Futsal Team from Michigan.
Michelle Jokisch Polo for WGVU News.