For the five resident players from Mexico's Cordica Soccer League, the year-round soccer training provided at the IMG Academy soccer program isn't enough to quench their soccer hunger.
âWhen we have down time,â said Myoshi Nagoya, âwe can play soccer whenever we want. And the fields are awesome.â
This year, Nagoya, Jose Pablo Covarrubias, Enrique De Anda, Enrique Orendain and Enrique Pena - all U-14 players - enrolled at the Academy through an exchange program with the Guadalajara-based Cordica. Dozens of other Cordica players also recently spent a week training at the Academy.
For the five who are wrapping up their first year at IMG Academy, the experience has already proved invaluable to their development in soccer and life.
When not spending hours on the soccer field, they play tennis on one of the dozens of courts. They've seen tennis start Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic roaming the campus. They've met Mexican National Team member Cuauhtemoc Blanco when the Chicago Fire trained on campus. They've even learned a bit of Portuguese and Russian languages.
âWe've made a lot of friends here,â Covarrubius said. âYou meet people from all around the world.â
They've also learned some responsibility.
âYou learn to be without your family,â Pena said. âIt helps you mature. It helps you grow up.â