Didi Barreto, Former Brazilian Soccer Player, Inspired by US National Soccer Team

Didi Baretto watched the US Women’s National Soccer Team bring home Gold this summer and that helped inspire her to continue creating a new club soccer program in Naperville.

US Women’s Soccer

Griping the nation with dynamic play and off-the-field flare, the US Women’s National Soccer Team has inspired the next generation of youth soccer.

Didi Barreto, “I watched all those games and the US bring us so much passion. It’s a family. It’s connection. It’s brought us to be a champion again. Another World Cup to the US. It’s amazing. I’m from Brazil, I love my team but I love the game. But when we play a great game like the US played I had goose bumps.”

Didi Barreto would know the fervor surrounding a national team, seeing that she was a part of Brazil’s World Cup squad spanning the late 80s through the 90s as a goalie.

Barreto, I never thought in my life I could play on that level that I played on the National team. That was a surprise because when I started my career I was a forward and I play on the midfield I play as a sweeper and then one time the goalie on our team back in Brazil got hurt and she didn’t want to play goalie anymore and the coach asked and I said I can do it.

Wolf Soccer Club

The commitment and passion that Barreto had while she played goalie for Brazil is what she and her business partner Eddie Palazios are trying to teach the next wave of young talent through the wolf soccer club in Naperville.

“You need to want it. You need to love it. You need to be competitive. And you need to have passion. And I have the passion and I am competitive. But right now I am filling the position of coach and I coach young ladies that I needed to back off of my passion a little bit because I need them to find their own passion and their own heart and together, we make that happen.”

“So we looked at it differently, and said listen. The idea is teach the kids fundamentals, teach them tactics, technique, grow them, it’ll come back to us. And we’ve done that, I’ve done that in my career as a coach. The passion she brings as well and we just started doing it that way. It’s not about the money.”

Passing on the Torch

Barreto and Palacios teamed up a couple years ago to create this new soccer program that is skill-centeric as opposed to result driven not just on the field but also away from it.

“This is their time, not my time, their time. So I want to be apart of that and make the difference so they can learn from me: be disciplined, be on time, and not just for them, but the parents. Parents always learn the same as I teach the kids and I love it.”

“The wealth comes from when you have a player who is 25 that I’ve coached, “hey coach how ya doing?” ring my doorbell, and give me a hug, ya know that is a payday.”

Their payday may not come in the form of money, but that’s not really the point. With the help of the US women’s soccer team and Didi Barrato and Eddie Palazios the soccer world is definitely inspired for years to come.

Reporting for Sports Story Sunday, I’m Kevin Jackman.

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