I was born in Madras, India, but raised in Brookfield, Wisconsin. I was adopted when I was 3 years old and really grew to love and appreciate my life in the Midwest. I have no family in Miami and truthfully I didn’t know much about the city itself when I decided to move here. However, I did know that the last time it snowed here was in 1977, so that was appealing. I visited for vacation on December 1st, 2012 for two weeks. I told myself if I found a job in those two weeks, I would move here permanently. Two days later I landed a job and I made the move official on Christmas Day that same year. It definitely took me a while to get adjusted, but overall I’m glad I took that leap of fait
I’ve played soccer my whole life and I’ve been coaching since I was 16. So, after about a year of getting accustomed to Miami life, I knew it was time to get back to what I love. I love working with kids. I love their honesty, I love watching them grow and I love their innocence. They bring a type of joy to life that’s hard to replicate. I reached out to a local youth soccer program, Soccer 5 Academy, and applied for a coaching position. About a month later, I accepted a head coaching position with their competitive youth travel program, Soccer 5 United, for it’s inaugural season. After a year of coaching, I accepted the club’s offer to become Director of that same program for the 2016/2017 season.
My goal, of course, is to grow this program into something great. But at the foundation of it, I want this program to develop our youth, boys and girls, into respectful, confident and productive members of the community. I want kids in Miami to have an opportunity to excel on the field, but more importantly, I want them to be prepared and excited to excel off the field as well. Last season, every player on my team had at least a 3.0 GPA, with 3 players achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA. In addition, they all received great conduct grades from their teachers. Did we have success on the field too? Yes, we won a tournament, placed 2nd in another, and finished 1st in our league (undefeated), but none of that matters if our players aren’t succeeding in the classroom first.
As a program, we’ve structured ourselves to ensure that the kids are at the heart and remain at the heart of every decision we make. Soccer 5 United is not about me, it”s not about the coaching staff, it’s not about the parents or the fans, it is truly about the kids.
My dream is that somehow, someway, I have a positive and lasting impact on Miami’s youth. My dream is that our players grow into adults that they are proud to be. My dream is that through our club they always feel a sense of family no matter how long they play or where they end up. My dream is that they develop a love for the game and life that they are excited to pass on to the generation that follows.