By Mayra Franco
MISHAWAKA, Indiana (WBND-LD) — A soccer celebrity known as ‘Hollywood’ is bringing his expertise to kids in Michiana.
But, before we hear all about the summer camp fun, we wanted to share how he founded futboleros.
The founder James Ortega spent over 30 years playing soccer professionally and had the vision to entertain the soccer world with more than just dribbling the ball.
So, he combined the two, soccer and entertainment.
It was about 15 years ago when the whole concept of mixing soccer and entertainment came to be.
Ortega being recognized and working with companies like Nike and Red Bull decided to start a company of his own doing what he loves most which is entertaining, teaching, and playing soccer.
That’s where Futboleros Soccer Academy comes along.
t has transformed into a camp to engage kids in the community by mixing soccer with entertainment here in Michiana. But before he planted roots locally, he was a professional soccer player in Los Angeles who appeared in four movies, 20 soccer commercials, and was the head entertainment for the LA Galaxy.
He performs in over 300 events yearly with his team ‘Futboleros Soccer Entertainers’ who are other professionals from around the world.
They perform in half-time shows for corporations like Copa America which is like the Superbowl for the soccer world, LA Galaxy, local events and more.
Ortega felt like there was more than just soccer, he felt the passion to entertain soccer fans with spectacular shows of specialty tricks and choreography across the nation and every day with the kids too.
“I’m one of a kind so I do it all, so you want entertainment, do you want to learn, that’s what I’m here for. I’m a true soccer player…I’ve done it all my life, I love it, I have a passion and not only do I just coach it but I’ll show you exactly how to kick the ball and knock it right into the goal,” Ortega said as he kicks the ball towards the goal post.
The Futboleros soccer camp is open to ages 7-14 of all skill levels with a couple of different options of camps you can choose whether you want to train in the grass, indoors, or the sand either for a half or full-day.
“Do you want to just going to put them on your finger, or put it around your head, straight to your neck for a little entertainment, or if you just want to learn how to juggle and have total control. You come to Futboleros,” Ortega said, while showing us these tricks.
Laughter, fun, and kids excited to play soccer are what you hear around here at Outpost Sports which is one of the three locations of the camp.
A group of kids gather together five days a week to learn how to be skillful players who learn how to showcase their talents in an entertaining way.
He includes extreme air balls as a new way to engage the kids and they are a workout even for adults.
Ortega brings a whole lot of high energy to provide quite the professional experience for the kids as they train.
Ortega says one of his most favorite parts about the camp is the kids.
“Watching the kids smile, watching them have fun, watching them grow, watching them get better to the next level, it’s nurturing like adding water to a flower,” Ortega said.
There is also a tournament coming up for both adults and kids on July 25th and the last day to enroll is July 10th.
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