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Villarreal Nebraska Academy

Statement of Purpose

Villarreal Statement of Purpose and Goals


The Villarreal Nebraska Academy (VNA) positively impacts local communities by offering outstanding soccer opportunities for growth and personal development for players to reach their maximum potential in a professional, fun, and challenging environment. VNA provides academy-level soccer training to boys and girls in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding areas who have the potential to compete at the collegiate or professional level. VNA coaches also emphasize and instill sporting values such as teamwork, effort, discipline, respect, and a healthy lifestyle. VNA enhances the sport of soccer through a relentless focus on player development and aims to “transform the game by transforming players.” The following values are leveraged:

Discipline: To learn the skills, put in time, and prepare for peak performance.
Effort: To work hard to improve and reach true potential. VNA emphasizes that positive mental attitude will supplement natural talent.
Commitment: To learn to sacrifice to participate and contribute to the team’s performance.
Teamwork: To work together as part of groups with common goals will bring success. Deal with success and failure—Failure is part of the road to success, and dealing with setbacks is key to maturity and self-fulfillment.
Setting goals: To set short and long-term, individual and group goals will showcase that goal setting will enhance the path to success.


Soccer is a unique sport that is based on creativity and decision making. In the United States, and especially in Nebraska, athletics often focus on physical strength -- how fast and how strong a player is. Soccer, however, is more of a chess match which requires understanding subtleties and making proper decisions to outperform and out maneuver an opponent, exactly what Villarreal Nebraska Academy brings to local communities and youth.

VNA began in May 2018 as the founding, 
officially affiliated Academy of Villarreal C.F. in the United States. The first step was to recruit
the Director of Coaching, Jorge Sambataro, and to utilize his expertise to operate the Academy.

The club began with 271 players after its first 
tryout season, and has since grown to 301 players in its first year of operation, with an additional 60 players expected to enroll in the summer 2019 tryouts.

VNA is modeled after professional soccer 
academies in Europe and South America, where the best players in the world are developed. Those academies understand that methodical skill development produces the best results for its players, and ultimately a winning culture within the club.

While many youth sports organizations focus on 
winning at all cost, VNA principally believes in overall development and subsequently success. For some players, this means simply succeeding by attempting a new move in a game situation. Others may find success in pushing themselves to master a new skill at home, or perhaps success will be defined by a well-executed series of team play against top-level competition.

To be sure, VNA strives to win. VNA teams have 
succeeded and will continue to do so, but for VNA players and parents, it is understood that true success, for both the club and soccer in general, is defined by the continual growth of our members’ skills and character. In short, VNA’s first priority is to equip players with the tools necessary to be successful at all levels of the game while having fun along the way.


Villarreal Nebraska Academy’s curriculum focuses on four areas of simultaneous development: Technical, Tactical, Physical, and Psychological. Similar to an educational institution, VNA focuses on the mastery of foundational concepts before new concepts are introduced. Just as it would be detrimental to a student to start teaching geometry before basic arithmetic is mastered, VNA players will not focus on passing until basic ball-control skills are mastered.

Such a progressive curriculum is uncommon in 
youth soccer -- many clubs focus their efforts on getting easy wins by kicking the ball far and letting faster players outrun others to score. This works well until players get older and the speed and strength differences between players minimizes. On the contrary, VNA stresses ball control, vision, taking controlled chances, and coordinated player movement - skills which develop a totally well-rounded player over time.

VNA is dedicated to providing consistent, 
comprehensive and quality development for all of the individual players within the program at
an age appropriate level. VNA celebrates the successes of its players that continually occur in training sessions, games, and at home.

academy is structured in a similar manner to a school: There is homework (skills to refine at home), classroom instruction (training sessions), and exams (games/tournaments).

Villarreal Programs

VNA provides unparalleled soccer development in Nebraska. The exclusive training curriculum mastered by Director of Coaching, Jorge Sambataro, provides high-level soccer development for youth of all ages in a unique academy environment designed to maximize the growth of every player. Serving players aged 3 through 19, Villarreal Nebraska Academy is the ideal organization for learning the love of soccer in a fun and family-friendly environment.

Villarreal focuses on the mastery of foundational concepts before introducing new concepts which 
begin in our Mini-Submarines (ages 3-7), then advance to the Groguet-TEAM (Ages 8-10)before tryouts in our Select, Premier, and Ultra level programs (ages 10 to 19).


This developmental program provides a fun, positive, and developmentally fine-tuned environment for young children to learn the
fundamentals of soccer and encourage a variety of natural body movements. Designed for children ages 3 - 7, the program provides a combination of individual skills training, small-sided games, and fun activities to give each child an ideal opportunity to learn, laugh, and make friends. Mini-Submarines are kids and students first.
Everyone plays to learn and have fun!

Psychomotor Skills for Kids
The Mini-Submarines Program includes visual games, sensory-motor games, as well as introducing games with rules. Above all, the objective of the Psychomotor Skills course is to aid the overall development of the child in all actions: motor, cognitive and socio emotional, with the games being the activity stimuli to develop the children’s physical condition. These activities are based on the natural and spontaneous movement of children, and the games are methodological instruments in the structure of the sessions through which exploration of all possibilities of movement are encouraged and leveraged.

This program focuses on the individual development of well-rounded soccer players with a proven curriculum based on national and
international training methods. Designed for ages 7 - 10, players learn the basic skills associated with Villarreal Nebraska Academy in a team environment. An important element of this program is players train in a team structure with a coach. This format introduces level based competition to the game, as well as teaches players how to communicate and effectively engage with teammates.


This program is designed to develop players that consistently compete with top teams in the state by competing in local leagues and tournaments. The curriculum and developmental process that is utilized is uniquely structured to provide a systematic progression of soccer skills over time. As a result, optimum development occurs within the structure of VNA training sessions and competitions.
Each Select player is expected to provide a minimum of 2 hours of mentorship or community service per season. This service is an important component of the program as it teaches the players to give back to the club and community and is instrumental to the concept of playing soccer. Volunteering teaches the importance of dedication, determination, teamwork, and connectivity within the community all while maintaining a level of competitiveness.


The Elite program is designed for players that want to compete in the state and regionally. This team structure trains more frequently each week and travels outside the state. Teams are expected to have a high commitment level and attendance participation. Each Elite player is expected to provide a minimum of 4 hours of mentorship and/or community service per season.


This program is for our highest committed players and our players who demonstrate skill to compete regionally and nationally. They are expected to participate in all training and competition events. They compete in College Showcases and Elite-level Tournaments such as the Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup annually in February. The Ultra program is designed to develop players that can consistently compete with top teams in the state, region, and nation, and exhibit exceptional commitment and skill level. Being part of the Ultra Academy program provides players direct access, training, and coaching oversight by VNA’s Director Of Coaching, Jorge Sambataro. The program has higher communication expectations of its players, and players have higher expectations of their teammates. For players willing to meet this commitment, the skills that will be developed will be among the highest in the nation.


School Satellite Program
After School Club to support School Soccer Teams, Title 1 Schools and the CLC Programs at the Schools serving 46% of students on Free-and-Reduced Lunch Programs. 25 local schools (6 middle and 19 elementary) targeted for support. Villarreal Soccer Academy is committed to ensuring that every deserving student- athlete with the qualities to succeed should be given a place no matter the family’s socio-economic status by providing financial assistance to 10% of its player population for the 2019-2020 season.

After School Program

Before and After School Care with School Drop-Off and Pick-Up Services.

Community Events Program
• School Fun Nights
• School Field Day
• Church Events
• Non-Profit Events


• Private and Dedicated Training Center: Nebraska Sports Center, 8500 sq feet of indoor turfed training space, with 1500 sq feet
dedicated to education and a team-building space. VNA is at maximum capacity with club growth expected at over 20% annually and needs to significantly increase indoor training space.
• Deliver on promised programs and grow the newest GroguetsTEAM program.
• Founding member of the Alliance League and the USSSA Futsal League.


• 20% growth of all programs . Expand the GroguetTEAM program double from 2018 to 2019 to 76 members or more.
• Identify options for outdoor field commitments and prepare for indoor expansion or relocation.
• Buy up to 2 vans and begin the School Satellite Program at 3 to 5 Title 1 schools, with a year-end goal of having 5 to 8 Schools enrolled.


• Significantly increase programming of GroguetTEAM.
• Begin the field purchase process and development plans or have contracts in place for 5+ year field-use agreement at an existing facility.
• Expand the Alliance League to host weekend for U7-U10 competitive player and have seasonal in-house league for Recreational

YEAR 4-5
• Purchase five vans to serve 25 schools to support the Lincoln Public Schools CLC programming and transport players to VNA’s competitive training at the VNA facility.
• Expand to an indoor facility with 25,000 sq ft training space and 4,500 sq feet of classroom, education, bathroom and office space. Support after-school nutrition and care.


First Year Statement of Need.................................................................. $250,000
Scholarships............................................................................................ $200,000
• Annual Registration
• Uniforms
• Travel, lodging, and food expenses
VNA Satellite School Soccer Program....................................................... $50,000
• Coaching
• Equipment
Facilities Statement of Need.........................................................................$TBD
Facility........................................................................................................... $TBD
• Scoreboard
• Seating
• Signage
• Electricity
• Maintenance
• 4 11x11 aside Turf Youth Fields
• Lights
• Landscaping

Jorge has been coaching for 20+ years at all levels. He has coaching and consulting experience with youth, professional, Olympic, and national teams in Argentina; more importantly, he has ans extensive background in the unique VNA curriculum that is unique to our club, which makes him uniquely suited to continue the developmental programs and process that our players and parents have grown to love. He has a desire to impact players to be a transformational experience for players for their lifelong growth.

“We can fail our way to success. Failure isn’t optional, it’s an intricate part of learning, we can’t opt out of it. I’ve created a safe environment where kids can fail by trying new things and instead of being punished for it, we celebrate their creativity. The only thing our kids aren’t allowed to do or have here is FEAR.

Play with joy, not worries. Bring joy to your game, enjoy what you do and do not fear. Live in 
the very moment, the present, we fear what doesn’t exist. To know and not to do, is not to know.

I don’t impose my ways, I propose and guide. It takes longer to develop but learning implicitly 
is better than being told what to do and taught explicitly. My player type is someone who’s Autonomous, Smart and a Good Person.”

Community Impact

“Villarreal has become like a second home for my daughter and our entire family. From playing on the field and building long-lasting, positive friendships to serving the community as a team, this soccer club has supported and grown my daughter into a confident leader. Confidence doesn’t come easy to middle school aged girls; the support, the coaching, and the growth she has experienced here has changed my daughter completely. Her confidence in soccer has translated to confidence in life.”
KATIE WHYRICK, Secretary of VNA Board of Directors

“We appreciate the attention to player development offered by Villarreal Nebraska Academy and see the club as another tool in better raising our kids.”
TONY FULTON, Nebraska Tax Commissioner

“We have all 3 of our kids play for VNA because we see the player development that our coaches and DOC are committed to bringing. Our kids have progressed tremendously in their soccer game, but they are also learning to be good citizens because of the community efforts made by our club. The families are all so fun to be around at club functions and on the sidelines.”
CHRIS & ERICA AREHART, Parent at Villarreal Nebraska Academy

“My dream, like any other soccer player, is to become a professional soccer player and play in Europe. And my goal is to be someone in life, help out my parents and go to college. I would like to tell the community that there are actually opportunities and not just going professional, but with colleges. There are a lot more contacts here, there is a higher chance you can get accepted to college. So to all the kids and the players in the Academy - play hard, train hard, and opportunities will come.”
ANTHONY B., Player

“When you see VNA players in games and training you can tell that player development is on a great level. VNA is special because it is not just about soccer. We serve our community, bond as a team and make great friendships.”
DREW, Player Age 14

“Soccer is my thing. But playing soccer at Villarreal isn’t just about soccer. It’s about fun, it’s about friends, and it’s about learning how to serve our community. My coach wants us to focus on becoming autonomous, smart players that are good people on and off the field.”
ATLEY, Player Age 13

“Villarreal is a community where the coaches always have a smile on their faces and give you one too. Villarreal teaches real soccer! I come from a place where I was crazy about soccer, but I wasn’t allowed to play until I got to America. Now it’s all I do so my life is a
dream. I can’t wait to go back to Uganda for a visit and show all my friends there what I have learned at Villarreal Nebraska. I have made really good friends at soccer and you have new opportunities to make friends all the time. My favorite move my coach taught me is a Zico and the Rainbow. All of the moves I learn I love!”
TIMOS, Player Age 7

“Villarreal is family. It is a club built on high-level soccer instruction with varying levels of competition ranging from introductory to elite, coupled with a focus on becoming a bedrock institution in our community by “giving back” through various community service an outreach projects. Community service is not something taken lightly, but rather, it is one of the core principles our club is built on. Villarreal takes very seriously the concepts of “leave it better than you found it” and “give back more than you receive.” Our involvement in community outreach is embraced, celebrated, and actively pursued with vigor and enthusiasm by our teams and coaches, all under the careful guidance and direction of our Director or Coaching, Jorge Sombotoro.”
TRAVIS ANTHOLZ, President of VNA Board of Directors

“We adopted our son from Uganda when he was four years old. This was a child who rarely looked up from the ground, who spoke quietly in case he said the wrong thing, who flinched at rapid movements. A lot. Fast forward three years and you can’t recognize Timos as the same quiet, timid child who was so afraid of making a mistake. We will forever be thankful to Villarreal Nebraska for creating a safe space where mistakes were not just tolerated, but encouraged as a vehicle to growth. This has spilled over into so many other areas of Timos’ life. School. Home. Peer groups. He has become a child who is unafraid to try something, and rewrite the solution if the first one doesn’t work out. And I haven’t even touched on the actual soccer training he gets. The coaches are amazing and his personal development in the sport that he loves so much has really been fun to watch.”
VICTORIA MILLER, Parent of Villarreal Nebraska Academy 

What does the Staff Say?

“Villarreal Nebraska Academy is a legitimate Partner Academy of Villarreal C.F. Their staff, coaches, and players care about the development of players at our Academy in Lincoln, Nebraska. They are not interested in growth for growth’s sake but for the quality and the love of the game to be the growth catalyst. They believe we are part of their family and together we can make a difference. This is bigger than a local club or a typical academy. This is development at its core. This is family values. This is quality soccer and good people! I couldn’t be more proud to be working with an organization that treats people with grace, kindness, and love.”
AMY SCOTT, Manager Director of Villarreal Nebraska Academy

“Villarreal Nebraska Academy (VNA) has a culture of positivity and encouragement, and an environment focused on player development. Tactically, VNA focuses on individual skills and maintaining possession of the ball. However, it is not just the actual soccer that makes our club so special and unique. VNA seeks to develop good people, and soccer is simply the vehicle through which we accomplish that goal.

This culture and environment is not simply wishful thinking, nor does it come by accident. Jorge Sambataro creates and curates an encouraging and positive culture, both through his own actions and demanding it of his staff coaches. Jorge frequently tells the kids, “The only thing you’re not allowed to do here at VNA is to have fear.” He wants the kids to play without fear: without fear of failure; without fear of punishment; without fear of trying new things; without fear of losing the ball; without fear of losing the game.

This creates a culture of encouragement, where our players are willing to try new techniques and new tactics, which, ultimately, will lead to success on the field. The confidence our players develop on the field, then, naturally spills over into other areas of their lives. The confidence our players build through VNA and soccer leads them to be confident in their everyday lives.

Jorge also frequently talks about bringing joy back to the game of soccer, and encouraging kids to play soccer with joy. An anecdote: Our boys had dominated in possession, but the game was very intense and physical and the other team was pressuring us very hard. One of our players carried the ball to the opposing team’s corner, turned, squared up with the two defenders approaching him, and executed a “rainbow” move. A “rainbow” is where a player secures the ball between both feet, leans forward, and “flicks” the ball behind their back and over their head. The move worked, and our player (“Hammie”) was able bypass both defenders. After such a flashy and cheeky move, naturally our bench and the other players on our field went wild, hooting and cheering. At that time, Jorge turned to me and asked me, “John, if you did that when you played, what would have your coach done?” To which I responded, “She would have killed me. Probably taken me out of the game.” Jorge said “Exactly. But that’s wrong. Look how much joy Hammie is playing with, and look how much joy his teammates have.

Tomorrow, a week from now, a year from now, ten years from now, Hammie and these players will not remember the result of this game. They will not remember how we possessed the ball, or how we patiently developed an attack. However, they likely will remember the time that Hammie rainbowed two kids the corner. And that’s what matters. We don’t ever want to take away their joy in the game.” That moment, and Jorge’s words to me, changed my perspective on coaching forever, and truly solidified to me exactly what a great club VNA is.”
JOHN HAKARI, Coach at Villarreal Nebraska Academy

DOC and The Yellow Submarines

“Coaching is about being part of a kid’s journey. This is the world’s sport. As young people play soccer and are exposed to the unique opportunities it brings, I see them finding out more about themselves. It opens the world up to them, literally and figuratively. Kids who never thought they would go to college before soccer are being accepted to play at and attend universities. Interactions with other cultures are happening. As a coach, I’m seeing kids grow as players and people. When they master a skill, learn a new way of thinking, overcome a challenge on the field, they learn that they can do that in other areas of their life. This is not just a game. I see soccer as a vehicle for personal transformation.”
JORGE SAMBATARO, Director of Coaching

Villarreal CF was nicknamed the Yellow Submarines in 1966 after the town’s priest, Mosen Guillermo, got the idea from the Beatles’ hit track. They began to chant the song during games, and as Villarreal moved up in the division, the nickname stuck.


Villarreal Nebraska Academy, Official Partner Academy of Villarreal C.F.

333 Speedway Circle Suite #4 
Lincoln, Nebraska 68502

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 402-853-7100

Contact Us

Villarreal Nebraska Academy, Official Partner Academy of Villarreal C.F.

333 Speedway Circle Suite #4 
Lincoln, Nebraska 68502

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 402-853-7100

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