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Villarreal Nebraska


Villarreal Nebraska Academy


Official Partner Academy of Villarreal C.F.

With the global pandemic COVID-19 effecting our way of life and our daily schedules there will be many questions about how we are protecting players, families, and your membership. VNA leadership and staff focus decision making around the health and safety of the children in our care. VNA uses the Mission, Vision and Goals as our guiding principles of decision making. We want our families to have faith and confidence that we have their best interests in mind. 

There are a couple of things to clarify or remind our members of: As a membership organization we rely on members. It's as simple as that. We don't exist without members. We have worked very hard over the last 3 1/2 years to provide a quality organization, to serve your children and the community.  We ask that as we all work through the fear, uncertainty, changes, restrictions this pandemic as brought to us, please consider are we in this together, can we be a team. 

VNA has made several obligations over the years to bring the ABSOLUTE BEST to your children.

First, we have contracted with D.O.C. Jorge Sambataro to uproot his life and family from Argentina, to lead our soccer education, training and understanding of the game in Lincoln. He  brings us Autonomous Players, Smart Players and Good People. He has continuously works for our members to make us a better Academy everyday.  To make a difference in our community. 

Second, we have contracted with NSC to have a private and dedicated training center that provides scheduling autonomy and confidence for training and usage, all for the purpose of being a family focused organization that works to have consistent plans, schedules and a safe place for our member children.

Third, our additional staff. We have several dedicated staff members who rely on this work as a main source of their income and livelihood. This includes administrative staff and coaches. They know that their work is in limbo and yet they are committed to your children everyday.

As a member of our non-profit organization please know we value you: your time, your support and your children.  Our academy does not exist without members. Our hope and desires are to get through this difficult time together, so that we all have an academy to belong to along the way, and to come back to, as we are able. 

Thank You for being a member and your support!

League and VNA Policies

Nebraska State Soccer Policies
Iowa State Soccer Policies

VNA safety policies are made with the following goals and we look at not only the DHM requirements but the recommended Best Practices:

1. Health and safety of your child
2. Keeping your child IN SCHOOL
3. Keeping your child connected to coach/teammates for mental health needs
4. Eliminating close-contact risk exposure, decreasing potential quarantine risks
5. Keeping your family and extended families members safe
6. Keeping our staff and coaches safe
7. Keeping VNA open and successful for this season and beyond

Please help us accomplish these goals by supporting and following the following safety plans.

Masking In-Person: This spring we will continue in-person training for those 100% masked when indoors. When outdoors players should arrive and depart with masks on and when sitting with teammates on the bench or in groups, and when in team huddles. Parents should mask when approaching coaches and staff indoor or outdoor, when with any other non-family members on sidelines, when visiting, in cars where 6' or more of social distancing is not maintained. 

-Nebraska Sports Center (NSC: VNA Training Head Quarters),
-Speedway Sports Complex (SWV) Field House Training,
-All outdoor training and games at any location.

Self-screening: If your player is not well for any reason keep them home. If they have any COVID symptoms keep them home, until they have followed all the quarantine, testing, isolation guidelines.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. If players have a fever for any reason, they must be fever free WITHOUT any fever reducing medications for 24 hours before returning to VNA activities.
COVID Symptoms:
>Fever 100.4 or higher, or chills
>Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
>Muscle or body aches
>New loss of taste or smell
>Sore throat
>Congestion or runny nose
>Nausea or vomiting

This Fall, VNA had 2 teams who voluntarily chose to train 100% masked while training inside. The teams had no issues, no concerns, and no complaints as the focus was keeping all team members safe and in attendance at training. 

Capacity: NSC is operating at or below 25% capacity. In-fact due to soccer needing space to perform, we are always at or below 25% capacity.

Best Practices to Prevent COVID-19 is masking.
Any player with a medical condition, with a respiratory impediment simply, let us know

Our primary concern is the health and safety of our VNA soccer family and we want to keep everyone safe.

Stay well and take care of each other!

Training Plans

Villarreal Nebraska Academy will strive to deliver uninterrupted training regardless of the COVID-19 restrictions. We strongly believe that in uncertain times belonging to one another, having a purpose and a schedule is healthy and is important for mental health. We will do everything we can to have a relationship with our players, to have a positive impact, to prepare them for life, to provide stability and a schedule. We will provide training in anyway we possibly can (listed below) throughout the year. For 2020-2021 Soccer Year we are already now planning to provide 6 weeks of Summer Training for 2021 as part of our programs if disruptions impact our typical year. We hope for the best but always plan for alternate scenarios, so, with the assumption that at times throughout this next year we may have COVID-19 interruptions. This is to preplan and to be ahead of this.

Any Combination of Activities will be used as training:
In-Person Team Training
In-Person Small Group Training
In-Person 1-on-1 Training
In-House Games and Dutch Tournaments
Open Play
Camps In-Person
Zoom Training Technical
Zoom Training Tactical
Video Analysis
Zoom Team Meetings
YouTube Videos
Google Classroom
Villarreal C.F. Training and Meetings

The 2020-21 season looks like this:
Fall Season Training Schedule: August 3, 2020 - October 23, 2020 for some teams will extend to October 29, 2020 if participating in a major competition event.

Winter Season Training Schedule: November 2, 2020-March 5, 2021

Spring Season Training Schedule: March 15, 2021-June 4, 2021

Added Summer for preplanning of disruptions throughout the Aug-June Year: Summer Training Schedule: June 14, 2021-July 23, 2021

Holiday Planned time Off:
September 7,
November 23 - November 29,
December 19 - January 3, 2021,
March 6 - March 14, 2021.
Other Dates (no-school and holiday dates) TBD. If major interruptions impact training before these planned dates off, additional activities may be planned during this time. We must plan, yet be flexible.

League Plans

NYSL with USYS is moving forward expecting to have a Fall League as normally planned. For state competition. The leadership at Nebraska State Soccer will not be charging the Academy for league registration until they are sure the league will be played or scheduled. League details, plans, nor fees have been set. 

The leadership of USSSA and Alliance are already putting plans in place to plan for player safety and expect to have league or festival play as normally planned. Game registrations are planned for no-risk registration and pay as you go in a constant festival format that fits each team or club best. Our Academy will not be charged for league for festival registration until plans and confirmations are established. League details, plans, nor fees have been set. 

USSSA National Staff will continue to put eyes on our VNA players to bring opportunities for W.I.N. regional and national camps, ALL-STAR Training and Game opportunities for national exposure and college coach exposure.

Games will be played in a number of different ways:
League Games
Festival Games
Tournament Games
Smaller-Sided Games
Indoor Games
Futsal Games
In-House Games

For 2020-21, VNA is now collecting ALL Competition Fees separately from Program Fees. We will only collect competition fees from players when registration is due and planned on a seasonal basis or event basis.  Refunds may be subject to refunds from the above mentioned competition venues. Refunds may be reduced by any expenditures that can not be recuperated, such as Service Fees, Processing Fees or things beyond our control. We will do everything to keep your funds protected and utilized as planned. See your program level information page for an example of how competition fees are planned and how fees will be collected.

Tournament Plans

Tournaments will be planned but registration for those tournaments will be slower and considered carefully. Historically they have become a fun and expected part of the competition series for typical select style youth sports.  We will carefully consider any tournament to ensure their refund policies, player safety protocols and local, state and national travel restrictions/guidelines meet our expectations in Nebraska and any State we may consider travelling to. We will be OVERLY cautious when or if deciding to attend a tournament. We will likely have additional expectations, rules, and agreements that we will clearly communicate with all families as we go throughout the year.

At this time, we are not putting on the table or taking off the table any tournament we have considered in the past. We will however, have more communication and meetings, if needed, with players and families to communicate what is best for each team. It is possible that out-of-state travel will be limited and some teams may not travel out-of-state this Fall, or this entire year unless deemed 'needed' or 'necessary' and meets our safety standards. 

As we plan the year with player health and safety in mind, there may be other in-state or local game competitions that fulfil the player development needs of our players instead of tournaments. Therefore, tournament fees are collected with league fees and will be utilized all together to provide game experiences to our players and teams: Called Competition Fees.

VNA is collecting ALL Competition Fees separately from Program Fees and they will be collected as we go and/or refunded if games can not be played or scheduled. Refunds may be reduced by any expenditures that can not be recuperated, such as non-refundable deposits, Service Fees, Processing Fees or things beyond our control. We will do everything to keep your funds protected and utilized as planned.

Villarreal C.F.

Villarreal C.F. has increased their daily and weekly interactions with ALL our players, coaches and parents in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions. At this time international travel is restricted and even as those travel restrictions loosen or are eliminated, we will determine what is best for the health and safety of all involved.  At this time we are not expecting team travel to Spain over Thanksgiving. We will determine at a later date if individual players would be invited to Spain or if they will be invited with an future date. At this time we are not expecting Villarreal C.F. coaches to be in Nebraska for tryouts or camps this summer. If a future date appears to be possible, that is mutually agreeable, we will consider all options at that time.


Dear Parents and Players,

This is an unbelievable situation we are all in. Our hearts break for our players and the things that they are now missing.  We always hope to be a light for them when things are tough, and we are always encouraging them to look to their "next action".  During this time, it is incredibly important to have a place of belonging, to have a purpose, and to have a schedule for healthy living and mental health.

We have always promised to focus on: Autonomous Players, Smart Players and Good People. This will teach life skills that we all need. This situation is certainly teaching us all that. Life will continue to throw us adversity, let us have an outlook that focuses on the positives. This is an opportunity to adapt, to learn new things, find solutions, and to share knowledge. Please don’t waste time or energy on the things we cannot change or by complaining. ¡ENDAVANT! To Always Look Forward. 

Some may wonder why are we working so hard to connect and have digital learning when we can’t actually play. Villarreal Nebraska Academy is not really about the competition at its central purpose. Don’t get us wrong, we love that part of the experience and it is valuable. However, with suspended/cancelled competitions we are able to focus on other parts of who we are. VNA is about player development and personal development first, by using soccer as a vehicle.

What concerns us the most are the social and safety needs of our children. We need to work harder than ever to have stability and normalization. This means having a schedule and a purpose, focusing on a community and social groups in order to find ways for socialization and interaction. We need to consider the psychological consequences our children will now need to overcome as they face imposed isolation at this critical time in their lives. 

Their mini-cities (which was their schools) have been ripped away from them. They are forced to adapt as they are learning how to choose friends, make friends, how to socialize, how to deal with personality conflicts, and how to build relationships that will carry them into healthy adult relationships. 

Yes it would be easier in many ways to just cancel off this, but let’s not hide in the confines of what is easy. We MUST find ways to build up as individuals and continue to teach life lessons: Our mission, values, vision, and goals become more important than ever as we look to guide our children to become productive members of society. 

We must have interaction, relationships, focus on a purpose, and we must challenge our children to interact and reach out to others. For some, this is easy, for many, this is hard. Our soccer teams and groups give a built-in social group with a shared purpose: relationships with activity. Use it! Let’s not take it for granted.

VNA Nebraska is here to support you and your children. If you or your children need help, please reach out. We will work through this time together and look forward to the future.


Jorge and Amy

LLCHD Winter Red Reopening Plan

Is it safe for athletes to wear masks while exercising?

Is it safe for athletes to wear masks while exercising? 

Earlier this summer, an ICU doctor in the United Kingdom ran nearly 22 miles while wearing a cotton mask and monitoring his oxygen levels.

What Tom Lawton found was his blood oxygen levels -- which should be 95% or higher for healthy individuals -- were consistently at 98%. Lawton used the experiment to prove that face masks, while sometimes uncomfortable, don’t impair oxygen intake.

Lawton’s run has been used by Dr. Matt Axtman, an orthopedic sports medicine doctor for Spectrum Health in West Michigan, as an example of evidence that it’s safe to wear a mask when participating in high-intensity training and competition.

“Some athletes insist that wearing a mask while running decreases their oxygen levels, restricts air flow and/or results in oral infections,” Axtman wrote in a recent article for Spectrum Health. “But there have been no studies or proof that masks decrease oxygen levels in the blood or affect running performance.

“There is no proof that masks increase or put an individual at risk for oral or pulmonary (lung) infections.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer confirmed this week that athletes participating in sports that don’t allow for 6 feet of separation, like football, soccer and volleyball, will be required to wear masks while training, practicing, and competing until further notice. She signed Executive Order 2020-180 on Wednesday evening.

Related: Gov. Whitmer: Football players, other athletes must mask up, even while competing

Masks won’t be required for athletes in cross country, golf and tennis, if they can stay spread out. Swimmers will be exempt from needing a face covering.

A wet mask can leave athletes with the sensation that air flow is decreased, so Axtman recommends having an extra mask or two on hand in case the primary mask gets saturated with sweat. He also recommended trying out different masks to find one that’s breathable and fits well.

But overall, he said wearing a mask “doesn’t reduce performance or have any major functional limitations” on an athlete.

The mask mandate, which also applies to members working out in gyms across the state, has not been received by all with open arms. Some have questioned the safety of the requirement, given that the World Health Organization has recommended people not wear masks when exercising because it may reduce their ability to breathe comfortably.

One Michigan Senator, Lana Theis, R-Brighton, published a letter to the governor on her website Wednesday requesting that the governor allow organized practices and competitions to resume without the face mask requirement.

“To be forced to restrict one’s breathing by order of the government while engaging in an otherwise healthy activity not only makes the activity more difficult, but it also could threaten the health and safety of our athletes, especially for those who may have underlying breathing issues, such as asthma,” Theis wrote.

“Wearing a mask while on the sidelines in close physical contact makes sense and should be encouraged. But to require athletes to “mask up” while competing is a penalty they should not be required to suffer. Please amend your executive order and let our athletes breathe.”

During a press conference Wednesday, Sept. 10, Whitmer and Dr. Joneigh Khauldun were asked about the perceived health risks. The governor noted that women in labor, some of which for 20 hours, have had to wear masks, implying that athletes could safely wear them too.

“That’s some of the hardest work you can do," Whitmer said. “I don’t want to make light of the necessity of mask wearing. It’s really important.”

Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said she hasn’t found any proof that it’s unsafe to exercise with a mask on. Neither has Dr. Axtman, nor Dr. Emily Toth Martin, an epidemiologist and associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

“The two things we know more than anything that work to prevent the spread of COVID is social distancing and masking.” Martin said. “To get rid of both of those components means you’re walking into a scenario with no tools to stop the spread.”

Asked about athletes with asthma wearing masks, Dr. Axtman said running with the mask on could trigger an asthma attack. But that athlete could also be more susceptible to a more serious case of coronavirus if infected.

He recommended speaking with your primary care physician or pulmonologist to help weigh the risks and benefits of wearing a mask and/or playing sports at this time.

While athletes and gym members can resume contact sports and indoor workouts in Michigan, Dr. Khaldun doesn’t recommend either as the state continues to see 55 new coronavirus cases per million people per day, and a positive test rate above 3%.

For athletes who don’t feel they can comfortably participate in sports like football, soccer or volleyball with a mask on, Khaldun said "maybe they won’t be able to participate, unfortunately, at this time.”


In addition to washing hands regularly and not touching your face, officials recommend practicing social distancing, assuming anyone may be carrying the virus.

Health officials say you should be staying at least 6 feet away from others and working from home, if possible.

Use disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray cleaners on frequently-touched surfaces in your home (door handles, faucets, countertops) and carry hand sanitizer with you when you go into places like stores.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also issued executive orders requiring people to wear face coverings over their mouth and nosewhile in public indoor and crowded outdoor spaces. See an explanation of what that means here.

Additional information is available at and

Mask Mythbusters

Mask Mythbusters: 5 Common Misconceptions about Kids & Cloth Face Coverings

By: Kimberly M. Dickinson, MD, MPH & Theresa W. Guilbert, MD, MS, FAAP 

Along with physically distancing and good hand washing, masks or cloth face coverings are an effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Some parents may have questions and concerns about cloth face coverings, and we're here to help.

Here are 5 common questions about kids and masks, along with evidence-based information that will put your mind at ease:

1. Can wearing a mask make it harder for my child to breathe?

There have been concerns that cloth face coverings can reduce oxygen intake, and can lead to low blood oxygen levels, known as hypoxemia. However, cloth masks are made from breathable materials that will not block the oxygen your child needs. Masks will not affect your child's ability to focus or learn in school. The vast majority of children age 2 or older can safely wear a cloth face covering for extended periods of time, such as the school day or at child care. This includes children with many medical conditions. 

2. Can masks interfere with a child's lung development?

No, wearing a cloth face covering will not affect your child's lungs from developing normally. This is because oxygen flows through and around the mask, while blocking the spray of spit and respiratory droplets that may contain the virus. Keeping your child's lungs healthy is important, which includes preventing infections like COVID-19. 

3. Do masks trap the carbon dioxide that we normally breathe out?

No. There have been false reports that cloth face coverings can lead to carbon dioxide poisoning (known as hypercapnia) from re-breathing the air we normally breathe out. But this is not true. Carbon dioxide molecules are very tiny, even smaller than respiratory droplets. They cannot be trapped by breathable materials like cloth masks. In fact, surgeons wear tight fitting masks all day as part of their jobs, without any harm. 

However, children under 2 years of age should not wear masks since they may not be able to remove them without help. Children with severe breathing problems or cognitive impairments may also have a hard time tolerating a face mask and extra precautions may be needed. 

4. Can masks lead to a weaker immune system by putting the body under stress? 

No. Wearing a cloth face covering does not weaken your immune system or increase your chances of getting sick if exposed to the COVID-19 virus. Wearing a cloth face covering, even if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, helps prevent the virus from spreading. 

5. How do masks prevent the spread of COVID-19? 

When worn correctly, cloth masks create a barrier that reduces the spray of a person's spit and respiratory droplets. These droplets play a key role in the spread of COVID-19 because they can carry SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Masks also can protect you from others who may have coronavirus but are not showing symptoms and who could come within 6 feet of you, which is how far respiratory droplets can travel when people sneeze or cough or raise their voices.  

In order to be effective, masks should:

  • Cover both the nose and mouth

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face

  • Be secured with ear loops or ties

  • Have multiple layers of fabric

  • Allow for unrestricted breathing

  • Be washed and dried carefully after use

  • Another benefit of wearing masks is that they may keep people from touching their mouths and faces, which is another way COVID-19 can be spread. There are many types of masks, but cloths masks are best choice for the general public and families should choose a mask that is most comfortable while still providing a secure fit. 


    Cloth face coverings are an important tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19. They are safe and effective for children over the age of 2 years and adults. Cloth face coverings are especially important when social distancing, or keeping 6 feet away from others, is hard to do. Washing hands, staying home and physical distancing are still the best ways to keep your family safe from COVID-19. But when you go outside your home, wearing a cloth face covering will help keep you and others safe. 

    Don't hesitate to talk with your child's pediatrician if you have any questions about your child wearing cloth face coverings. 

    More Information

    About Dr. Dickinson 

    Kimberly W. Dickinson, MD, MPH, is a pediatric pulmonary fellow at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD and a member of the AAP Section on Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine Trainee Subcommittee. 

    About Dr. Guilbert

    Theresa W. Guilbert, MD, MS, FAAP, is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati and the Director of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Asthma Center in the Pulmonary Division.  She has 20 years of experience in providing clinical care to children and adolescents with preschool, childhood and severe asthma and conducting clinical and epidemiologic research. She is a member of the AAP Section on Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine Committee.

    Last Updated
    American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine (Copyright © 2020)

    The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.


Villarreal Nebraska Academy, Official Partner Academy of Villarreal C.F.
333 Speedway Circle Suite #4 
Lincoln, Nebraska 68502

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