Website Manager

Villarreal Nebraska


Villarreal Nebraska Academy


What are our members saying.....

"Thank you for creating a club that hires great coaches that allow players to grow, be valued, respected and love the game of soccer.:
The Bodner Family

"Thank you so much for the opportunity to visit your location. Our students had such a great time and have even commented on wanting to coach soccer when they grow up! All of your staff were wonderful to work with and presented an exciting day for our kids. 
We look forward to a continued partnership with you facility,"
Ms. Brown
Team Lead 
Family Service Lincoln

"The teachers and kiddos said they had a blast! (One of the kids said it was the best field trip ever!"
Heather DeJong, Education Coach
Primrose School of Lincoln at Wilderness Hills

"We really enjoyed Coach Alejandro‘s presentation this evening. It was great to hear all about the player focus and development, and talk about what players and parents can do to support everyone’s efforts."

"The coaching staff talks about how Hayden plays soccer with no fear. Watching her develop and grow over the past year has been one of the best things. But more than that its the confidence she's developed that carries over into every other aspect of life. She is more willing to try things and fail and then work harder, because she hates not being good at things. 
She played basketball for the first time this year. With a team who most the girls had played before. She didn't speak the car ride home after her first game (because she was disappointed in herself-but truly she did just fine). We got home,  she threw her bag in the house,  grabbed her basketball and went out to the driveway to practice. 
I truly believe that we get so much more out of sports than we could ever imagine and I love seeing that in my kid.
She's developed an attitude where she loves the challenge to try new things even if they are scary. She is super excited and scared to play U9 this wknd. I see it carry over to school,  when she gets frustrated and doesn't understand,  she quite literally sometimes takes a deep breath and says "I can do this", and starts over. 
I'm sure I have a part in this as parent and coach,  but I believe a big part comes from VNA coaches and the VNA environment you create for these kids to grow, learn and develop. I am grateful to be a part of it. I really believe you guys truly are doing great things and you are making a difference in kids lives.
So, thank you for all you do. "

"We were so pleased, relieved, and proud after reading the VNA winter policies. Proud of a club that is making hard decisions to protect players, coaches and the club (during COVID19). We know there will be push back and we know your job on a daily basis is exceptionally difficult right now. From us, we thank you and we stand by you. We firmly believe that VNA is a leader on and off the field.
Have a good week,"
Parents of a 2005 Female Athlete

"Appreciate all you are doing to keep kids safe.
This club is a super positive experience in my son's life, which is so important now more than ever!
Take good care,"
Parent of a 2005 Male Athlete

“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

“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 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

“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

Our Philosophy - Put Into Play

“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


Villarreal Nebraska Academy, Official Partner Academy of Villarreal C.F.
345 Speedway Circle, Suite #1
Lincoln, Nebraska 68502

Phone: 402-853-7100
Email: [email protected]
Copyright © 2024 Villarreal Nebraska Academy  |  Terms Of Use |  Privacy Statement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In