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20

May, 2021

Rush Soccer Expands To Spain

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Spanish Pro Football partnership with Rush creates unique opportunities



In a country that’s crazy about soccer, it’s not easy for a youth club to carve out a unique niche, but that’s exactly what Rubén Estellés Camacho has done.


And Rush Soccer has struck up a partnership with Camacho’s Spanish Pro Football club that will likely draw significant interest from players seeking to improve their game and train with some of Spain’s most fabled clubs.


“Our main objective is the same as when we started this club,” Camacho said. “We want to give players the opportunity to further develop their football skills.”


At SPF’s headquarters in Valencia and all around Spain, the concept was somewhat of a novel one considering that most players’ path is decided by age 16 with clubs scooping up the elite players with pro contracts. However, Camacho saw an opportunity for slow developers or late bloomers to find new life with continued training.


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Five years ago, he started with just three players and an idea for how to extend players’ soccer careers by keeping alive their chances of getting on with a pro club. That idea blossomed into a relationship with more than a hundred pro clubs across Spain and Europe.


In the mornings, players do their academic work as well as train with SPF staff. Then in the afternoon, many players will have another training session with other Spanish soccer clubs. And the approach seems to be working with great success.


“We have players ages 12 to 23 here at the academy,” Camacho said. “And we have a lot of success stories. Of course our main objective for the players is that they play professionally in Spain, but it is really really difficult because the level here is really high. But if they can’t make it here, we want them to play professionally when they return to their countries. And this is going very well with around 70 to 80 percent of the players playing professionally when they go back to their country after one or two years with us.”


MLS fans may be aware of one such success story in D.J. Taylor, a defender for Minnesota United. Taylor trained with SPF to improve his skills before returning to play in the USL and parlaying that into a spot on Minnesota’s roster.


The partnership with Rush has also allowed local SPF players the opportunity to play in the U.S. and pursue college scholarships here.


Aside from the long-term residency program, there are shorter options as well. This summer, Camacho will welcome two girls from the Colorado Rush program to his program, where they will train for a couple of months before returning home.


“The players that come here get to experience what it’s like to play in Spain,” Camacho said. “There’s a team experience that’s unique that really makes them feel like they’re part of something.”
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The Rush-SPF partnership stands out as a unique one that the Rush family on both sides of the Atlantic are sure to benefit from. 



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