BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, February 12, 2010
While most young American soccer players who leave the country to play often go to Europe or Mexico, Kevin Hoyos is currently playing at the youth levels with Argentina's Estudiantes de la Plata.
Hoyos, who will turn 17 later this month, left his home in Orange County, California for Argentina three years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a professional.
"I liked playing in the United States but there was no future for me there so I wanted to play soccer here in Argentina," Hoyos told YA of his move at such a young age. "Over here I could keep trying to go pro."
Hoyos, who is a forward, has been pleased so far with the move to Argentina most notably because of the superior coaching Estudiantes offers when compared with the options he had in the United States.
"I like being with Estudiantes a lot," Hoyos discussed. "It's a really good club. Every year here you learn a lot of stuff. It's really good soccer. The coaching in the USA is pretty good but here it is much better because the coaches here are all former professionals. So I am learning a lot. "
While Hoyos is still playing at various youth levels for Estudiantes, he lives with his older brother Michael, 18, who is also with Estudiantes and is enjoying a breakout season where he has made the first team and has already received playing time this season. Both Kevin and Michael made the move to Estudiantes together three years ago after going on trials.
"We had a contact in the United States that talked to the coordinator for Estudiantes. They got me a tryout along with my brother. We both came and tried out and both of us made the team. "
With both Kevin and Michael making the team, it has helped make the transition easier. The two live together at a dorm with several other players from the youth levels at Estudiantes.
"It makes things easier to be here with Michael, no doubt," Hoyos admitted. "I am here with him pretty much all day. We have a lot of fun together. I am certainly not lonely here."
"My father lives in the United States in California," said of the rest of his family. "My mom lives here in Argentina with my sister. I get to see them every weekend. It's a good situation. "
Hoyos and the youth teams at Estudiantes are currently finishing preseason and their season begins this weekend. While he hopes to continue to develop with the club his only goal right now is to join his brother on the first team.
"I just want to make the first team right now," Hoyos insisted. "I can't say when that will happen, maybe a year from now or maybe more. There is a lot of luck. But right now that's all I want."
Prior to moving to Argentina, Hoyos played extensively in southern California. He was seen as strong prospect by US Soccer but before he could play with any US youth teams, he made the move to Argentina.
"When I was 13, I went to Minnesota for a youth US national camp," Hoyos recalled. "I was picked later for a friendly for the US team but I was already living here so I couldn't play."
With regards to a potential future international career, Hoyos is undecided and has said he hasn't given it much thought. Both Kevin and Michael hold dual citizenship with Argentina.
"I would like to play for Argentina but I am not sure yet," Hoyos said of any potential international options. "I really don't know. The door is definitely not closed yet for the United States should the opportunity come."