Lance Ward is not your typical AYSO soccer player. When he’s not playing with his U-14 team in Region 779 in Chino Hills, Calif., he’s either volunteering with his Region, helping out in the community or showing off his superior soccer skills as a Futbolero!
Lance first saw the Futboleros perform at the AYSO National Games in 2014 and it inspired him to want to freestyle.
Lance held on to that passion and around November 2014 (after a Galaxy Practice), AYSO alum and U.S. Soccer star Landon Donovan and his good friend Linda Pickle told Lance that he had nice foot skills and should check out the Futboleros. During the holidays in 2014, his mom Rita and aunt Marta signed Lance up for a freestyle clinic through the Futboleros. After that, it was history. Through the support of Landon and Futbolero founder James Ortega, Lance was living his dream.
Lance, who has played AYSO soccer since age 4, also volunteers with his local AYSO Region.
“I volunteer because I like to help others when I can,” says Lance. “It's good to have young volunteers because the adults are all starting to get older.”
In addition to volunteering with his local Region, he also helps out at Futbolero clinics and various Futbolero community events.
Lance lists his greatest accomplishments as getting second place in the AYSO National Games in Knoxville, Tenn., and also breaking his 2,156 touch juggling record when he was only 13 years old.
Lance is a leader on and off the field and when he was asked about the leadership skills AYSO helps build, he agreed, “Yes it does because the more experienced players can help develop less skilled players. I like helping my goalie with conditioning and helping him develop his skills and confidence.”
Lance’s greatest advice is for soccer players to remember the love of the game.
“No matter who you are, soccer is soccer,” he shares.