Leo Villa who after two hugely successful seasons at UW-Parkside has now transferred to the Marquette University Men’s Soccer Program.
Villa’s success leads to Marquette Transfer
2.14.18 – For Immediate Release
FC Wisconsin.com's ‘Where Are They Now’ feature, provides FC Wisconsin club members with an opportunity to catch up with former players. In this installment, we catch up with Leo Villa who after two hugely successful seasons at UW-Parkside has now transferred to the Marquette University Men’s Soccer Program.
Leo transferred this January to Marquette University and has just started his spring season with the Golden Eagles. Villa was a standout player for UW-Parkside in his two seasons on campus, playing every minute of every game leading to his opportunity to join a Division I program. Below Leo talks about his time with FC Wisconsin and how it helped him adapt to the rigors of the College game
Q. How long were you a player with FC Wisconsin and what made you join the Club?
I was a player at FC for two years. I joined the club because I wanted to push myself to train at a higher level and to achieve my goals. FC is known for being the best club in Wisconsin and I wanted to be a part of that. From a training perspective I wanted to improve myself and knew that I would get better being part of FC Wisconsin.
Q. What were the benefits of playing for FC Wisconsin?
Being part of the club had many benefits. FC is well organized and so professional in how they train and develop their players. I was always used to having one coach or two at the most, but FC had a multiple coaches at each training session and at each game. These coaches supported me and gave me confidence to improve, but also pushed me to be a better soccer player at every training session. The facilities were also at the next level. When we weren’t training outside, we had the chance to train inside. Although I was only part of the club for two years, the coaching staff and players made my time at FC a great experience and I improved dramatically during this time.
Q. What were the best aspects of your FC experience?
There’s a lot of good things to say about my FC experience, but the best aspects were being able to travel with the team and to spend quality time with the team and coaches. I can’t forget about the pool sessions, which I had never done before. Those were fun and a good way to bond with the team as well as prepare for games like a professional athlete.
Q. What did you learn the most from playing with FC?
FC taught me a lot of important things that has formed me not only into a better soccer player but as a human being as well. The staff definitely sparked me to be a better soccer player. I wasn’t the best soccer player when I first got there, and I was slightly confused in some training sessions, but after pushing myself and improving on my weaknesses, I became a better player, thanks to the coaching staff. Coach Ben and Billy, as well as all the staff where a big aspect of my time at FC. They really cared about my improvement and always pushed and gave me advice to improve on the pitch.
Q. What are the biggest differences from playing Club and playing in College?
One big thing you notice when stepping into a college program is that everyone wants to be a winner. The competitiveness is much greater in college. Being fit is one of them as well. In order to be on top of your game you need to be fit and be strong. College soccer is physical and you need to things outside of practice in order to be one of the best and to help your team win. One big thing is that you always need to work hard no matter what. You need to know the next step before the other player does. Fortunately, FC helped me get ready for this. Not only mentally, but physically as well. I believe I was much better prepared than other freshman I played with because of what I had experienced at FC.
Q. What is your lasting memory from playing with FC?
Going on the Disney trip with my new teammates was my best memory. During this trip, I had a lot of fun and made long lasting friends, that were on my previous college team and now are also on my new journey. FC really is a family club and I still keep in touch with all my former teammates.
Q. How did playing and training at FC help prepare you to have such a successful first two years at the collegiate level?
Constantly being in an intense, positive, hard working environment helped me a lot with transitioning to the next level. I was well prepared for the college trainings and games. During my freshman campaign, I had the same mindset that FC introduced me to, and that was to always work hard and to always stay focused.
Q. What advice would you pass on to our younger players who have ambitions of playing in College in the future?
One big key to getting to the next level is that you need to work hard at everything you do. On the field and in the classroom. No matter how big your goal is, always push yourself, always do something extra. Don’t let bad training sessions or bad games kill your confidence. You will have better days. Stay positive and remember; there’s someone else out there working as hard as you are, so make it count and put in the work.
Q. What do you think makes FC Wisconsin different from other Clubs?
FC is a well-run organization with winning coaches that really care about player’s improvement. They are willing to help you, if you’re willing to put in the work. Their main goal is to help players achieve their goals and to play at the next level. Having more than 5 coaches at each training session definitely sets them apart. Each one of those coaches’ cares about the player’s performance and improvement. I was truly blessed to be a part of this club. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for FC Wisconsin.