Universal Student Yoreli Rincon helps the Colombian National Team qualify for World Cup and is named "Player of the Tournament"


Yoreli Rincon named "Player of the Tournament" in the 2014 Copa América Femenina


Universal Soccer Academy student Yoreli Rincon was announced the "Player of the Tournament" in South America’s World Cup and Olympic qualifying tournament (2014 Copa América Femenina). Rincon was able to maintain a consistent high level of play, dish out assists and score goals at crucial times. In the final game against Brazil, Rincon was announced and awarded both “Woman of the Match” and “Player of the Tournament”. 


At the conclusion of the tournament, Rincon wasted no time in acknowledging her mentor and trainer James Galanis, Universal Soccer Academy’s owner and director of operations, tweeting, “Any of this wouldn’t be possible without the preparation I had with @coachgalanis in Universal Soccer Academy.”


Rincon spent the summer in residency at Universal Soccer Academy where she went through a grueling training program under the guidance of Galanis. “I designed a program specific for Yoreli and she executed it. She showed up to training every morning ready and always gave 100%. I’m not surprised at all that she was the star of the tournament. It’s what she trained for all summer,” said Galanis.


While training at the academy, Rincon also played for the New Jersey Wildcats. “Universal Soccer Academy has a good relationship with NWSL coaches and W-League teams. We were able to place her on the Wildcats and this gave her valuable games to further improve her game. The physicality and speed of the league helped her game as she was forced to play a completely different style than what she is used to. She went through a complete transformation,” said Galanis.


On her first day at Universal Soccer Academy, Rincon was evaluated and asked to write down a list of short and long term goals. One of her goals was to be the best player at World Cup Qualifying. Although she achieved this goal, Rincon had these words to share, “I never believed that it would happen. I was training hard every day to help my team win and qualify. When they announced I was “Player of the Tournament”, the first thing I thought of was the long hours on the fields at Universal Soccer Academy. I gave it my all to prepare and my sacrifice has rewarded me.”


Rincon is not finished however. Now that her National Team has qualified for the World Cup and Olympics, Rincon feels that this is just the beginning. “I am different now. I know how to think and I know what it takes to be a professional football player. I know it’s a full time job and I have to continue to dedicate my life to the game. I want to become the best South American player in the world and I now that this is achievable if I continue to work hard every day.”


Rincon will continue to work with Universal Soccer Academy as she prepares for the future. Says Galanis, “We are not done yet.  We have taken the first step and will continue to work on elevating Yoreli’s game. She’s an amazing player that can go on to be a world star.”

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