Hugo Lara: Clearing Any Threats to His Goals

Freshman Hugo Lara dribbles the ball up field to pass to his teammates in order to score a goal.

Courtesy of Hugo Lara

Freshman Hugo Lara dribbles the ball up field to pass to his teammates in order to score a goal.

As the soccer season begins, freshman Hugo Lara starts training for one of the most prestigious soccer leagues in the country. From a very young age, Lara knew that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, who was a former semi-professional soccer player in Mexico. In fact, at the age of seven, Lara joined the South Miami United Football Club and played there until he transferred to Paris Saint-German Academy at eight.

“My parents are Mexican and Argentinian, so I was nearly born with the soccer ball in hand. At a young age, I started going to the park and playing around, but then I went off to South Miami to start taking soccer more seriously,” freshman Hugo Lara said.

Freshman Hugo Lara competing for the South Miami United Football Club at the age of seven. (Courtesy of Hugo Lara)

When he first began competing, Lara was on the lowest-ranked team at the academy. It was not until quarantine that he decided to commit to the sport and take it more seriously. With the support of his father, Lara was invited to join Major League Soccer Next, a distinguished league of collective teams controlled and run by MLS.

“I actually got better in quarantine because while everyone was resting and not doing anything, I trained with my dad. I would run around my block, I would practice at home and juggle with the soccer ball, all of that stuff, and now I’m on MLS Next. I’m one of the best players on my team and I’m also Captain for my team,” freshman Hugo Lara said.

Playing in one of the most renowned leagues in North America, Lara holds a crucial role on his team as center-back, a defensive position located in the area directly in front of the goal. Not only is he the center-back for his team on MLS Next, the Miami Rush Kendall Soccer Coalition, but he is also the team captain.

Team Captain, Hugo Lara (left to right: second on bottom row,) smiles with his team, the Miami Rush Kendall Soccer Coalition. (Courtesy of Hugo Lara)

“My position is played all the way in the back. It’s one of the strongest and you’ve got to have a good mindset. You can’t make any mistakes because if you mess up, the other team takes the ball from you and scores,” freshman Hugo Lara said.

Lara also had the opportunity to travel to different countries to compete against teams from all across the globe. This year he visited Spain, where his team won second place for their age division in the Donosti Cup, the only team from the United States out of all the age groups to advance to the finals.

“Being team captain makes me try to be the best version of myself and makes me want to be a leader. It just motivates me to keep going and push myself until I make it,” freshman Hugo Lara said.

With high hopes of continuing his soccer career, Lara envisions playing professionally and going all the way to the World Cup someday. For now, he is excited to see what the future has in store for him, with future travel plans to California, Maryland and Colombia to compete in tournaments with the Miami Rush Kendall Soccer Coalition on MLS Next.