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Ricardo Morfin contending in Dutch team at his age12.

Ricardo Morfin contending in Dutch team at his age12.

Playing in The Netherlands  — would be a dream for any teenager who’s laced up a pair of cleats and picked up a FIFAcontroller, but Gerold Kent wasn’t sure that this was where Ricardo Morfin AKA “Richi” needed to be. Kent, a 46-year-old South American native and the founder of the USA-based Europa Challenge program, had been scouting the youngster for a few years. Although Richi’s  technical ability, and game intelligent impressed him, Kent thought that he would struggle to make the jump from Tijuana, Mexico youth squads to the Dutch League–contending European teams at his age. Seemed it was the right fit for Richi.

“Together with Richi and my family, we could see that The Netherlands is the best place for his development, and we are ready to move there if needed,” said Richi’s mom.

“I’m trying to set the bar higher,” Kent says. “I’m trying to play a small role in the  development of players in the USA, providing training opportunities with some top Dutch Academies.

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