EDP recently caught up with Taylor Calheira of BRAUSA United FC 02B (MSYSA) at the US Youth Soccer National League Fall Showcase 15U-19U Boys in Panama City Beach, Florida.
EDP: Taylor, you’ve got an incredible list of accomplishments to your name, including being named a High School All-American in back-to-back years and winning multiple states, regional and national cups with your club team. Tell us about the one experience that stands out from the rest.
Calheira: I’ve been fortunate enough to have great teammates around me throughout my youth soccer career, but if I had to pick one experience that is most memorable to me, I’d have to say winning our high school conference. This was a first in school history, and the fact that I was able to share this experience with my dad, who is the coach of our team, made it extra special.
EDP: I understand that your father was not only the coach of your high school team, but he was also the coach of your club team. What was that like being coached by your father throughout your career?
Calheira: To be honest, I feel very fortunate to have been coached by my father since I was young. We’ve traveled all over the world and have shared incredible experiences that I will never forget. Aside from teaching me how to play this beautiful game, my father has taught me how to be the person I am today.
EDP: Tell us about what lies ahead for you at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County?
Calheira: I’m thrilled to be joining UMBC this fall. It’s an amazing program with an amazing coach, and I’m excited to be part of it. Plus, I know the guys on the current roster, as well as some of the new guys coming in with me, and I think we are going to be strong.
EDP: If things go well for you at UMBC, do you see professional soccer in your future?
Calheira: I’d love the opportunity to enter the MLS after college. That’s been a dream of mine since I was little, so it would be a dream come true. I know I’ll have to work hard if I want to reach that point, but I feel like I’ll be in an environment that will allow me to reach my potential. And, hopefully, that is good enough for the next level.
EDP: What are your aspirations away from the field?
Calheira: I’m hoping to graduate with a degree in a science-related field. I love sports so, hopefully, I can combine the two and get into something like physical therapy or kinesiology.
EDP: As someone who has always been coached and surrounded by family, what are your expectations for UMBC when that will no longer be the case?
Calheira: I think it will be hard at first, but I know that my family will always be there for me. Fortunately, I am not going too far from home, so I know they will still be a huge part of my playing experience. And, I trust that once at UMBC, I will connect with my new (soccer) family, and they support me just like my other teammates have done throughout my career.
EDP: Well, we hope you get the chance to chase all of your dreams and we know you’ll work hard to make them happen. We appreciate the time.
EDP wishes Taylor Calheira much success in his upcoming season in the US Youth Soccer National League with BRAUSA and in coming years with UMBC as he journeys through higher education towards a professional career, whether it’s in soccer or another field.
Founded in 1999, Elite Development Program Soccer (EDP) is one of the largest organizers of youth soccer leagues and tournaments in the U.S. EDP operates youth leagues for boys and girls ages 9-19, conducts a Futures program for players ages 7-11, and operates U20/23 men’s and women’s leagues. EDP also runs over 20 tournaments each year. The key emphasis for EDP’s leagues and tournaments is its Pathway to College™ programming which enables soccer players to reach their full potential with an emphasis on attending college. More than 3,500 teams participate in EDP’s leagues and more than 170,000 players compete in EDP tournaments annually. For more information on EDP, visit www.edpsoccer.com.