Goals and Dreams: Christian Fuchs
Christian Fuchs helps American kids follow in his footsteps
Photographs by Anthony Geathers
On a small three-day break from the Barclays Premier League season, and fresh off a Champions League run that saw Leicester City make another improbable run to the quarterfinals, Christian Fuchs sits down for lunch with his wife in the iconic Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem. “It’s crazy,” his wife, Raluca, says. “Our two-year old has more frequent-flyer miles than most adults do.”
Two years ago, Fuchs became the only current Premier League player to make New York City his permanent home. And while the past year has been a whirlwind of appearances following Leicester City’s Premier League title in 2016, Fuchs has always managed to come back to the States whenever he has off days to visit his family… and to teach soccer.
“When I first moved here, I put my son in a soccer clinic,” Fuchs says. “I was really disappointed by it. It was more like daycare than a learning experience. I knew that had to change.”
Fuchs’ stepson is now playing travel team soccer, which helped him better visualize the path for American kids into the world’s most popular sport. The last two years, Fuchs has created soccer clinics through his own Fox Soccer Academy. The clinics are for players from 8-16 years of age, and Fuchs spares no expense to bring in the best coaches to work with the players.
This year’s team of instructors includes Mark Smith, whose private academy in London has helped identify players for the Crystal Palace franchise, and Andrew Henderson, the five-time world champion soccer freestyler.
“I think when I started the camps, programs here in New York were a little wary of allowing their kids to come,” Fuchs says. “I think they may have been nervous that we were trying to start a travel program ourselves. But I see Fox Soccer Academy as a way for kids who are passionate about the game to accelerate their learning and technical ability. When they go back to their travel teams, they will be better than ever before. Our program essentially offers a New York kid the opportunity to study the methods and teaching of soccer abroad right here at home.”
The early results have been so successful, Fuchs had a few players from his academy work out with the Leicester City Academy this past season. “Having played around the world, I think we offer a unique network of people that can be useful to young kids with professional dreams. We want to be part of the fabric of US youth soccer. We don’t want to replace it. And I plan to be here in New York for many years to come to see this dream to fruition.”
Christian Fuchs’ next Fox Soccer Academy clinic begins March 25th in New York City. For more information, please visit http://www.foxsoccer.academy