September 19, 2019
11:57 AM MDT
Player Insider: Julian Gaines
To get the opportunity to be invited to play for the Barça Residency Academy is a very huge honor. I’m very grateful to receive such an honorable scholarship. As I know there is a significant amount of kids that would love to be a part of this club, I will represent the Barcelona badge with great professionalism and respect. I’m excited for the new environment and can’t wait to see what this year at the Barcelona Academy holds.
Both my mother and father were born in the United States. My dad grew up playing a various amount of sports, football, basketball, and baseball. In college, my dad ran track for the University of Kansas. My mom also attended the University of Kansas. Interestingly enough, however, neither of my parents played soccer growing up. Both my parents continued their schooling to later earn their Bachelor Degrees.
I’m the third child to my parents. In total, I have 3 siblings. I have an older brother named Mckinze, an older sister named Katherine, and a younger sister named Halleigh. My siblings and I are quite the athletic bunch. My older brother plays professional soccer in Germany for Graßaspach. My older sister ran track through her years in High School. Then my younger sister is a cheerleader for Round Rock High School. I have a very close relationship with my siblings. My favorite memories with my family are during the holidays when we’re all together spending quality time with one another.
My Journey To Barça Residency Academy
I started playing soccer at the young age of 3. What inspired me to play was my older brother. To see the joy the game brought him and how he played with so much passion really made me want to play as well. I started out playing recreational soccer for the YMCA with a few of my closest friends. After a season or two at age 5, I joined a local league called Town and Country/ RR Association. This was a step up from the recreational soccer I was playing at the YMCA. I remember it was while I was playing in this league that I wanted to become a professional soccer player one day. From there, I joined a local club named Lonestar Soccer Club. This is where I stayed and played from around 6 years old to 16 years old.
When I was thirteen years old, in the seventh grade, I was invited to my first national team camp for the U-15 Boys National Team in Carson, California. I was blessed to be able to compete at this level with the National Team for major competitions, such as the Concacaf U-15 Boys Championships. Later I was able to play in the 2017 Nike Friendlies with the U17MNT in November. Through the 2018-2019 seasons, I was able to play with a few MLS teams in some tournaments. While remaining with Lonestar, I was still able to guest play with some MLS teams in some tournaments. My most recent time was in April of 2019 with the Columbus Crew in the Generations Adidas Cup. In January of 2019, I was able to sign an amateur contract with the Austin Bold FC of the USL. Here I was able to learn from coaches that were very knowledgeable of the game, and as well as some players that have played in the top leagues in the world. On May 5th, I was blessed to be able to make my professional debut in the USL against LA Galaxy 2.
From January to early August, I had the honor to play for Austin Bold. Barça Residency Academy has been tracking my progress throughout all competitions. In late July I got the opportunity to visit and tour the facility in Casa Grande. It wasn’t until then that I made my decision to join the family. I’m very excited for my future here and the challenges ahead.
Current and Future Goals
My current goal is to continue to improve myself and be the best me that I can every day. This is a goal for both on and off the pitch. I intend to achieve this goal by staying motivated, positive, and humble. The next goal for this season is to win the 2019/2020 playoffs. I believe this team has the talent and is given the right tools in order to do so. Saying that I want to score more goals than I did last season, as well as get more assists. For my future goal, I want to become a professional soccer player in Europe. This has been a dream of mine for quite some time now. I believe that with hard work to continue to perfect my craft will get me there.