"If you're quiet, and you don't speak out, you're never going to get anything accomplished." 10 - Carli Lloyd
Nicholas Almeida | Founder
As a first-generation American, I grew up playing soccer since I was 3 years old. It has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. At a young age, I got the support of my parents to get me to and from team activities. This allowed me to work my way up to the division one level where it seemed like we would have tournaments to play every weekend. The success of playing soccer came with the even better way for meeting kids of all backgrounds. Knowing the financial struggle that playing soccer at a high level can bring, I am focused on bridging the gap for children around the world so they can achieve their dreams.
One of my most eye-opening experiences was attending the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. By either attending a game live or watching it at the soccer village set up in the local Brazilian town of Natal, I was able to see first hand how soccer unites the world. From something as small as a pickup game with local Brazilians, visitors from Japan, Greece, Chile, Italy, and the USA you got to see people of all cultures, religion, income level, and gender come together for one goal to enjoy themselves.
Today, I have a son of my own of multiple ethnic backgrounds. It’s amazing to see him love the same sport I grew up loving as well.
Favorite Clubs: AC Milan, FC Barcelona, NYCFC
Favorite Player: Carlos Valderrama
Arun Sathyanathan | Founder
Born in India and immigrated to the United States at the age of 1. I come from a background in Soccer and played at various levels up to Division 1 in college. Some of my earliest memories around soccer include watching the 1994 World Cup. The passion and excitement around the tournament was my first example of different cultures and people coming together and something I will never forget.
I’ve had the chance to play both domestically and internationally during my youth. While living in Europe after 9/11, I had the chance to understand first hand what people’s impression was of the United States around the world. There is a need for us to play a role as global ambassadors and this doesn’t just rest on our government and politicians. This is a world that we all share equally as members of the human race and it is important for us to all have a hand in making it a better place for everyone. This is why I’m excited to be a part of 10z and for all the goals we hope to achieve in our work.
Favorite Clubs: Arsenal, New York Red Bull
Favorite Player: Ronaldo (R9)
Andrew Almeida | Founder
My motivation for starting an organization like 10z Team has been a culmination of life experiences. As a first generation American, I see the world through the lens of an ethnicity label of self-identification from which I believe many Americans do. Whether it be right or wrong, for better or worse, imposed upon me or self-identified, growing up having to navigate through cultural differences and biases was something of a norm. The most important thing I have learned is that these differences should not push people apart. They should be a cause for understanding and celebrating together.
Playing soccer throughout my life in NY’s 5 borrows and Long Island was the easiest place to see this idea happen naturally. No matter what field you stepped on everyone identified around one culture, everyone on your team was family, and each individual shared in the same joy and spirit of the game. After attending the 2014 World Cup in Brazil I truly realized the power of this phenomenon. Among the hundreds, if not thousands, of people I came across it seemed as if everyone was your friend. I quickly realized soccer brings out the best in people.
Favorite Clubs: FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Liverpool, Red Bull NY
Favorite Player: Ronaldinho
Throughout my career as a player and young coach, soccer was always more than a sport to me. It was a way to learn, teach, share, interact and inspire, every time I stepped on and off the field. After graduating college, I saw the impact the game and coaches had on me as a player, person and young coach. Former coaches and mentors taught me that soccer is more than a game, its presents situations and learning experiences that can be applied to real life. To this day, I see the impact coaches have on players and I have dedicated my career to continuing the process of education through sport, practice and application.
Favorite Club: FC Barcelona
Favorite Player: Lionel Messi
As a Coach and Educator, Alex Mendolia is dedicated to bringing the highest standard and most progressive teaching and training methods from some of Spain’s top youth academies. Alex is on a mission to educate all players who share the passion and the desire to learn the sport of soccer in a unique and fun environment, strengthened by a well developed methodology.
“Soccer creates a unique forum to help children develop a strong character with a sense of independent thinking, while growing their passion for soccer.” In addition to soccer specific skills, players will be introduced to situations that prepare them for real life, through accountability and decision making training. The training method encourages the players to make decisions and come to conclusions based on guided discovery and internalization of concept and principles.
Alex is currently Assistant Coach of Woman’s Soccer at Seton Hall University. Past experience includes coaching and staff positions with the following clubs: Sky Blue FC, UD San LOrenzo, EF Huesca Academy, Stony Brook University, St Josephs College, and LIU Post.