• Spencer Shrader

How Brazil Came About

Just a couple of months ago I was trying to decide what to do about college. I was in the midst of senior year, having just come off a successful high school football and soccer season. I had already been offered scholarships to play college soccer, and I was getting interest from various football schools as well. While both of these options sounded great, nothing had popped up that I was super excited about and willing to commit to. Enter Breno.


My friend Breno

I met Breno midway through my senior year, and we became friends pretty much immediately. Breno lives in Brazil but enrolled in the foreign exchange student program for his senior year, which just so happened to send him to Lithia, Florida. We played on the same soccer team, but it wasn't till the end of the season that we started hanging out more often. As the season finished I began talking to Breno about my options, telling him that I wanted to go pro for soccer but I wasn't sure how to go about it. One time in February we were at my house playing ping-pong when the subject came up again. Jokingly, he told me to come to Brazil with him and his dad could set something up. We looked at each other for a second, and then I grinned and said let's do it. That night, I decided I was going to Brazil.


After our highschool soccer banquet

After that day we really started to put a plan together. I began learning Portuguese through Duolingo, and Breno contacted his dad to fill him in on the news. Breno's family was very supportive of the idea and his dad immediately started making calls to soccer clubs in the Sao Paulo area. We put a list together of everything that needed to be done and talked about it every day. In April I applied and obtained my Brazilian Visa, which was a surprisingly easy process. I then bought a plane ticket for the exact same flight as Breno. From there everything was ready to go. I started training every day for soccer and watching film every couple of days to help prepare myself. Though moving to Brazil for a couple of months is a big deal, I was never overwhelmed because I was focused on each step of the process individually. I am leaving June 8th, and all that's left to do now is pack my bags and buy some more supplies. Breno's family generously opened up their home for me and I'll be staying with them during my time in Brazil. If all goes well and I sign a contract to play professionally, I will be coming back to collect my belongings at some point and give an official goodbye to everyone.


The power of prayer is an amazing thing, as it took me from not knowing my future plans to being committed to Brazil in a single day. The chances of an 18-year-old Brazilian kid ending up in Lithia, Florida with a soccer playing background and an attitude of adventure are near impossible. I just take it as another sign that God works miracles in everyone's lives, and I am blessed to be able to take advantage of mine. There are so many people who have helped this next stage of my life come about. Creating this blog has offered me the opportunity to stay connected with all the amazing people I've met through the years, and I'm looking forward to continually updating everyone on my adventures.

Amigos

"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Psalm 16:11

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