EL PASO, Texas – If there is anyone who knows the ins and outs of what it takes to run a youth soccer department, there is no doubt that person would be Ana Guevara.
As the department’s longest-standing member, Guevara’s contributions and efforts have been critical to Locomotive’s growth and development in El Paso’s youth soccer scene.
She handles all the administrative, financial and marketing work for the Youth Soccer department, which includes the USL U-20 Academy team, Youth Academy teams, Club teams and youth soccer programs. It is quite a lot and Guevara acknowledges that the work is challenging, but the payoff is unlike any other.
“Our goal at Youth Soccer is to improve the quality of life in the city and give the kids an opportunity to play and develop in the sport, which are our two main goals” Guevara said. “Youth soccer is always changing, but we make sure to offer quality programs for kids that want to have fun and want to follow their soccer dreams. My efforts have helped this department grow and to see how successful it has gotten over the years has been very rewarding.”
She also serves as the connection between Youth Soccer’s Academy and Club teams, ensuring that both are collaborating and working towards their respective goals, making her someone that the department can rely upon to progress forward.
However, Youth Soccer is not the only department at Locomotive that has needed Guevara’s help over the past five years.
She joined Locomotive months before its inaugural 2019 season as a sales intern, also finding opportunities to work in team sales, marketing, retail and youth soccer within her first two years. Those experiences really opened Guevara’s eyes to how much it truly takes to run a team and how critical teamwork is to overall success.
Her determination and drive did not go unnoticed. The Club approached Guevara with a job offer, guaranteeing that she would have a full-time job secured following her graduation from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Since Youth Soccer’s inaugural year in 2020, participation numbers have skyrocketed, with the department overseeing a total of 27 Academy and club teams with 300+ players involved, plus another 150 players across youth and recreational programs. The innovation and structure that Locomotive Youth Soccer has built has placed it in a unique position. For Guevara, the growth in that short amount of time has been tremendous to witness.
“What we were offering at Youth Soccer is really a unique thing in El Paso,” Guevara said. “The growth in the short amount of time that Youth Soccer has existed has been great to witness and it’s nice to know the passion and effort I put in has helped it grow from the ground up.”