Residential International Soccer Academy in Valencia | Kenan Berenson


Soccer Goalkeeper Kenan Berenson training in Valencia

Looking to prolong his development abroad and benefit from the high level soccer that Spain can offer, Kenan Berenson (19) a native of Atlanta, Georgia continued in our prestigious Residential International Soccer Academy in Spain for the second consecutive year. As part of the program, Kenan not only lives and trains in our Valencian Residence of players enjoying world-class football facilities but also competes for a renowned Valencian fútbol club’s Amateur team. “I wanted to take my level up. The best league in the world I think is the Spanish one so what better place to go to challenge myself than against Spanish players in Spain. I looked up and I found IFX and its Soccer Academy in Spain. I realized that this is a good program and it would be good for my development. I came over here last year and I was playing for Juvenal B team and now I moved up to its Amateur team. It is really fun, I feel I developed a lot as a player so I decided to come back and continue this good experience abroad”.

Kenan is a big goalkeeper with a good reading from the back line and across the field. His height and decisiveness make him a leader on the team and his good hands are a fundamental piece on defense. His teammates describe him as a team player with good defensive communication. “I have been a goalkeeper for 10 years. This year my biggest goal is to cut back on my weight and be quicker and fitter. I believe I can become professional, all I need is to be disciplined.”

It did not take long for Kenan to realize that soccer in Spain is more about the technical aspect of the game and quick passing. “I think the biggest difference is how quickly the ball is moved on the floor. It is not just kick and run. It is really a team sport here. If you do not have an entire team working well together it would be really difficult. It is very important the technical aspect of the game and this is one of the things we focus a lot on in training. There is an insane difference from back home, in North America it is more about how fast you are, how strong you are.”

“Facilities are great. I live in the residence so I am right across the street from all the pitches. We have 3 small pitches for younger kids, we have a big turf pitch with the stadium which is fantastic…really good place. We have a grass pitch which is one of the few clubs in Valencia at our level that actually has both turf and grass pitches and the gym in the residence so we really have everything you need for developing.

Even in the back of the residence they just built brand new small training fields where you can go back and practice kicking, dribbling… whatever you need to do. There is a tons of stuff. Training overall…incredible, very difficult, very hard… really good for individual skill and bringing the team together. Coaching staff…very supportive. Staff in the facilities really care about us…. watch over how we live which is a very important thing for us…really help to keep responsible…[get to] dinner on time. We spend a lot of time with our friends here. You’re living together for a entire year so you really get good friends”.

Kenan also told us about trainings: “If your are an international player you will train every single morning. You will have 2 gym sessions a week, three sessions on the main pitch where we might do crossing, finishing, might do technical session. At night sessions there is a team training we show up to training from 15 to 30 minutes early to stretching or do whatever you need to warm up or you might do a little team talk. In night sessions we train around 2 hours based on 3 times per week. On game days someone picks us up about two hours before a game, we talk for 30 minutes and then we get ready…we stay at the lockers listening to music, being together, getting excited for the game. Coaches are coming to give us a little talk, we figure out all about tactics, how we come about playing this game or this team. Very professional.”

  • On game days someone picks us up about two hours before a game, we talk for 30 minutes and then we get ready…we stay at the lockers listening to music, being together, getting excited for the game. Very professional!

Kenan´s family on his maternal side come from Barcelona and he came to our soccer program in Valencia with a basic level of Spanish. He spoke a little bit but now he is able to go and meet the locals and speak with them. “I have the opportunity to talk with the residence staff, my teammates and coaches in Spanish. It is really helpful to be immersed into Spanish Culture 24/7.” He tries to go to the city every week. He was pretty much going to every spot and he would learn something new about the city and experience new culture. “I had a very good opportunity to go and learn more that really helped me with my Spanish being here.”

With the goal of moving up in the divisions and playing professional soccer, Kenan is fighting everyday to get better, pushing himself and competing against better players in order to become the best player that he can be. He is not afraid to put himself in a hard situation on his path to professional football. We from IFX Soccer are proud of his development and happy to have him with us one more year. We wish you much success. If you would like to live and play soccer in Spain yourself and experience a highly competitive training environment, please do not hesitate to contact us right away – we are happy to help you to fulfill this dream! Call Us Today to +1 510-599-4625.

Choose the best international soccer immersion program combining international education and football!

You also might be interested in...