We first learned about Matheus Maia when someone sent us video of a few of his goals. We wanted to know more about this player with a strong leg and a unique name.
Matheus Maia is originally from Brazil and currently plays soccer for the 99/00 Premier team and Baylor School.
CFCA: When did you start playing soccer and what do you remember most about that first season?
Matheus: I started playing soccer I was 5 years old. I played for Flamengo academy. I don't remember much because it was so long ago, but I remember I used to be a right back and scored a lot of goals.
CFCA: Tell us about your soccer career before CFC Academy and what led you to try out for select soccer?
Matheus: Back in Brazil I was playing for Flamengo Academy, one of the biggest clubs in Brazil with 40 million fans. I tried out for select soccer for the opportunity to develop my skills and techniques in order to become a better soccer player.
CFCA: With all the best players in Chattanooga now playing under one single club how does that help players like you who want to develop at the highest level?
Matheus: It helps players to always seek to improve their techniques and skills, every practice or game you have to cause any sort of impact because, that is what our coaches expect from us to always improve to reach another level that is college soccer.
CFCA: What do you do outside of regular team training to improve your game? For example, do you attend Supplemental Training?
Matheus: I attend supplemental training every time possible; it is an excellent way to improve your skills. I also run, do core workouts, and practice shooting and dribbling on my free time.
CFCA: We have video of some fantastic goals you’ve scored. Do you have a favorite?
Matheus: This season I have had some good goals it is hard to choose a favorite one because every goal is special to me, but if I had to choose a favorite one would be the bicycle kick in the state semi finals that sent us to the final.
CFCA: What are your proudest accomplishments so far in soccer?
Matheus: State champion back in Brazil.
CFCA: What about your biggest disappointment?
Matheus: A torn ACL last year.
CFCA: How do you get through a setback like that?
Matheus: I had a lot support from my parents, friends, and I kept my faith. It is my belief that everything happens for a reason; I knew God had a plan for me. That injury made me stronger, made me focus more in my goals, made me a better person off the field, and a better soccer player on the field.
CFCA: You only have one more semester of high school. What’s next as far as college or college soccer?
Matheus: I'm in touch with some college coaches. I'm trying to go to every soccer camp possible, and I'm working really hard to be in perfect condition for the CASL showcase with CFC. I know that is a really good opportunity to make it to the next level.
CFCA: We’re not sure if you knew this but about 70% of kids quit a youth sport by age 13. You're still playing. If you could go back in time and talk to your 13-year-old self what would you say?
Matheus: I didn't know it was about 70% , but actually I was one of those kids. At age 13, I quit soccer. In Brazil it is really hard to study and play club. Unfortunately, I had to choose between soccer and school; that's when I decided to quit soccer. I tried to do other activities like martial arts, but I didn't have the same joy as with soccer. So when I was 16 years old I started playing soccer again. If I could go back in time, I would say to myself: "Be persistent. Adversity is constant in our lives and we need to overcome it every time."
CFCA: What are your goals for the spring season of soccer?
Matheus: My main goals are to be state champion (with Baylor School) and sign to a college. My secondary goal is to have an assist or a goal in each game. I understand these are really difficult goals, but during my CFC time I have been working hard to accomplish it.
CFCA: Who have been your coaches and what do you like about them?
Matheus: Every practice and game my coach, David Oesch, pushes us to the limit; he forces us to become better on and off the field. Every practice we work on our mistakes and improve on our success.