Sharing a love for soccer

Brothers find common passion in sport

Brothers Josue, Leonel and Leonardo Romo attend a soccer tournament in Colorado before Leonardo was injured. Courtesy of Josue Romo.

Brothers Josue, Leonel and Leonardo Romo attend a soccer tournament in Colorado before Leonardo was injured. Courtesy of Josue Romo.

Three young brothers, Leonel, Josue and Leonardo Romo, stare in amazement as their father sprints up and down the backyard with the soccer ball. Amused by their curiosity, he begins to perform tricks while the boys wipe sweat from their eyes and gape their mouths in awe. Their father pauses to ask the question that started it all: “Do you want to learn how to play soccer?”

Now 14 years have passed and the trio remains as passionate in soccer as when they first started. Currently upperclassmen in high school, the brothers all made varsity in soccer while also playing for outside-of-school teams like FC Dallas. With their never-ending determination and parents’ support, they continually find ways to improve their skills.

“[My parents] know I like [soccer] a lot so they just give me opportunities,” senior Josue said. “There was this one day [when my dad said] ‘Oh let’s go to the FC Dallas team tryouts’ and I went and I started playing for FC Dallas. It costs thousands of dollars to play and so they support me with this.”

Apart from playing for FC Dallas and the school team, the brothers also enjoy playing with each other. Because they are so close in age, they have strong communication with each other both on and off the field.

“[I] have that connection with them unlike [my] other friends,” junior Leonardo said. “You have better communication with them because they’re your brothers, you live with them every day.”

After Leonardo suffered a hip and knee injury at the beginning of the soccer season, he and his twin Leonel never received the opportunity to play together past junior varsity.

“I was injured but when I do play with [Leonel], it’s nice to be with him and have that connection since we’re both centre-backs,” Leonardo said. “We like to communicate with each other and look out into the field and control the team.”

Because of the extent of his injuries, he required surgery and multiple months of recovery to allow his body to heal properly. Although Leonardo was left unable to finish the remainder of his season with his brothers, he plans to continue playing once he is able to.

“He got injured twice,” Leonel said. “It was like a scrimmage. They hit the ball at the same time and I guess when he hit [the ball, his knee] went backwards. His second injury was during a game. Someone hit him and his leg went backwards. His hip got messed up.”

Despite the challenges the brothers have faced, they refuse to let them faze them. For them, soccer is more than a daily activity or stupid game, it is a lifestyle.

“Soccer is part of my daily life and I have passion for it and I love it,” Leonardo said. “It’s a thing I love to do. It’s something we tend to do every day. Soccer is just something we do and we love to play. It’s in our blood.”

Their father, who has been playing soccer ever since he was a kid in Mexico, has passed his love for the sport onto his sons. He aims to provide his sons with the best opportunities as well as support them by attending their games.

“My dad’s always been there [for me],” junior Leonel said. “He’s been to almost every game. He’s pretty much my teacher and my supporter, [and] he’s always there no matter what. He’s the one that taught me how to play soccer and he always gives me lessons after the games. My dad has always loved soccer, it’s in the family.”

Although Josue is graduating from high school, he does not plan on playing for college soccer. Josue, along with his younger brothers, plan to continue playing outside of school simply for the love of it. Because Josue is a year older, he hopes to have left a good path his brothers can follow.

“I consider myself a role model to my brothers,” Josue said. “Everything I do they look up to because we’re the same age and they feel like they can look up to me and see what they can do to be better. I try to be the best so we can compete with each other [because] I feel like that type of competition helps us a lot. We kind of push each other [to be better].”