SoccerViza Football Club has grown enormously throughout the last couple of years. As a youth club, SVFC has more than 15 premier teams after only two years. What many people don’t know is that there is a world beyond the ‘youth side’ when it come to the Viza Brand. A world which started it all.
After playing professionally in Europe for 10 years, Joe Funicello, founder, Director, and CEO of SoccerViza, had a vision -- to build a company that helps players get noticed on the professional level.
“I was one of those players that wanted to play professionally,” said Funicello. “I didn’t want to play in college. Here in America, we have it completely backwards on how and what a soccer player looks like. Here, we rate athletes and even our Division I programs are not at the highest level. It doesn’t matter if they have the most money. There’s a lot of talent out there and that’s why I started this company.”
SoccerViza finds players from around the country that people or the industry did not know how to identify and sells them to professional clubs around the world. Through multiple-day events, players are tested through various drill and games in front of scouts in return for a chance to play professionally. These ‘events’ are known as ‘Pro Scouting Tours’ or ‘combines.’
“It was hard for me, and I wanted to create something that helped those players like me,” said Funicello.
The first Pro Scouting Tour, in 2012, consisted of 50 players and two scouts. Only one player got offered a contract. Now, over 100 players attend each event and SoccerViza has helped over 300 contracts get signed. The number of scouts present at each event has risen by more than 300% percent as well. Offices are located in Connecticut and in Lisbon, Portugal.