By Matt Schwab
Special to Mustang Soccer
If you want a shining example of what’s great about the Mustang Youth Soccer Club, look no further than the Hoffmann family.
Kai Hoffmann and his wife, Jenn, have two children thriving in the nationally acclaimed club. Derek, 12, plays on the U13 U.S. Soccer Development Academy boys’ team and his sister Ella, 9, plays for the 2009 Girls Elite Team.
Team Hoffmann has been a part of Mustang since Derek was in kindergarten in 2012: “He’s been playing since he was a little nugget,” Jenn says happily.
What has kept them coming back all these years? It boils down to familiarity and respect. The parents know their kickers are in good hands.
“I like the defined career path for a young athlete to achieve his goals,” says Kai Hoffmann of the Mustang experience. “They really have everything organized. They take a lot of pride in what they do. I think the coaching staff has always been second to none; just handpicked coaches that really understand the game and understand youth soccer. They call it the ‘Mustang machine’ for a reason.”
Jenn Hoffmann, a professional photographer and Monte Vista High graduate, says Mustang Soccer was “well respected” even when she was a kid. So, it wasn’t even a question when Derek expressed interest in soccer that they would sign him up.
“Since our first experience in teaming with them we’ve always been so impressed with the coaching and with the development of both our kids that we’ve considered nothing else,” Jenn says.
Jenn describes the Mustang staff as being “so fabulous."
"On Derek’s side he’s been through multiple coaches; he’s gone from the Elite Team to the Academy. There’s been lots of different personalities, but overall, they’ve all offered the same level of expertise and just dedication. I really feel like they know our kids and want the best for them," she says.
Mustang Director of Coaching John Doyle enjoys having the Hoffman family in the program. Classy Derek and Ella both get it done on the field.
“I think the kids are both great athletes and great kids. You can tell they come from a good family; very respectful of the coaches and on the field,” Doyle says. “They get after it. I always joke with the boy, ‘you’re the bull.’ He’s strong and technically good … She’s like a little Alex Morgan.”
Likewise, Kai Hoffmann appreciates the level of coaching the kids receive at Mustang.
“It’s just absolutely put together with care, from guys like John Doyle with World Cup experience to guys that have coached championship teams for 20 years. It’s pretty incredible,” he said.