ESI player who played with the US Youth Futsal National Team. He was accepted to FC Malaga City Academy and will join the academy in August 2020. The Academy is located in Spain and provides the opportunity for players to live like professional players and to develop under some of the finest coaches in Europe.

FC Malaga City Bound: Beau Ricard Sets His Sights on Success

In August 2020, Beau Ricard will head to Spain and join FC Malaga City Academy for an intense 10-month soccer program that provides the exposure and challenges that promise growth in the sport he loves. For Beau, this is a huge step in the direction of his ultimate goal, raising the level of his game to play professional soccer.

“I want to improve every single aspect of my game,” Beau said. “My left foot, my game IQ, vision, passing, fitness - hopefully grow a little god willing - and my defense since I will most likely be playing right back.

Continued improvements to his level of play and added exposure are what drew Beau to the program.

“I will be playing against amazing academies like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico,” Beau said. “Hopefully if I do really well someone will notice me and then I could even take another step towards becoming a pro.”

Process of Selection

Beau reflected on the process of getting accepted into the Academy. Emails, texts, videos and an online application are the technological tools in overseas tryouts. 

“I emailed the coach back in December of 2019,” he said. “I filled out an application on their website with basic questions like my age, where I’m from, what position I play. I sent them several videos of me playing in games.”

The challenge in applying for a program like FC Malaga City is that the coaches hadn’t seen Beau play live but he was strategic in showcasing his talents. “You just have to make yourself look the best, use your best highlights and hope for the best.”

ESI’s Impact

Beau’s highlights showcased his development at ESI, and the skills he focused on to put himself in the position to travel abroad. “I believe the most important skill is work ethic,” Beau said. “If you show up to training every single day and if you give it 100% every time you go out on the field then results will show indefinitely.”

Another challenge Beau can expect when he’s in Spain is the mental challenge, but he’s confident in his preparation. “The mental toughness I have acquired through ESI has been tremendous and very helpful to my game,” Beau said. “Whether it is making that long run from box to box to stop a goal or if it’s going to practice and working hard even when I am tired or don’t feel well sometimes.”

He also credits Stéphane Auvray with helping him develop the tools that he hopes give him an edge over his new competition. “The technique that coach Stéphane has implemented in my game for the last several years is probably the most important piece in giving me an edge. He is an elite coach who knows the ins and outs of the game and has without a doubt influenced my game the most out of anyone else, without him I wouldn’t be where I am at today.”

Reflecting on ESI

Beau is thankful for his time and development at ESI, adding that he’s been given amazing opportunities and experiences that many US-based players don’t get. He’ll miss the program and the environment.

“I have been at ESI for a really long time and it will be really weird not going to practice every day and I will definitely miss doing 5v2’s and laughing with the team or watching Champions League games before practice,” Beau said.

This next level soccer experience promises exciting adventures, and along with soccer, Beau looks forward to the nice weather and sun. While the environment will be totally new, he’s happy that along the way he picked up a little bit of Spanish, which will help ensure the language isn’t a huge barrier. “I took Spanish from preschool to 7th grade. I know a little bit, hopefully enough to get me by,” Beau said.

Both Beau and Luke Griffiths will be at FC Malaga City this coming fall. As for other ESI players who hope to go abroad, Beau has some advice:

“Never give up on your dreams. There will be days when you really don’t want to practice or you are tired, but never lose that motivation and never lose sight of the goals you have because one day, if you truly give it your all, you will receive rewards and the hard work will pay off.”

Read Beau's story, and his parents', in our newsletter.